Busy students who have dual roles of earning a degree while holding down a job may find it hard to focus constantly. A long list of things to do can quickly become overwhelming. Here are six tools and techniques that will help you be more productive and keep your brain active and attentive.
Make a List of Goals
It may be daunting to look at all that needs to be done on paper, but it gives you the opportunity to prioritize tasks and goals. It is also satisfying to cross finished items off of the list. If your list just looks too long and difficult, some experts suggest taking one big item and breaking it up into smaller tasks to carry out the goal more effectively.
Take a Break During Work or School
Stepping away from the mountain of work to recharge can actually increase productivity. One recommendation is to work hard for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes. Taking a walk, listening to music or even going to chat with a coworker can be accomplished during this time. Another popular method, the Pomodoro technique, calls for a vigorous 25-minute work session, followed by a five-minute break.
Stop Checking Email
One of the main threats to productivity is distraction. When you’re bogged down by too many activities, none of them get your full attention. Email, social media notifications, text messages, and even phone calls can take time away from the goals at hand. Set a timer to mute the notifications, and turn the ringer off to move through your list of things to do.
Yes, There’s an App for That
There’s an app for just about everything, and maintaining productivity is no exception. Smartphones and tablets may offer the answer for those who need lists just to organize their tasks for work, school, and home. Some apps, such as Google Drive, make it easy to share class notes and files with friends or group members. Other apps, such as Evernote, can be used to take notes easily. Eliminating the need for paper and creating a simple, online filing system can help relieve some of the stress of maintaining a busy schedule.
Feed Your Body and Your Brain
The food you consume affects everything, even how productive you are. Consuming healthy food will affect well how you remember things, how well you process information, and how much energy you have. All of these factors can affect productivity. Experts recommend foods like berries, walnuts, bananas, and dark chocolate to boost productivity. Many of those foods may be kept in a bag to eat on the go or at your desk at work. Other suggested foods that increase stamina and productivity are eggs, salmon, and leafy greens which can be included in meals for breakfast or dinner.
Brush Your Teeth
It may sound strange, but brushing your teeth can refresh you and help you feel less sluggish. Experts say that removing plaque and tartar build-up from your teeth can perk you up a bit. This is especially useful if you are working late at home.
The key to being consistently productive is to find a process that works best for you, and be sure to stick to it.
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