Adherence to a productive schedule is the factor that separates an average student from the truly accomplished. The trick to maximizing potential grades is to take advantage of the opportunity your free time presents, capitalize on the techniques proven to boost productivity in your coursework and streamline efficiency in your study practices.
Here are five helpful tips that can augment your current study methods for better performance.
Take a second before diving into your assignments or research to put your phone on airplane mode. This is a tactic many successful creative writers use frequently for a very good reason — it works. Removing the distraction of constant notifications and the pre-established down-time rituals of social media surfing will liberate your mind to absorb new concepts.
Silencing the world around you will help you direct your intellect toward more productive ends. Is it any wonder traveling business professionals often talk about getting work done on the plane? That’s because aside from the Skymall crossword, there isn’t much to distract them. Putting your phone on airplane mode and even using distraction-cancelling apps like RescueTime (which allows you to block websites and keep track of your active computer time) can truly help you stay focused.
The Pomodoro technique
Sounds fancy, right? Named for inventor Francesco Cirello’s tomato-shaped kitchen timer (pomodoro translation to “tomato”), this method involves breaking your tasks into 25-minute work sessions followed by 3-5 minute breaks, allowing yourself to unwind stress-free and come back to a project with fresh eyes and renewed dedication. After four of these “pomodoros,” you can take a longer 15-30 minute break.
Hold yourself accountable with a site like https://tomato-timer.com/ and commit to the productivity process. Any instance when you stop working during your pomodoro, make a note on your interruption and postpone the timer. If you need to abandon your work for too long, restart the 25 minute timer and begin again.
Work in a routine
Successful entrepreneurs and business people alike swear by their morning ritual more than almost any other productivity tip. Taking time to work out in the morning, get in a full breakfast, steal some reading time, meditate or pray, all play into a mental and physical catalyst that perpetuates effective decision-making throughout the day. By establishing and implementing a practical routine, we set ourselves up to accomplish more tasks as the day moves on. Regardless of the order, working a routine in like this will help you get accustomed to setting aside precious time for necessary work without feeling like you’re pulling teeth to get things done. It also serves to make any departure from those routines far more enjoyable for their variety.
Headphones can function in one of two ways depending on your goal. One, headphones can function to project focus to companions, giving friends or colleagues a physical notification that you need to be left alone. Alternatively, calming or inspiring music can alter your mood to suit a task or project.
No one knows you better than you, so keep in mind your specific needs, and the diversions that keep you away from getting solid work done. If music generally distracts you, this tip might not be best for you.
After you manage to execute these techniques, and the fruit of your hard work sits in front of you, don’t forget one of the most important keys to productivity: your reward for a job well done. Take note of the techniques that worked best for you, and catalogue them for later, but in the meantime, treat yourself to some well-deserved downtime.
For more tips on productivity in your coursework, connect with your counselor, or seek out one of South College’s ongoing labs and tutor programs.