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  • Hervé Ndyanabo Mugisha

Productivity and Motivation Tips from The Friendly TAV College Neighbourhood Cartoonist

Being bored is a normal state that everyone experiences. More so when you are young, as you are more likely to not yet have found your “thing”. So here are a few observations and tips from me, as someone who not only was never bored while stuck at home this past summer but who actually didn’t seem to have enough hours in the day!

Productive Tip: Drawing

I am in the Arts, Letters, and Communication program, if you hadn't yet guessed. But the reason I suggest you draw is in order to be more productive. Many of you already utilize visuals to better understand the problem. This is true in your assignments here at TAV, but in your personal lives too. Visualization becomes a potent tool as you break down a problem into many pieces. You can see in your mind where each piece fits into the whole, after that it’s about connecting the dots. A mind map or an infographic are great examples of data visualization. Also just doodling symbols of key concepts from your project is great. You might just become so concise in your problem solving that your teachers will think you are cheating!

Productive Tip: Santé!

College students, on average, do not consider their health that much before making choices. Their muscle fibers are still delightfully springy, their skeletal systems have yet to skew from years of bad ergonomics, and their smiles are still a healthy white regardless of what they choose to eat. Who can blame them? I am just now awakening to the fact that I won’t always be a teenager myself. Here are a number of key points we stand to gain by maintaining a high health and fitness standard: more energy and prolonged youthfulness, the ability to manage emotions better, attractiveness, feel good, mental sharpness, the likelihood to succeed in long term goals, confidence, and leadership, just to name but a few. Be warned, however, it is not easy to jog, it is not easy to work out, it is not easy to do yoga or breath exercises. Do these as part of your regular routine if you want to be consistent. Your body will love you for caring for it, it will be your ally and grant you a boost instead of being an obstacle in your way. Covid-19 works on our ability to intake air to our lungs, so strengthening our breath would be wise.

Productive Tip: Take A Break From Everything!

Simple as that. Having the ability to actually do this is a great luxury. Just ask your parents!

Productive Tip: Read

With work and schooling from home these days, a lot of us spend an unprecedented number of hours of the day in front of a screen. So in our leisure time, we may wish to unwind by exercising, for one, but also by reading print material. They’re still a thing, you know! The medium of books has collected a wealth of knowledge, from stories to ideas and more, for you to enrich yourself with. I don’t know about you, but I retain information better this way than with fast-talking videos on Youtube or snippets of data here and there on social media. Reading is also pleasant and meditative. I notice that within about 10 minutes into a reading session, I start breathing better (my breaths become longer, deeper and effortless).

Productive Tip: Walk The Dog

Enjoy the little things! Go to the park, pick up your dog’s poop, look at and enjoy the trees, the grass, the breeze, notice the other people around, their animals, and what everyone is doing. You’ll find that you're not so stuck in your problem anymore. New solutions and inspiration may come into your mind from your little walk to the park, or wherever else you want to go.

Productive Tip: Reflection

The amount of time and energy you save by regularly sitting down and reflecting on your own self, events, relationships, is significant. This opens up space in you to process more of what life is throwing at you. Your efficiency becomes outstanding. Reflection also helps us put things in perspective. It nurtures empathy for those who may have drawn the short stick in society and in the pandemic, as we become aware that it could have been us or that it could be us one day.

Motivation Tip: Childhood Friends

What does this have to do with anything? Well, think about it, if you are bored and in need of motivation, looking at what your childhood friends are up to these days ought to light a fire in you. You all started at the same place, so if they are doing good, a need to keep up will overcome you. For those friends who are inevitably as bored as you are or worse, you may indeed be the one to motivate them! During this pandemic, it is a good idea to keep in touch and cherish any bonds you may have. Be informed on what the people close to you are going through. Going outside of yourself like this is a sign of maturity and your loved ones will appreciate you more and see you as a generous person for giving a darn.

Motivation Tip: Watching TV

Take a break from your highly targeted online media content diet. Whether it is your Youtube or Instagram feeds, the algorithms and cookies slowly close in around you and narrow your world. Watching general programming on cable TV, for instance, can remind you of things you have not seen in a bit such as; images from across the globe, different people with wonderful smiles, different walks of life, customs and norms, games, activities, and a host of funky languages.

Motivation Tip: Watch A Lunar Eclipse or something

This tip is just to bring to your awareness the fact that; even if mankind (us) were to completely destroy ourselves and the planet we call home, the universe would still keep doing its thing! Life and nature do not cease to exist because we stop existing.

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