“One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren’t enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.”Viggo Mortensen
According to health and wellness expert Deepak Chopra, the most important currency in life isn’t money, but it’s TIME. Everyone has 24 hours in a day. Be it Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Siddhartha Mukherjee or Ariana Huffington. We all know this pretty well. To be a successful person, you certainly need to be productive.
We frequently come across two main quandaries when it comes to staying productive – Difficulty in commencing a particular task and staying focused throughout the work without any kind of distraction. Along with getting your work done, you will also have to consider things becoming a hindrance such as obstacles, less willpower and low energy levels.
This blog features a few high impact productivity tips on how to be more productive and stay ahead of your deadlines to be the student you always wanted to be!
“The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us are not.”
Tip 1: Choose a very productive environment
Find yourself a good studious ambiance, the right lighting, and a decent workspace you can sit comfortably at. Most importantly, gather everything you need for your study – be it a particular textbook, a reference book, or a laptop charger – so that you don’t end up wasting your time finding the right important things at the wrong time and moreover you don’t have to get up every now and then. This prevents any unwanted interruptions and you can focus well on your task.
Tip 2: Prioritize your task
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities”Stephen R Covey
The first and the most important thing to do is prioritize your task. Set your priorities. Mastering the priorities can change your life but the secret lies in understanding which task requires your urgent attention. You can easily burn out if you don’t prioritize your work. So focus on the most important task at hand and finish it first.
What if you don’t know which task is to be prioritized? In such a case, use the Eisenhower Matrix.
What is the Eisenhower Matrix?
It was created by former US president Dwight Eisenhower. This matrix consists of a four-quadrant box:
- Urgent and Important
- Important, but not urgent
- Urgent, but not important
- Neither urgent nor important
“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.”Abraham Lincoln
By segregating your task in the respective boxes, you can give more attention to the task which requires the highest priority. It’s all about working the smart way!
Tip 3: Set reminders and deadlines
To maximize your productivity, it’s very important to set reminders and keep a track of your important tasks. You can always set reminders on your phone. Create your own planner, if not, try the digital ones.
The following are a few of the apps which help you keep up with your reminders and stay ahead of your deadlines:
- Fantastical 2: It’s a calendar app that helps you to schedule tasks for the entire week/month.
- Clear: It’s as simple as its name. It helps you to create an unlimited list and is also one of the creative apps as it helps you to add creative gestures.
- Capsicum: Your digital planner. It also integrates into your phone’s calendar.
To download this app, click here!
Tip 4: Try longer study periods with fewer breaks
Why are they important?
Firstly it increases your productivity and your level of concentration. Always make sure to get up from your desk or your workspace during your breaks.
Our brains are wired in such a way that we are not made to do uncomfortable things. This may include studying or doing something productive, not watching your favorite TV show for ten hours straight, but how to be consistent and focused. So, all you can do is trick your brain that this uncomfortable task is just going to last for like 10 minutes and this trick is surely going to work.
Tip 5: Make a daily schedule or maintain a weekly schedule
Remember, what you do today, can improve all your tomorrows. One of the habits of highly effective people is to maintain a proper daily/weekly schedule. If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it again? Creating a daily schedule is simple and everyone can do it but sticking to it and being consistent is what it all is about.
Okay, so this is not the 1900s, but it is 2020 where technology rules our day-to-day life and it has proved to be much easier and simpler than one could even imagine centuries ago. So, why not go digital and make full use of it?
The following are a few of the favorite apps used by a lot of students around the world:
- Evernote: it helps them to jot down their notes and also share them with their classmates.
- To-do list: great collaborative tool especially when you are working on projects with others in your classes.
To know more about this app, click here!
“It isn’t about the latest gadgets or shifting your mindset; it’s about how to increase productivity so you can achieve your goals. It’s about working smarter, not harder.”
Tip 6: Find out what kind of learner you are
Everyone has their unique style of learning and acing the exams and there is nothing wrong with it. It can be visual, auditory, reading/writing, or kinaesthetic (learning through experiments). Find out which kind of learner you are, and then work accordingly.
Tip 7: Use the POMODORO technique
It’s one of the tools which helps you manage and boost your productivity.
To see how to implement it, watch this video:
Tip 8: Stick to your to-do list
Exploring tech gadgets and apps is always fascinating but the secret of maximizing your productivity is to stick to it no matter how hard it seems. Remember, consistency is the key. It’s going to be difficult in the beginning but it will eventually get easier.
Tip 9: Take control and enter the incognito mood!
In this digital era, notifications have become a vital part of our high-tech entities. And all this seems to come at a vital cost to our mental lives as well. Hence, it’s necessary to snooze and curb bombarding notifications. It is simple and simply takes a minute to disconnect from social life.
Go to Settings – Notifications -Turn off. Ta-da – snoozed! Moreover, you can also opt for DND on your devices. Buy an alarm clock so that you are not glued to your phone the very first thing in the morning.
Tip 10: Avoid Multitasking
You’re not Shakespeare, and you don’t have to write the next King Lear. Let your productivity ebb and flow naturally. Being more productive doesn’t mean you need to multitask instead do one thing at a time. You perform much better when you give yourself full attention rather than dividing your attention to different tasks at the same time.
Taking breaks helps to increase your concentration and maintains the intensity of focus when you perform your respective task.
Tip 11: Put a Handle on your routine!
There are two types of students:
- Who likes to listen to music while they study or revise or do something productive.
- Who prefers complete silence while they study.
If you are the one who belongs to the first category, then you should listen to music while you study. Choosing the right kind of genre increases your productivity and also helps beat anxiety.
But what kind of music is the best when studying?
Science says that classical music is one of the best options when it comes to studying as it is peaceful and boosts productivity along with improving your mood. If possible stay away from lyrics, as in the end you certainly don’t want to end up jamming to your favorite song in the middle of understanding your coding concept.
Tip 12: Eat healthy and maintain a proper circadian cycle
“Rest until you feel like playing, then play until you feel like resting, period. Never do anything else.”Martha Beck
Rest & take time away. Listen to your favorite music. Connect to art or nature.
As much as you take care of your body, it is essential to take care of your brain as well. One of the most essential fuels for your brain is glucose. So, make sure to charge up the level of glucose.
Tip 13: Get better sleep!
One of the key barriers to being productive is the lack of sufficient sleep. Getting a good eight hours of sleep helps to boost your productivity. Heard about power naps? Well, 15-20 mins power nap helps you to regain your energy and you can study efficiently. x
Sleep is important as it helps to boost your productivity, improve your memory & reaction time, and helps you to improve your concentration.
Always wondered about the sleeping schedule of successful people? Read this article to know more.
Tip 14: Boost your productivity by exercising
One of the ways to maximize your productivity is to take a break & go for a long walk or hit the gym. Many studies have shown that you are more productive when you allow yourself to do something else even for a few minutes.
According to various research, it has been proved that exercise helps to boost productivity. During exercise, hormones called endorphins are released which make humans happy, relaxes the mind and helps to restart. Not in the mood of doing those work-out or even hitting a gym? Well, All you can do is just get up from your study area and go to the kitchen and grab a granola bar! By doing at least this much, you will burn a few calories.
Tip 15: Stay away from your phone
Stop scrolling on social media now and then just because you are bored. If you don’t have time to complete your unfinished task, how do you get time to scroll endlessly?
Phones can be one of the most destructive things that can make you less productive and though it is tempting to check your phone, remember it decreases your level of focus and productivity.
Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook, Tiktok or even notifications from games apps, it all adds up to way more than you think. Before you start studying, keep your mobile phone or any such kind of distraction in another room. By doing this you don’t get the urge to look at the phone frequently.
Tip 16: Mute your group chats on your phone
While group notifications can be annoying at times, nobody is going to deny that we all have the cool dad in the family who will also reply to “okay” messages.
You can mute your group chats, where there are lots of unnecessary messages and look at them only once or at most twice in a day, so in the end, you don’t end up losing some important notifications.
Tip 17: Learn to say NO!
There’s an endless list of ways that you could spend your time. This means that you must learn to say no to the things that aren’t aligned with your priorities. Get in the habit of saying no more often.
Tip 18: Take care of your distraction list
In this generation, who doesn’t like scrolling through social media & spending too much time watching various Netflix series. Observe the things which make you easily distracted and find ways to control them.
You know you want to get good grades and maintain your GPA but then in the end you keep getting distracted. So all you can do is:
- Turn off specific distractions as soon as you notice them.
- Prioritize your things properly.
- Avoid inefficient communication/conversations.
Tip 19: Take efficient breaks
Manage your energy (not just time)!
Working 24/7 at the end makes no sense. Take a chill pill and take breaks at regular intervals. During these breaks, you can either relax or check your text from your friends or you can even facetime your best friends.
At the end of the day, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back when you are done finishing all those tasks from your to-do list. Self-rewarding is always good.
If you are one of those book nerds who is always obsessed with books and are looking for books on productivity, take a break from reading those Harry Potter or Sidney Sheldon books for a while. We have listed a few of the productivity books which you will surely want to read. So, do add it to your library staple:
- 5 am Club – Robin Sharma
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – Charles Duhigg
- The Power of Story: Change Your Story, Change Your Destiny – Jim Loehr
- Tedtalk: How To Multiply Your Time | Rory Vaden | TED Douglasville
“If you want to be more productive, you need to be a master of all your minutes.”Crystal Paine