If you remember my post on the benefits of all-nighters, then you’ll remember me mentioning making a productivity graph. Productivity graphs not only help you decide whether or not to pull an all-nighter, but they also help you plan out your study schedule, times of relaxation, etc. They are strong tools to keep you on top of things in your classes, at work, or with your extracurricular activities and hobbies.
So, I’ve decided to include a guideline on how I make my own productivity graphs. Hopefully this helps you stay organized.
Making Your Productivity Graph
- Gather a bunch of similar study material. If you are studying for a class that mostly deals with readings, gather several readings with similar difficulty levels. If you are studying for a class that is question based, gather a bunch of questions of similar difficulty.
- At the beginning of your session, time how long it takes you to comprehend a paragraph, a question, or how long it takes you so solve a problem (you can make multiple graphs based on each parameter). As you study, time yourself with a different question/paragraph/problem of similar difficulty every hour until you end your all nighter.
- For each hour after the time you started, divide your beginning comprehension time with the time for that hour to get the percentage of your initial productivity at which you were working.
- Some people might experience an increase in productivity before a decrease as the night progresses. Take the peak of the graph as your optimum productivity.You can re-graph based on your optimum productivity, but I prefer to leave the increase.
- You can make the graph in Excel or any other graphing software.
- It is important to note that the graph is not necessarily a measure of how productive you are at those specific times, but a measure of your productivity changes each hour around a certain time period. I would recommend making separate graphs for weekends and weekdays, as well as different times of the day. For normal use, try to make your graph using the normal amount of time you would spend studying at a stretch.
Enjoy being productive!