Often, when exam period comes around, students tend to stress about the large amount of work and content they have to sift through to be best prepared. The biggest problem students face is not the actual content; but the time it will require to be prepared. Many students resort to all-nighters and are sleep-deprived. The best way to avoid all this stress – is to be more productive.
Here are a few tips on how to be more productive; getting more done in less time efficiently.
- Find your power hours – You don’t always work at full concentration, focus and energy. Find the times of the day where you are fully focussed, motivated and energised to tackle your difficult and challenging work. Working on intensive tasks when your energy is depleted and your focus has waned, leads to you making avoidable mistakes. Tasks attempted when you are not fully focussed take more time and effort to complete and increase the probability that you will become demotivated or overwhelmed with the task at hand. Use your power hours efficiently for challenging tasks, and use other times for less intensive activities such as eating, relaxing, organising work space and relaxing.
- Prioritise your tasks. Use a priority matrix like the following to ruthlessly order your tasks. You need to make sure that your tasks are done as required.
- Don’t multitask! It is less efficient as you have to spread yourself and your brain power over various, often different tasks. Research shows that your IQ can even drop and productivity drops when we multitask. So though it may seem good to multitask, resist the urge!
- Just like multitasking reduces the brain power, listening to music whilst studying has a similar effect. Your brain will be divided between whether to listen to the music or study. Make it easier for yourself and your brain – do one thing at a time.
- Notifications whilst studying are distracting and pull your attention away from your task at hand. Turn them off. If you can’t turn off your phone or computer, shut non urgent notifications so you can focus on your task. You can also set your mobile phone to flight mode. Use site blockers so that you can work without the danger of diverting off your task.
- Drink water whilst studying. It keeps you healthy, fresh and energetic. You will see that you are able to concentrate much better if you are hydrated.
- Get some fresh air in! Fresh air will help keep you focussed, as you will have a constant supply of oxygen.
- Declutter your workspace. A messy desk or workplace can influence your mental state, making you feel overwhelmed and stressed. A messy desk will also make you procrastinate. To make sure you avoid this, clear your work space and stay organised.
- Do your least favourite task first, that way you will be motivated for the rest of the day and be more productive.
These tips should help get you on track to being more productive – allowing you to get more done in less time!