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Hi! I'm Laura, a 23-year-old millennial girl discovering who I am by sharing my life experiences on my blog. You'll find me writing about me discovering my personal style, my growing wanderlust or giving any sort of style, uni or mental health advice.

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This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclaimer here.
I spent most of my summer writing my dissertation while also wanting to enjoy the sunshine and lovely weather as much as possible. So I had to really manage my time during the summer to make sure I can have the best of both worlds. Obviously this is not something that is possible if you have an office job, but I like to think that the tips I applied are somewhat useful to you even if you spend an entire day at the office. It’s tips I have learnt along the way, to keep you going and motivated to have a kickass week.

Create a realistic to-do list

How often do you make a to-do list for yourself and am not able to finish anything on there? I used to have that all the time. It wasn’t until a teacher at university told my class to create realistic to do lists instead of endlessly long ones. Ever since he told us that, I started planning only 4 to 5 tasks on my to-do list that day. It’s much more satisfying to be able to tick off everything on your to-do list at the end of a day. So what I do, is I only plan 4 to 5 tasks on a specific day. If I have ticked everything off there and feel like I still have enough time and energy to keep doing some work, I will just start working on the things on my to-do list for the next day.
Maybe it’s just a little mind trick that you play with yourself, as you would end up doing all the tasks you wanted to do at the end of the week, but it has really helped me become more productive throughout my weeks and days. It’s kind o

Hide your phone

My phone is my biggest device of distraction. As soon as my screen lights up with a new notification I am tempted to go and look at it. It’s actually why I started hiding my phone either in my desk drawer, under a pile of papers or my to-do list or even in another room. Without any distractions from my phone I am able to get so much work done. It’s one of those out of sight out of mind kind of things for me, but it really helps me to be more productive, especially in the morning. It’s one of the main reasons it has become so easy for me to get so much work done in the early hours of the day, as before I would spend a lot of time usually scrolling through a couple of photos on Instagram or checking my emails there.

Schedule 5 minute breaks every hour

If I am under a lot of pressure I can easily spend 9 hours behind my desk without standing up to take a break. That’s basically spending an entire day behind your desk and you always end up feeling absolutely horrible. I get headaches if I spend too much time behind my desk so I have learnt from my opticians to take five minute breaks every hour. This is just to keep your eyes away from the screen for a little while. Get yourself some water, go for a short tea break, just stretch your legs for five minutes. It helps me so much to get more done when I plan in a couple of minutes to not look at my screen.

Don’t plan your entire day

As tempting as it sounds, I try to not plan an entire day to the max. It’s only when I feel super stressed and busy with uni work that I have left until too late that I would usually do this. But by not planning your entire day you actually have time to do tasks that might pop up and have quite a high priority. I find planning an entire day to actually be quite exhausting as this usually means you are running from meeting to meeting, try to do emails inbetween it all and just thinking about it makes my heart race again with stress. Instead I like to plan 4-5 tasks a day, so if anything happens to pop up I can easily slide it into my workload for the rest of the day without feeling like I don’t have the time or feeling overwhelmed by when or how I should be doing said task.

Plan something fun to do every day

I live off the energy I get from things I love doing. It’s actually why I started planning in time to do fun things every day. Some days I might feel like I really want to read my book, so nowadays I try to spend at least an hour before going to bed to read a book. If I want to hang out with a friend on a Wednesday afternoon, I will do so. With the tips I mentioned above, I am usually done with work at around 2 in the afternoon, which means I can easily spend an hour or so to have lunch with a friend. Don’t feel guilty about planning fun things to do every day. The best thing about it is that it can be completely up to you and how you felt that day to fill in the blank around ‘doing something fun’. Some days that might be going to dinner or lunch with friends, other days it might be by going to the gym, but it can also be watching a film or series on TV after a long day at work. It’s great to have something fun to look forward to every day, which is why I try to always plan in some ‘fun’-time or I guess it’s kind of like ‘me’-time, as it’s basically anything I am feeling or wanting to do.

How do you try to work smart if you have an office job or are a uni student?
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  1. Love these tips Laura! I think it's definitely all about working smarter and not harder ♥︎

    1. Thank you so much Pinja, and definitely! I couldn't agree more. It's one thing I have learnt the hard way this past year xx


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