The Eisenhower Matrix

Most things which are urgent are not important, and most things which are important are not urgent.

Eisenhower

Sounds like a real mind bender, doesn’t it?

But this is what led Eisenhower to research and develop the famous Eisenhower Matrix.

At any given point of time we have tasks to do that should have been done yesterday, tasks to do that are urgent, tasks that we keep putting off , tasks that other people depend upon, tasks that are lying in our inbox waiting to be opened and tasks that we will probably never get to.

We’re basically running in circles.

If we complete this graded assignment due tomorrow – we probably won’t get time to study for the big test next week. If I write this article now, I probably won’t be able to finish my assignments.

This where the Eisenhower matrix comes into the picture. By organizing all your work into a neat little box.

Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States and is often applauded for his consistent productivity – that allowed him to plan and act on many projects. The method was named after him and is used to prioritize tasks between urgency and importance.

Because what is urgent ( replying to emails) may not be important( writing the manuscript for your book) and vice versa.

So, let’s dive right in!

1.The Quadrants

In this box there are 4 quadrants.

Quadrant 1

  • To do now
  • Urgent and important
  • These are tasks that you must put on your list first – and do immediately.

Quadrant 2

  • To schedule
  • Important but not urgent
  • Tasks that need to get done – but not right away. So, schedule them for later during the day.

Quadrant 3

  • To delegate
  • Urgent but not important
  • These are tasks that are urgent but don’t require your immediate attention as they are not important. The idea is to delegate them to someone else.

Quadrant 4

  • To delete
  • Tasks that are neither urgent nor important.
  • Delete these tasks and eliminate clutter.
  •  Or put them under a task list for “someday”. So, you can come back to these tasks on a day you have time.

And that’s all there is to it. Start jotting down tasks in each of these boxes and you’re set.

2.The Matrix

Here’s what the matrix looks like.

3.Try it out!

Hit the download button and get started.



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The law of efficiency

Time is funny.When working on a long boring assignment , it can seem to move very slowly.But when watching your favourite web series….BAM ! There goes 3 hours of your day. But why does time work like that ? Let me introduce to you Parkinson’s law of time management.It simply states that : This isContinue reading “The law of efficiency”

Does music help you work better?

Well, it depends.

Take a moment and tell me if you work better with or without music in the comments below.

Whatever the case may be music and work have always been intertwined.

Historically the Music While You Work programme was introduced by the UK government  – where they broadcast  upbeat music in factories twice a day might help to step up the pace of work. But,some employees complained of lower productivity when music was blasting through overhead speakers.

Well, everyone has a certain capacity of working memory. This working memory is put into use when we are trying to remember our grocery list or trying to solve a math problem.

If you are someone who has a hard time handling multiple pieces of information in your working memory – the music now become a distraction – disturbing your workflow.

We know how beneficial music can be – It improves physical performance, can develop cognitive performance and boost productivity. But some of us work well with music. Some prefer silence. And some feel that music is a hindrance.

So, what’s going on?

Bring your focus back to the first line – It depends

 Background music can help when revising old material – something you have already read before.But when trying to wrap your head around a topic that is entirely new – many people prefer to study in silence.

It also depends on your mood and the task at hand.

Familiar music is better to help us focus. But music with lyrics is distracting and can evoke nostalgia – pulling you away from the task at hand,Mozart’s classical music has proven to increase cognitive capacity – often described as the Mozart effect.

Music to me is often a distraction while writing a blog post. So, I prefer ASMR or background noises such as the busy chatter of a café or the sounds of a library.

So, in summary –. See what kind of music you prefer while working on certain tasks.

Remember to work to your own beat.

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The Eisenhower Matrix

Most things which are urgent are not important, and most things which are important are not urgent. Eisenhower Sounds like a real mind bender, doesn’t it? But this is what led Eisenhower to research and develop the famous Eisenhower Matrix. At any given point of time we have tasks to do that should have beenContinue reading “The Eisenhower Matrix”

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Could ASMR be the hack to being more productive?

Ever miss the sounds of the library ?The turning of books?

Miss the sounds of the café ?With people bustling and coffee frothing?

Many people attribute their focus and productivity to the sounds around them. So, during the pandemic ASMR had begun replacing the real-life experience of libraries, cafes and offices. YouTube has been booming with ASMR videos helping people focus, improve productivity and relieve anxiety.

So, what is ASMR?

ASMR or autonomous sensory meridian response are a range of sounds and visuals. They range from page turning, to keyboard tapping, pen scratching on paper, crinkling and even rain drops. These ASMR sounds have taken up place in people’s lives even helping some deal with depression and improve productivity.


Although there hasn’t been intensive research on ASMR – a study conducted by the University of Sheffield found that, compared to non-ASMR participants, those who experience ASMR reported increased levels of calmness and decreased levels of stress and sadness.


ASMR may be the technique that people are looking for to become more productive.

Some common ASMR types

  • Page turning
  • Typing
  • Page crinkling
  • Water drops
  • Tapping
  • White noise

For some ASMR is a hindrance – making them lose their focus. But for others it often helps stimulate their creativity helping them get more work done.

So, the next down you sit down to work – try it out and see if it works. If it does, you’re looking towards many focused work sessions


PICTURE CREDIT:

Photo by RR Abrot on Unsplash

Photo by Shunya Koide on Unsplash


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Try the coffee nap

Drinking coffee before a nap? Sounds a little counterintuitive, doesn’t it?

Caffeine naps are the latest evolution. When you feel drowsy and your eyelids begin to close right after that heavy lunch – instead of gulping down a cup of coffee or taking a regular 20-minute power nap – try a caffeine nap. ( AKA the coffee nap )

The concept?

To drink a cup of coffee and then take a 20-minute nap. It takes at least 20 minutes for the caffeine to kick into your system – giving you enough time to boos your energy with a quick 20-minute nap.

Why does this work?

Well, when the caffeine enters your system, it takes at least 20 minutes for its effects to start showing. When you feel tired – your body produces adenosine. When you sleep – your body begins getting rid of this adenosine – and gulping down a cup of coffee before this helps boost your energy levels.

According to research conducted in the 1990s, drinking a cup of coffee after a midday nap can increase concentration, performance skills, and cognition compared to taking a nap alone.

In their conclusion, the researchers stated that “the combination of a nap and caffeine was more effective in maintaining alertness and performance than was the nap alone.”



Hence by using both the components of a power nap and a coffee kick you wake up energised.

Photo by Gregory Pappas on Unsplash

Gimme your thoughts in the comments below !

Could ASMR be the hack to being more productive?

Ever miss the sounds of the library ?The turning of books? Miss the sounds of the café ?With people bustling and coffee frothing? Many people attribute their focus and productivity to the sounds around them. So, during the pandemic ASMR had begun replacing the real-life experience of libraries, cafes and offices. YouTube has been boomingContinue reading “Could ASMR be the hack to being more productive?”

How to get your overwhelming to-do list under control

My to-do list has 51 tasks right now.

I’ve been putting them off for a while.

Every single task I need to do- no matter how big or small I’ve jotted down in this list.

More than often – my chaotic day takes over and I cannot get my overwhelming to-do list to zero

This pandemic has given me some time to experiment and work with my task list

So here are 4 strategies I’ve come up with:

1.Delete some tasks

When you have toooo many things to do.

It’s time to pick and choose.

Delete some tasks you can do without.

It will give you some breathing time.

2.Schedule just 3 tasks a day

Schedule for just 3 tasks a day. And get them done by the end of the day.

Fit them between events, between meeting or between classes.

3.Delegate them to someone else

If there is task you can ask someone else to do for you  – do it

It will at least buy you some time and some breathing space.

Or ask someone to help you on this task – it will surely reduce your workload and also help you learn a different strategy to tackle the same task

4.A kill -switch

When my to do-list is beyond control and I keep pushing my tasks to another day

like it is now

I do something called a task list day

I simply pick one day withing the next 7 upcoming days

And this one day  is the day I will buckle down and try to do every single task on my list.

It’s kind of a last-minute kill switch to get everything down to zero

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Try the coffee nap

Drinking coffee before a nap? Sounds a little counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Caffeine naps are the latest evolution. When you feel drowsy and your eyelids begin to close right after that heavy lunch – instead of gulping down a cup of coffee or taking a regular 20-minute power nap – try a caffeine nap. ( AKAContinue reading “Try the coffee nap”

Book Haul 2021

I finally got a chance to head out to my local bookstore and grab my first book haul for the year. I picked out several murder mystery books by Agatha Christie. 1.Just one look 2.Before I go to sleep 3.Atomic Habits 4.How to be a Bawse 5.Death in the air 6.Dumb witness 7.Ikigai 8.Gone girlContinue reading “Book Haul 2021”

How the 20-minute rule can beat the motivation slump

The 20-minute rule is something you will see that students and entrepreneurs all around the world swear by. It’s something that has been gaining importance during the pandemic where everyone is working from home.

Why do people give it so much credit ?And how can it help you deal with the work from home slump?

More importantly- what is it ?


If you’re a student, a business owner ,an entrepreneur or a teacher prepping for online classes – we all face difficulty in getting started with our work.

Uncertainty reigns in a world that previously had order and routine.

Schools have shut down. Exams been indefinitely postponed.

Needless to say,motivation – or even the desire to achieve simple tasks in my everyday life have been a tad bit tricky.

Because I would rather watch an episode on Netflix instead of tackling my to do list.

I would rather chill and let the afternoon heat wallow over rather than finish my projects.

The 20-minute rule can help you deal with motivation slumps ,uncertainty and overcome the hurdle to get started.


Let me break it down for you like this:

Is there something you have been putting off for days ?

Let me give you a few examples

Working out

Ticking  tasks off your to- do list

Finishing an assignment

Cleaning your room


The idea behind this concept this simple.

Set a timer for 20 minutes.

And push yourself to start this one task for just 20 minutes – until the timer goes off.

That’s all .


What this exercise does is that it gives you a starting point.It holds you accountable to your work for 20 mins.

And believe it or not – it’s all you really need

Now this could play out one of three ways

1.You enjoy the task at hand and will continue to do the task long after the timer set off.

OR

2. You realize that this is something you are not interested in.Well in this case just move on to another task.

OR

3.You fail to get started. Don’t lose heart. Instead just reset the timer and start again.


This 20-minute rule is a real breakthrough if you are dealing with motivation slump like I am.

It helps me take back control of my day , beat procrastination and more importantly deal with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Try the 20 minute rule today.

Let me know in the comments below what you struggle with doing during the pandemic.

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How a mental reset can boost your productivity

At home,everytime the Wi-Fi router starts acting up or acts all funny ,I simply turn it off and reset the whole thing.

And magically like a whole orchestra coming together the Wi-Fi router begins to function as smoothly as before.

Your brain is just like that.

It has too much to handle and begins lagging behind. You’re falling behind on deadlines. You can’t seem to remember the last time you took some time off. You simply can’t get anything done.

All you need is a quick reset.

Signs you need a mental reset

1


You feel “down in the dumps”

When you can’t pinpoint that one thing that is really making you feel this way and nothing seems interesting to you anymore.

2


Little things set you off.

You feel overwhelmed and simply can’t figure out what to do about it.

3


You keep moving from one task to another

You keep switching up your tasks and leave everything unfinished.

Me for example? I picked up my textbook after which I decided to make a mocha coffee ( check back later) and then finally just sat down and jotted this blog post.

4


It doesn’t spark any inspiration

When was the last time you got out of bed excited for something to look forward to ?

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How you can do a quick mental reset and be more productive

A quick formula

Aim for a 100 % and pat yourself on the back if you get 70 % done.

Doesn’t seem like a lot at one go .But do that everyday and you will be much more efficient over time.

Go all Marie Kondo

Or don’t.But make your space lively and clean

Clean up your room.

Do a digital detox.

Hang up some fairy lights.

Make your workstation somewhere you want to come at sit at everyday

Get back to the drawing board

Get back to your drawing board and start re-planning things.

Ask yourself these 2 questions :

What do I want to get done everyday ?

And how much am I really able to accomplish ?

Use these two questions as a guideline and plan your new routine.

A new day is a new start

Something you need to remember when your day feels sluggish and slow

A new day means a new start.A fresh start.One full of new chances.

Use that and seize the day.

Begin the night before

If you know you are stuck in a mental rut right now -begin planning for your next day.

Plan your new routine. Sign up for a few fun classes. Clean up and get yourself ready to tackle a new day.

Get it out of your system

Vent.Cry.Scream into a pillow.

Draw or go out on a run

Whatever fits your niche.

If you enjoyed reading this post do let me know in the comments below. Your comments motivate me to write every single day.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the mailing list and share this post with someone you know would enjoy reading it

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5 productivity tools to get more done in 2021

Here in another list series, I give you the 5 must have apps to organize your day and help you be more productive.

1.NOTION

An absolute favorite is Notion , an all-in-one workspace that can be used for literally anything.

Write notes, keep track of assignments or even your workout routine for the week.

It has different templates you can download online along with features such as tables, Kanban boards and lists.

I love notion for its simplicity and how it works for just about everyone in all different work ethics.

Hands down this is my all-time fav.

2.TODOIST

A very handy app to jot down tasks on the go and seamlessly syncs to all your devices.

2 things I love about the app –

The todoist phone widget feature which allows me to dot down tasks even from my home screen

And I can add sections in my inbox or even create projects to keep track of tasks in different categories like school, assignments, household chores etc.

3.GOOGLE CALENDAR

The all-in-one calendar that is perfect for managing your events no matter how small or big. I use this as my Master planning board. It’s perfect for tracking assignments, deadlines, classes, workshops, webinars and even habit tracking.

CHECKER PLUS FOR GOOGLE CALENDER

This app has both a paid and free version.

The app has a very nifty purpose – for all your google calendar events it sends you a pop-up notification with a bell sound at the time it has been set to.

Works like a charm and notifies me of events when my calendar isn’t open.

4.GOOGLE KEEP

This is a quick notes app I use, specially since I never have any pen and paper on me. This is app is perfect for jotting thoughts and ideas on the go.

5.POCKET

This is a google extension that I use to store all my research or articles .

I use this as my reading list for articles, websites and videos I want to come back to later.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Perfectionism is destroying your productivity-Thomas Frank

I really enjoyed watching this video and I gained a few insights to incorporate into my daily functioning.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post.

Do let me know what you would like to read next.

Comment below and share your thoughts !

Till next time

Ishita

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Beat Cabin fever with this Summer Bucket List 2020 ~ Quarantine Diaries

With the virus scare at an all time high ,work and studies have taken a backseat.Vacations have been preponed and extended ,this means you have a lot of time for yourself, Here are 80 things on my bucket list to beat cabin fever and have fun this summer ! Stargaze Work on your photography skillsContinue reading “Beat Cabin fever with this Summer Bucket List 2020 ~ Quarantine Diaries”

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How to bring structure to your day~ Quarantine Diaries

So you made your way through the 6 emotional stages of lockdown  and now you wanna get back upon your feet

https://99takeontheworld.wordpress.com/2020/05/19/the-6-emotional-stages-of-lockdown-quarantine-diaries/

Here are a few tips:

Sleep schedule 

Plan your wake up and sleep times in 90-minute increments every night.Ensuring you have a systematic wake up time gives you control over your day.

A day plan

Don’t try planning your entire week or month right now.

Take it one day at a time

A simple template you can use :

a.Schedule for the day

b.Goals to accomplish

C. Assignments due

d.Work /study to catch up on

Use cues

What are cues and why are they so important for your routine?

Lemme explain…

When I wake up every morning, the school bus arriving is my cue to get up on time and get dressed.

 Tests and assignments by school are my cues to study every day.

Small things like that act as your cues. So now its time to make new ones for during the lockdown.

like for example :Breakfast could be your cue to get some exercise  

Use reminders.

Every day now is a Sunday. Keeping track of the day and time becomes quite tedious and difficult. Using reminders or alarms to keep you on track is a good alternative so you don’t lose track of time.

Get a fresh perspective.

Put the days gone behind you. Try to look at things from a new perspective. What did work out? What didn’t?

What can you do differently.Wipe down the drawing board and start afresh.New goals, New routine, new habits.

Deadlines

Setting deadlines for each one of your projects or goals keeps you on track. You know where your finish line is and you can  work accordingly

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Also let me know what you would like to read in the next blog post

Thank you

Ishita Tenjerla

Goal Setting ~ Quarantine Diaries

I’m kinda starting to understand why pets try to run out of the house when the front door is open.

DAY 19 OF LOCK DOWN 

The lockdown has taken a toll on every single one of us.Being told to stay within the four walls of our home for another 20 days doesn’t make it easier.

Wherever you are in the world ,since you and I are stuck in the same boat (quite literally) why not start or revive or revisit that list of goals we had.

Where are your goals at?

 Just because the lockdown confines you to your apartment doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish them. What happened to that book you were gonna finish reading? What happened to the skills you were going to work on?

Here are the goals I have for this quarantine period 

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ART AND DOODLES 

Painting, sketches, pen work, doodles,zentangles, mandalas, crafts, embroidery are just some ideas over the top of my head 

Get working on some DIYs for your room. Or how about you finish that canvas painting you never got to?

Try relaxing by making some beautiful mandalas 

MY GOAL: At least another few paintings and a doodle a day 

Here are a few I made over the past few days.

Read more : https://99takeontheworld.wordpress.com/2019/12/10/venting-out-emotions-how-you-can-do-it/

BOOKS TO READ

With Amazon and your local bookstore being closed don’t simply put your reading list away.

I reached a reading slump last week and to overcome the lack of a physical book I began downloading free books from the web.

Fangirl,Confessions of a shopaholic and When I go to sleep are currently on my TBR .

MY GOAL:1 hour of reading a day 

Read more: https://99takeontheworld.wordpress.com/2020/03/05/book-review-before-her-eyes/

WRITE 

What better way to release all the pent up anger, stress and worry inside you that by penning down your thoughts.

Try your hand at writing a song, a poem or even a brain dump.

This is my third post in the Quarantine diaries series and I hope to write some more soon.

MY GOAL: 30 mins of writing a day 

MOVIES TO WATCH 

Remember that list of must-watch movies you made 3 summers ago hoping you would get to them- instead of randomly scrolling through Netflix and watching whatever rom-com you found?

Yah. It’s time to dig up that old box.

Start looking for movies that actually interest you.

Thrillers, historical drama and movies based on real-life events are in my box.

Inside out and Onward are a few favorites.

MY GOAL:Disney and Pixar movies with a few documentaries

FITNESS 

Do I need to stress the importance of this? I know it’s very tempting to just stay in your couch the whole day with your fuzzy blanket and maybe some refreshing lemonade.

But you shouldn’t 

Walk. Skip some rope. Jog in place. Stretch every hour.Try some aerobics .

Just do something to get your body moving instead of lazing around the whole day .

MY GOAL:90 minutes of exercise a day split into 45 minute sessions

Read more:https://99takeontheworld.wordpress.com/2019/10/03/how-to-stay-fit-in-a-busy-schedule/

HOBBIES 

You have a couple of hours free the whole day even after working .

So try a new hobby or two .

You can take some inspiration from my previous post. Get a family member involved to make it more engaging.

Read more:https://99takeontheworld.wordpress.com/2020/03/18/beat-cabin-fever-with-this-summer-bucket-list-2020/

MY GOAL:2 hours of fun and hobbies everyday 

DECLUTTER

If you see your closet with clothes stuffing out or if you see your bookcase with books stuffed in all different directions than you know it’s time to declutter your space.

WORK 

School has assigned us a boat load of work to do over the next few weeks.

A couple of projects,A 3000 word handwritten essay ,a couple of worksheets and so on.

Start listing down everything you have to work on and spread it throughout the day.

SKILL BUILDING 

There must be a couple of things you have always wanted to learn or something you have always been fascinated with.

The lockdown has moved many online skill teaching platforms to open up 30-day free access to courses. So get started and get learning .

MY GOAL: Working on my blog writing 

STUDY 

You obviously have a few chapters or maybe even a book or two you need to complete before that next exam of yours. Allot only an hour or so a day to hit the books.

MY GOAL: Prepare for the upcoming school exams

ROUTINE AND HABITS 

Build a routine, A basic one. Just so you know what you need to get done every day 

RESEARCH 

It’s time to prop open that laptop and start researching. What’s that one thing that you have always been in awe with. Pick it up and start researching. Who knows where you will end up.

I have decided to revisit my old craze of the Egyptians .

MY GOAL: Revisit the Egyptian and maybe the Harappan civilization 

Hey!Thanks for reading.

Please like ,share and leave a comment below