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Four Philosophies to Increase Productivity

Student Being Productive

College students are the most productive people in the world. They juggle multiple classes with social gatherings and sometimes even a part-time job. However, sometimes their productivity levels may suffer due to such intense living.

You probably had such streaks of lethargy and inability to produce anything of value. Sometimes it may not even be your fault. For example, it is hard to focus when you hear your neighbors partying, or when instant notifications keep bombarding you every second, or when you are simply not used to such taxing work.

Whatever the reason for your sluggishness, there is always a way to fix it. Here I suggest four philosophies that could help you become more prolific in your studies.

Monastic Philosophy

Let’s imagine you have a thesis to write. Let’s also imagine you share an apartment with three party animals and two dogs, your friends keep coming over for tea and your mom can never spend a day without calling you. In the midst of this mess, you are very likely to forget about your thesis altogether.

However, do not fret just yet. You are not the first to be distracted by life trivialities on your path to success. There is a solution – you just need to physically isolate yourself from all those extraneous deterrents. No need to buy a cabin in the woods. A lonely room in the suburbs will serve your purpose.

Emily Dickenson spent most of her life in isolation and produced fantastic poetry. So did J.D. Salinger. Staying away from people is not a whim or an offense. Very often it is a necessity if you want to live up to your potential.

Bimodal Philosophy

If you want to adhere to this philosophy, all you need to do is break your year in two. Each part you need to dedicate to one specific goal. Focusing only on one thing at a time for half a year, rather than two things at the same time for the whole year, has proven to be more conducive for productivity.

For instance, if you want to improve your Spanish and learn how to code, it makes sense to focus intensely on mastering the language for the first half of the year, and learning to code for the second half. First of all, tighter deadlines will ensure you work to the maximum of your ability. Second of all, you do not have to suffer painful transitions from one task to the other.

Carl Jung was notable for this approach to his career. He would spend half a year in Zurich teaching and counseling, and the other half in a Swiss village, contemplating big questions in life. This allowed him to both be inspired by the scholarly atmosphere of the city, but also not to lose himself among all the distractions it tendered.

Rhythmic Philosophy

When choosing this type of productivity philosophy, you will need to establish fixed rituals. Rhythmic philosophy is optimal for people with exceptionally busy schedules, but strong desires to perfect themselves.

Let’s imagine you are a college student with a part-time job and family obligations. However, despite your overt business, you feel deep in your heart that your work is shallow and unsatisfactory. Because of your tight schedule, you find it hard to create anything of quality.

However, you are not willing to give up. In this case, rhythmic philosophy can really amend your life. All you need to do is squeeze out a little bit of time (like an hour or preferably two) a day to concentrate fully on your work. You may consider changing your sleep schedule to wake up earlier. Whatever it takes, make sure this schedule is not likely to be disrupted.

Then you will need to just start working. By regularly sticking to this ritual and doing a little every day, you are more likely to succeed in your endeavor than by doing a lot just once.

Journalist Philosophy

This philosophy suits those who are ready to face the unexpected. It is for those who do not find it stressful to adjust their plans at the last minute and get to work whenever life offers the possibility.

Journalists’ life tends to be very hectic and full of challenges. They need to monitor events constantly and be always on guard to write something sensational and be the first to publish it. Their job demands the ability to switch from relaxed mode into focused mode within a fraction of the second.

Even if you are not a journalist, but you feel like those words apply to you, establishing the journalist philosophy can help you greatly in enhancing your productivity. It takes a lot of training, as humans are naturally not predisposed to favoring such quick transitions from sunbathing to hammering away at a new article.

However, this can be a life safer for people who are too busy even for rhythmic philosophy. All you need to do is just train your brain to be ready to jump into work whenever life will allow. Later you will find it easier to shift your focus to work for 15 minutes and then go about your day.


Whatever you choose, make sure to give yourself time to readjust to a new way of life. Do not get frustrated if you fail at first – old habits die hard. Do not scold yourself for ineffectiveness. Negative reinforcement never does any good in the long run.

Believe in yourself and praise yourself for every little effort. However, if you feel that something is not working for you, there is no need to continue. You need to find a philosophy that is perfect for you personally, as your success is the ultimate goal. I hope that these tips will help you along the way. 

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