The Best Productivity Hacks For College Students
Top Productivity Hacks You Can Use In College
Do you often think if only you had more time? Everyone complains of not having enough time to do all the things they want to do. However, is time really the cause of our problems?
Most students spend half their day stalking people on Facebook and reading articles on BuzzFeed and yet complain of having less time. They might look like they are always “busy,” but how much work are they actually doing? There is a difference between being productive and being busy.
Which category do you fall under? That is determined by your ability to separate your work from your life. How easily are you distracted when you are trying to get work done? How much time do you waste on social media? How often do you focus on one single task at a time?
Below are some productivity hacks for anyone who wants to get more done in less time:
- Create weekly or daily to-do lists
First, you will not be able to do things if you do not have a plan. How can you possibly remember everything you want to do?
You should start every week and every day knowing exactly what you want to achieve. A week should be long enough to keep you looking ahead while not overwhelming you with things that are too far in the future.
- Avoid ambiguity
Ambiguity kills productivity. Always try to be as clear and specific as possible when writing tasks on your to-do lists. “Homework” is not an acceptable task. Instead, write tasks using the following formula: verb + noun + object. For example, “Read chapters 4-5 for Econ,” or “Call Dad about health center fee.”
The more specific you can be, the better. Our brains are wired to steer away from ambiguity, so if there is any ambiguity in your task, the less likely you are going to do it.
- Do weekly reviews and prune ruthlessly
At the end of every week, review your lists and pull out any weeds. If there’s a task that’s been on your to-do list for more than a week or two, and it’s not going anywhere, what is it even doing on there in the first place? Are you going to do it or not? Be realistic with yourself. If you are not going to do it, take it off. You do not want a cluttered to-do list. Your goal is to clear that list by the end of every day.
- Close unnecessary tabs.
Your email should not be open all day long neither should Facebook, or Twitter, or any other social media. Close all unnecessary tabs and keep open only the tabs that you need.
Instead of obsessively checking your email and social media accounts every 5 minutes, set a few times during the day to check all email/social media. If you check your email every time you get a new email, or your Facebook every time you get a new Facebook notification, you are pretty much saying that any email or Facebook notification is more important than whatever you’re working on, which I doubt is the case.
- Give yourself a time limit.
The more time you have, the more time you waste. Instead of working on a task for an indefinite period, set yourself a time limit. This will force you to stay focused and actually get things done, instead of just being busy.
Sometimes things may turn out to take longer than you had anticipated which is fine. With practice, you get better at estimating how long things will realistically take you. However, when you do go over your initial time limit, make sure you set a new time limit; do not just blow it off.
If you have been using your time effectively and still feel overwhelmed, you may need to re-evaluate what is actually important to you and drop what is not. While it is good to push yourself, you do not want to stretch yourself too thin. It is better to focus your attention on a few commitments and do them well than to have many commitments and do them poorly.
Chances are you have probably been wasting at least some of your time being busy instead of being productive.