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Tips For Students: How To Be More Productive And Get The Work Done

Tips For Students: How To Be More Productive And Get The Work Done

Your student days, and student life in general, is probably the most entertaining and exciting chapter of your life, but it also tends to be very stressful.

There are so many responsibilities and so many bills and debts. You might have a hard time mastering a particular subject or paying attention during lectures. You might also have trouble with motivation and time management, or you might be under constant pressure and unable to focus. These are some common problems that students experience. This article is here to help you cope with these problems.

Here, we’ll discuss how to be more efficient in the area of learning and acquiring new information in order to help you with your studies. We will also cover motivation, how to remain motivated, and how to manage your time so that you are not in a constant rush.

Hopefully, learning how to deal with internal and external pressure will help you mitigate the amount of stress you experience. So, here are some tips for students on how to be more productive and get the work done.

Tips on more efficient learning (holistic learning)

When it comes to learning, we usually experience difficulty because we face something unfamiliar that we cannot relate to our previous knowledge. Since the whole thing makes no sense, it simply bores you and you stop paying attention — thus even learning becomes a waste of time.

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We don’t learn when we force ourselves because we are aware of the process. You learn when you are immersed in a particular piece of content — as long as you are aware that you are reading, you are not actually reading because your attention is elsewhere.

The first thing you need is a desire to learn and understand, and you can’t view this as a chore, so view this as a road to self improvement. The learning technique known as holistic learning can be really helpful in this department, since you organize your information and thoughts as building blocks or as webs of knowledge.

As you acquire new information, you are constantly trying to make a connection to what you already know and see how this new data fits. This will make it easier to remember new things and to expand on a particular topic. It’s also useful to use metaphors and organize more complex ideas into simpler ones that will be far easier to access.

Another way to learn with better efficiency is to divide your lessons into smaller segments. Basically, each segment of the lesson needs to be an answer to a particular question that you come up with as you read. In other words, every lesson is a test divided into several questions that you memorize and know how to respond to.

Additionally, as you learn, see if there is video content available online that can demonstrate some points from the lesson. This way, the whole thing will be far easier to remember and understand. It would also be useful if you could record your lectures and transcribe them later. Just make sure the recording device is somewhere in the front and well hidden, as not all professors allow students to record their lectures.

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Tips for increasing motivation

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    Knowing how to learn is one thing, wanting to learn or being motivated is an entirely different story, so let’s see what you can do to boost your motivation. The first thing you can do is to be well-rested. Trying to acquire new information while you are exhausted won’t work out so well.

    Before you start, you need find a system that works for you. For example, you might respond to positive reinforcement, so you can train yourself by buying a slice of pizza or a piece of cake after you have actively studied for, let’s say, three hours. You can also make a commitment or make a promise to yourself that you will actively study for a particular amount of time.

    Finally, if you have hard time motivating yourself, then ask for help or form a study group. Learning with your peers is much more fun. You can give each other tips and you won’t wander off because you’ll feel accountable to other people. Basically, it is peer pressure that serves as your motivation, and the whole learning experience is far more pleasant.

    Tips for better time management

    As mentioned above, you need to be well-rested in order to be productive, which means you need to have a healthy sleep cycle, and a healthy sleep cycle is closely connected to better time management. For starters, do not stay up too late because it will mess up the rest of your day. Make sure you turn in around 9-10 pm, so that you can easily get up early in the morning.

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    If you find that you are not tired in the evenings, you can do a quick workout to exhaust yourself at night and fall asleep easier. You should turn off all the devices that keep you awake, and perhaps have a light snack before you turn in.

    When you hit a wall while studying, do not waste your time doing nothing. Take a quick rest, take time to organize your room, just do anything productive. If everything is neatly organized, you are more likely to be focused, since there are less things to distract you.

    Using the motivation techniques mentioned earlier, you can go over the things you covered in lectures on a daily basis and then reward yourself with some time to just relax or with some dessert. You should study at least two hours a day so that you need less time when midterms and finals arrive.

    Tips for dealing with external and internal pressure

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      Another thing that may appear as an obstacle in your studies is stress. If you are bothered by external problems, then sitting around doing nothing won’t solve them. Think about the solutions and work towards them. If your actions can’t solve the problems then it’s simply beyond you to solve them, and you should focus on something else.

      If you are stressed due to finances, then think up a way to start saving money or earn more money. These days, you can use various apps or websites that allow you to complete surveys, post positive reviews, or complete other actions online and get paid. You can also set yourself a weekly challenge where at the end of the first week you put away $5, double the amount for the next week, and so on for the whole month.

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      It can also be useful to meditate to calm yourself. You will be more focused afterwards. Additionally, you can start working out three times a week to feel healthier, more confident, and to fall asleep easier. All these things can help you greatly in mitigating your stress and increasing your focus and productivity.

      I hope you find these suggestions useful and that you will be more productive in your studies from now on. As a student, you’ll face many obstacles, but they will all pale in comparison with what awaits you once you are finished with your studies. So, enjoy this time while it lasts and use it to become more resilient and more responsible for the future.

      Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/users/stevepb-282134/ via pixabay.com

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      Ivan Dimitrijevic

      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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      Last Updated on February 18, 2019

      How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

      How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

      These days, in a world with cognitive, AI, and extraordinary advances, we have failed at the most basic stimulus: motivation. Why do I say so? Just take a look at these statistics:

      58 percent of managers said they didn’t receive any management training as per a CareerBuilder.com survey. Only 12% of employees leave their jobs because of more money. Research indicates that around 80% of employees leave their jobs due to “lack of appreciation”. Due to fear of failing, more than half of American workers don’t take their paid vacations. 53% of Americans are unhappy at work (not engaged). And 1 in 3 are working in a field they don’t like.[1]

      Archaic people management and HR structures are the root cause.

      “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

      So how to motivate employees and boost team productivity?

      Here are 3 key things that you can do to motivate your employees and boost team productivity:

      1. Run Your Team/Group/Company like a Lean Startup

      The Lean Startup phenomena by Eric Ries has been socialized across millions all over the globe. In a nutshell, it is a methodology for developing businesses and products, which aims to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable; this is achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.[2]

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      Encourage Your Employees

      When you empower your employees (or family members) to do what they deem to be best for a particular roadblock, idea, or improvement, you create magic. You create genuine trust. You enable innovation. The result is happy, inspired employees who feel they have a say in the grand cosmic stage at work.

      Note that increasing the competency level of employees and coaching and mentoring them along the way is key. You yourself, need to do the same. Nourish your brain – and get a mentor that will keep you at the edge of your game.

      Offer Rewards

      Motivation is also intrinsic. The startups I have worked at offered instant rewards — not just fat checks or equity increments, but Oscar-style nominations.

      The non-monetary rewards were actually more coveted, and grandiose: lunch with the CEO, tickets to an Obama fund-raiser, horse-back riding with a world-class equestrian.

      Compare this to a dodgy, corporate, white-cubicle dinosaur that had a “yearly performance review” where both parties dread the conversation. In a world of instant WhatsApp messages, having a conversation about performance, likes and dislikes cannot just happen annually in 60 minutes. Employees need to be rooted in the belief that their manager genuinely cares about them.

      Give Autonomy

      Another key attribute is autonomy. Most employees start brushing their resumes and cruising LinkedIn when their hands are tied in their current positions: approval forms, long meetings, escalations, and more meetings. In the world of agile and scrum masters, deliberating for the sake of deliberating is poison. You will choke the very employees that giddily accepted the job initially to “change the world”.

      Within a reasonable realm of assessment and deep-dives, trust your employees to do the heavy lifting. Give them access to the knowledge, people and resources that help them directly make the choices that will shape the future of your team, and your company.

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      Eliminate yourself as the bottleneck – and interject yourself as a benevolent, servant leader that is the symbol of high-performing organizations.

      2. Apply the 90/90/1 Rule

      I recently saw a video by Deepak Sharma (a leadership adviser) about productivity and this principle stuck with me. Here’s what it’s about:

      Devote the First 90 Minutes of Your Day to Important Project

      For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your day to your most important project—nothing else. Do this for yourself and your employees.

      We usually get sucked into the most wasteful, operational activities in the morning which robs our focus, and steers us into an unwanted rabbit hole. So mute your notifications, avoid the temptation to check your exploding inbox, and scroll your Instagram feed later. Instead, focus on that ONE thing that will provide real value to you, your team, or your business/company/home.

      Apply this rule to yourself – and your team. Your team will thank you. Note: If you’re feeling really stretched for time, you can always hack the rule by testing out a “45/45/1” version.

      A To Do Scheduling System

      Another version of this is to use the Kanban concept, developed by Taiichi Ohno, an industrial engineer at Toyota. Kanban is a scheduling system employing boards and cards.

      The most basic version is a canvas with “To-do”, “Doing”, and “Done” boards (or columns). Each activity or task is a “card” that moves from one column to the other. I use Trello (a Kanban-inspired app) that is a key system for my personal and professional life. It allows me to understand my workload, their priority, and due dates.

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      I use importance and effort metrics (scores) for each task to understand what is truly necessary in my life to work on. It negates the FIFO (first-in, first out) paradox that has plagued millions of people. Instead, it allows me to take stock of what is on my plate, and then bite on what truly will move the needle for me, my team, my life, and my company.

      With a limited appetite (at least for some), would you eat the veggies, fries, mashed potatoes and leave the sizzling steak? No, you wouldn’t (unless you are a vegan and ended up in the wrong restaurant).

      Approach your work with a weighted vengeance – and encourage your team to do the same.

      3. Align Passion and Skills to Purpose

      The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, and gives you a sense of meaning, joy and passion.

      “The most fortunate people on earth are those who have found a calling that’s bigger than they are—that moves them and fills their lives with constant passion, aliveness, and growth.” — Richard Leider

      An ace team-member once told me that while she enjoys working for the company we both used to work at, she really hated anything to do with technology. She was more of a “people” person, and did not want to sit behind a desk sifting through lines of code.

      What struck me was that she was in that role for more than a decade and had just spoken up. The good thing is she spoke up. She expressed her desire and interests. And it allowed her to get into a role of her liking within 30 days.

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      Ask If They like What They’re Doing

      If you, or a team member is frustrated, demotivated, or not performing at their best – one of the questions you should ask is whether they like what they are doing. Then genuinely try to help them get to the role they should be in (whether in the same team/company or not).

      There’s a reason why 53% of Americans (and perhaps more or same across the globe) are unhappy at work. A butcher cannot be an ace salad maker. Pursue your passion – and help pave the way for your team. Unlock your potential and theirs. You will command and lead a supercharged team.

      “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

      The Bottom Line

      Sometimes, passion has to be ignited. It is dormant, clouded by busy-ness, buried by wrong career choices, and plagued by non-supportive eco-systems. Some will climb out of it, but we as society — and in the case of business teams — incumbent upon the manager/CEO/leader to foster, grow, and nurture the employee.

      Teach her the ropes. Show her the path. Advise him as you would yourself. Let them lead, and make mistakes. Do not fear them, rather make them the leader you would want to become.

      For your not-so-great team members, understand that it is not personal, it is just not a good fit. Help them move on to the pastures they would be fit to graze on. Hence, hire slow (and fire fast).

      Your team is a reflection of you. Boosting their confidence and helping them achieve the impossible is motivation. Focus on that, and you will have a productive team that you and your company will be proud of.

      More Resources About Team Management

      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

      Reference

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