By Mila Payton
During your lean student years, being productive isn’t always the easiest thing in the world to do. Between responsibilities, exams and the understandable need for fun, you’ll likely be hard-pressed to actually figure out a way to pull yourself together. Yet these years are also the best ones for developing habits that can last you a lifetime. So refrain from thinking that time is an infinite resource and start boosting your productivity today! Here are some things that might help you work it out:
Improve your cognitive abilities
Contrary to some people’s expectations, the human mind is built to continuously evolve and develop throughout our lifetimes. While it can be immensely beneficial to harness its powers from an early age, its adaptability ensures that learning a new skill remains a distinct possibility throughout the entirety of life. To that end, it would be a good idea to use your time at college to work on your memory and other aspects of your cognition through dedicated exercises and regular practice. You’d be surprised at just how much an improved memory can help you when it comes to passing entry exams and other similar challenges. Despite its myriad pressures, college is the perfect time to engage in such activities, as it’ll be harder to find the time for them when you’ll be juggling a family and a full-time job later on in life.
Take notes regularly
No matter how sponge-like your mind is, no one can possibly remember everything about any given topic, let alone multiple subjects. By college you’ve probably learned how to take notes effectively, but writing things down can be extremely useful when it comes to preparing for exams and in other aspects of your life as well. From jotting down a teacher’s remarks to keeping tabs on your expenses, taking notes is an excellent way to ensure that everything you need to know is marked down somewhere and can be put to use whenever necessary.
Create realistic to-do lists
Having a to-do list sounds like a boring, grown-up thing to do, but it can actually save you a lot of time, which can then be used freely in whichever way you choose. As a general rule of thumb, a to-do list covers the basic items that you hope to accomplish during a given time period, like finishing an essay or reading a book. Always remember to place deadlines next to the things that have to be completed within a certain time, but be realistic about your own capacities and possibilities. After all, the last thing you want is to put so many things in your schedule that you won’t actually find the time to do them.
Research has shown that multitasking takes a serious toll on productivity, and can even affect mental health in certain individuals. For that reason alone, it’s best if you take things slowly and refrain from engaging in more than one activity at a time. As challenging as it may sound, even things like checking your phone or browsing social media during an exam preparation session can dramatically cut into your productivity, thereby forcing you to work longer and have less time for yourself at the end of the day.
Don’t neglect your other interests
As important as college exams are, focusing solely on studying can derail your efforts unless you also take the time to engage in activities you find pleasant. From playing sports to practicing an instrument, such activities can be a big boon for your mental fortitude and will lead to an increase in focus capacity. For best results, be sure to alternate studying with more relaxing endeavors, and try to spend at least one hour of the day outdoors.
All in all, it’s simple to see that having a productive mindset can lead to great achievements down the line. The people who understand this from an early age tend to enjoy a significant head start to life, and will eventually reap the rewards of all their hard work. If you want to lead a prosperous and productive lifestyle starting in your college days, make sure you give it enough time and effort.