Lock away your wicker furniture, waxing kits, and expensive boats, friends, for summer is no longer with us. I know it’s tragic, beach goers, mojito drinkers, and general lazy people of all shapes and sizes, but as you know, the fabled hot months of relaxation never last forever. That being said, it’s time to get your asses back to work. So, may as well hit the ground running and make the most of the next nine months before sweet, sweet, sunny relief.
For your academic or business pleasure, I’ve compiled a veritable treasure trove of inexorably useful tips on how to be bloodcurdlingly efficient and awesome this school or work year. Following any of these basic-to-advanced guidelines will make you work and feel great, and make it so the next time you say, “I’m so money,” it’ll be in front of a room full of applauding colleagues, and not just inside your tired brain.
The absolute best way to achieve efficiency is a well-organized schedule. Most people, though, stop at putting their basic timetable into their phones, but that’s not classy. Have a separate book that contains all your important events and dates, maybe from Moleskine just to be that jackass everyone wishes they could be. Develop a shorthand for perfecting your schedule, and always leave time for commutes and having to wait for other people not as boss as you are. Finally, overbook yourself with things you know you can miss, and be desired!
Finish entire tasks!
The world is a distracting place, and you should never let it win. Every time you log onto Facebook, for instance, put a demerit in that schedule of yours (that’s right, feel the shame). When you have a set of tasks to accomplish in a given day, like a study guide, term paper, or business report of some kind, hone in on one and finish it to completion. Every task destroyed will make you feel more money, and will no longer be hanging over your head.
Break up big stuff!
If you have to write a thesis or, you know, a big business report thing, break it down into pieces, instead of tackling the entire monster at once. That massive stress factory will eventually get done, and at a higher level of efficiency and quality if you approach it as a set of achievable parts. Adapt this to the second tip, and be winning.
No normal human can accomplish everything at once. At one point, your eyes will start to bleed and your typing fingers will go numb, and that is not by definition boss. You don’t want to be a burnout. So, schedule in breaks of just enough time to let your mind be at ease, but not too much time, or that addled pile of synapses will dissolve into a sad putty. If you work for three hours, say, try thirty to sixty minutes, but not much more.
Stay off social media!
Things like Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or whatever else are toxic cyberscapes that sap your intelligence right from your very mind. Checking a message or two is fine, because you don’t want your friends to think you’re a puddle of goo somewhere, but don’t allow yourself to scroll down your news feed. It’s a time waster and the opposite of getting anything done. I realize you want to know what Jon Stewart said about Republicans today, and your anarchic friend Brad definitely posted a video link, but don’t give in until your educational or professional work is done. Be strong, Internet addict, be strong.
Find outside time!
I know I say this a lot, but I wouldn’t if it weren’t in veracity stupid damn important. If you find yourself in an office or library too many hours of the day, you’ll be extremely unhappy and oddly sleepy. Your body needs fresh air, sunlight, and, in the winter, a healthy blast of cold wind. Otherwise, your brain will atrophy, you’ll become a cynic shrouded in the shadow of the darkness necessary to properly see your beloved computer screen, and basically not be nearly as efficient of content as you think you are. So yeah, your breaks should be taken outdoor and active.
Most importantly, know when to give up, pack up, and settle down with a beer or glass of cheap wine. No one can accomplish everything, no matter how much Adderall is coursing through your system, so at that telltale moment of eye soreness, shoulder pain, and static nervousness, forgive your human husk and go on home. Tomorrow is another day of being a boss, so slither on cave to your booze, Trader Joe’s feast, and maybe even someone to share your mattress before 6:30am rolls around again to ruin everything.