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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 January 6, 2021

      14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

      14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

      Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

      In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

      For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

      For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

      Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

      Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

      Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

      How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

      Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

      1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

      Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

      For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

      2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

      Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

      Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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      Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

      3. Create a System

      Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

      This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

      You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

      Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

      Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

      4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

      We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

      If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

      Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

      Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

      5. Use a Ratings Scale

      Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

      Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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      It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

      6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

      This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

      You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

      You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

      7. Offer Feedback Forms

      Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

      First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

      Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

      You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

      8. Track Cost Effectiveness

      This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

      Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

      Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

      9. Use Self-Evaluations

      Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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      Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

      10. Monitor Time Management

      This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

      Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

        The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

        While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

        11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

        We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

        Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

        For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

        Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

        Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

        From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

        12. Utilize Peer Feedback

        This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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        Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

        Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

        It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

        13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

        When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

        Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

        Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

        14. Use an External Evaluator

        Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

        They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

        While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

        Final Thoughts

        These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

        The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

        The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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        Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

        Reference

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