I recently chatted with my cousin in Pittsburgh University on the tools she uses to keep her workflow and assignments on point for a more productive college experience.
With only 24 hours in each day — of which around 16 hours is spent awake — it is crucial to maximize your productivity when you are working.
1) Turn Off Notifications
A study conducted by Baylor University shows that college students spend an average of 9 whopping hours each day on their cell phones. Shocking? It’s no surprise social media would have taken a bulk of your time — binge browsing through Facebook, catching up on Snapchat/Instagram stories, or engaging in an exchange of emoji on WhatsApp/Messenger.
These social activities are the ultimate vacuum of your productive time. When it is time to work, TURN OFF all notifications on your mobile devices or laptop and put them away to avoid distraction. You’ll find yourself having a much clearer train of thought without the constant alerts from your devices.
2) Eliminate Lost Hours
Time wasted during commute are all lost hours. Heck, sometimes even trying to explain something on your project to your team takes up unnecessary minutes. There are many tools out there that can eliminate such time wastage by allowing you to work on-the-go, one of them is fika.io. It allows you to open your documents from anywhere, record with video/voice while simultaneously annotating on them, and share it instantly.
Students who often work on-the-go would find it much more efficient to collaborate with tools like this than… texting.
3) Take Effective Breaks
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” — Author Alan Cohen
Taking effectives imperative to stay productive throughout the day. Arguably, there are many different methods of work-rest cycle, but the one that works best, in my opinion, is the Rule of 52 and 17 which advises 52 work minutes before taking a break of 17 minutes, and repeat.
After finding a cycle that works best for you, abide to it and you’ll be surprised that you could achieve so much more without compromising your break time.
4) Prioritize Clearly
Have you ever felt like every tasks you have is of top priority and you can never put them in order? Well, that’s the tricky part. You have to really be realistic when prioritizing your tasks. Know what you can achieve in a day, then evaluate your tasks based on factors such as the effort needed and the urgency of it.
Prioritizing your tasks right allows you to have a clear outlook of what your day would look like. It gives you a goal to work towards and the motivation each time you put a big “X” to completed tasks.
You may consider tools like Wunderlist which is a easy-to-use robust tool to help you keep track of your to-do milestones and even clears them out with a very satisfying “ding” sound each time you check it 😊
5) Declutter Your Workspace
Yes. All that notes or textbooks piled around is not going to aid you in absorbing information. A decluttered space provides you a much more conducive environment to work in, and also doubles as a stress reliever! So, definitely take some time to set up your personal “work station” and put your desk in order before you start going HAM on those assignments.
Different tools and strategies work well for different individuals. Most importantly, with a positive mindset and the right tools in your arsenal, you can unleash your inner productive self and take on the day with maximum efficiency. All the best!