College life is hectic with courses, classes, projects and other life commitments. It is therefore essential that you examine ways to be productive.
The following are 12 ways that you can consider to improve your productivity at college:-
- Identify and remove distractions
- Get a study area
- Set deadlines
- Wake early
- Time blocking
- Meal planning
- Do nothing
- Join groups
- Reward yourself
Identify and remove distractions
In order to ensure that you make the most out of your study times, remove distractions so that you can give your work your absolute focus. Nowadays, we are bombarded by social media and other applications which are huge distractions.
Be sure and disable notifications, emails and social media to remove the temptation to look at these during study times.
One of the things that I like to do to at times to ensure that I remain total focus is to leave my mobile phone at home when I am studying. This eliminates the temptation to check social media.
Get a study area
A designated area for studying could improve your productivity. Are you more productive at home versus a library/ coffee shop?
Find a place where you can study where you are comfortable with suitable atmosphere and your productivity will go up during your study time.
Honestly, you cannot do everything. According to Jack Ma, if there are nine rabbits on the ground, and if you want to catch one, just focus on one.
College is only for a season and to excel at it may mean that you have to put more focus on it. This may mean that you need to prioritise other activities at different periods to ensure that you make the grade or complete that project.
The Pareto principle which is based on the 80:20 rule states that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your effort. Prioritisation is fundamental to ensure that you are focusing your 20% of your effort on the activity that will give you the 80% results.
Setting deadlines is powerful as it ensures that you give your project a specific time frame to be completed. A lack of deadline may cause a task to be stretched over a longer than necessary period.
It is better to set a deadline and fail to meet it which you can later extend than no deadline at all. Feel free also to build a little slack into the deadline.
A famous quote by Benjamin Franklin states early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. There is therefore some value in getting an early start to the day.
However, waking early does not naturally guarantee that you will be more productive and successful at your day.
Having a plan that ensures that you utilise the time as soon as you wake up which could give you an extra hour or two advantage over your colleagues who may be getting a later start.
Exercise is important as it ensures that you move your body which is necessary for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
Exercising also gives you more energy and helps you to be more alert. Try exercising also if you are studying for a long period of time for about 15 minutes for an additional burst of energy.
Time blocking is a method that is used to allocate a specific period of time or ‘block’ to ensure that a task is completed. Time blocks can be planned out daily, weekly or monthly. This can be an effective way to allocate time to work on a project or to study.
Toggl is a great app that you can use to understand how much time you spend doing a particular task. For example, I used Toggl to track how much time I take to create a blog post.
Understanding how you use your time can also help you in knowing how to allocate your time as well as consider methods that you can use to reduce the time that you may take on a task.
Having a plan can help you in organising your thoughts. You can detail and clarify what are the actionable steps that you are required to ensure that you complete a particular project on time and at a good quality.
An example from the life of a great leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent at least 15 hours each week preparing for his sermons on Sundays. He had specific days where he will only work on the outline.
Dividing tasks into small tasks help with reducing overwhelm so that you can effectively deliver your objectives at a more relaxed pace.
Productivity tools such as Trello could be used to plan out your study calendar for a course or plan out the deliverables required for a project.
In addition to maintaining a schedule for your school work, if you prepare your meals on your own, having a plan surrounding this can save you a considerable amount of time.
You can choose a day on the weekend to prepare your meals for the week so you do not have to think about this task during the week.
Not having meals readily available could cause you to gravitate towards quick and unhealthy meal choices such as fast foods. Therefore consider creating a structure in planning your meals.
Including time where you do nothing is a necessary part of being productive. The downtime will ensure that you can reset and refresh.
You can schedule your do nothing around your favourable television show or a football game. You can schedule various rewards for your achievements around your do nothing time.
Study groups can help improve your productivity as it can assist you in quickly identify gaps in your learning. This can help you refine your individual study plans.
Be sure that if you are joining a study group that all members are focused and committed as study group. This ensures that you don’t waste your time. Ensure that there is a team leader to ensure that focus is maintained.
Find ways to reward and refresh yourself. It does not have to be anything fancy but it can be watching your favourite TV show or a You Tube video .
You can choose to reward yourself at intervals. The Pomodoro technique developed by Francesco Cirillo is a great method to use to break your work flow into intervals.
You can use this technique by setting a timer for 30 minute intervals where you work for 25 minutes and set up a 5 minute break.
So set up rewards for yourself as simple as a eating a bar of chocolate could act as a motivator to completing a task.
There are several other articles on this blog which you may find valuable if you are in college. Feel free to click on any of the links below to explore:-
10 Top Tips and Tricks To Saving Money In College
15 Profitable Things To Do Before Graduating From College
How To Stay Motivated in College
How To Avoid College Burnout
How To Prepare For A Job Fair
How To Write A Resume When You Have No Job Experience
Sharpening your productivity skills at college is a good attribute to develop. As you get older, your responsibilities will increase and you will have to balance it all.
The workplace can also be hectic working to consistently tight deadlines. Mastering these while at college will give you an edge in the workplace.
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