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5 Must-Have Apps for Students Struggling with Productivity

5 Must-Have Apps for Students Struggling with Productivity

These days people are often saying that it’s never been easier to be a student and finish a college degree with flying colors. In the age of internet access that previous generations didn’t have it all seems quite easy, right?

Well, that’s a statement that’s difficult to argue with, but all of these perks and benefits come with a number of factors that have shown themselves to be a serious distraction. Let’s simplify this – how often do you go online for some innocent browsing in order to find a piece of information and you find yourself hours later watching videos of cute kittens?

Therefore students need all the help they can get in order to keep their focus on studying. In the spirit of fighting fire with fire, you should use technology to your advantage and explore your options when it comes to apps that boost productivity.

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1. Capture Your Lessons

When in a class full of students, chances are that something will redirect your focus from your professor holding the class. The best thing to do here is to have a backup, so it is suggested that you start capturing your lessons.

With apps like OfficeLens or SoundNote, you’ll be able to record your classes, photograph whiteboards, and convert your files into a format you find most suitable for learning. This depends on the type of learner you are, but overall you’ll find these apps to be a very practical way to boost your productivity by not missing anything.

2. Increase the Quality of Your Studying

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    The key to successful learning is repetition – this can be the most boring part of your overall student experience, but it’s something you can’t really study without.

    A large percentage of students find flashcards with questions to be the most efficient solution here. However, this is something that takes time and effort to create, leaving very little time for you to actually study, or have some fun for a change.

    You will therefore be happy to know that there’s an app called StudyBlue that offers functionality – it creates digital flash cards for you by using your course information and, of course, it allows you to add them as well.

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    3. No More Late Mornings

    If you’re a late sleeper, you have most likely gotten very frustrated numerous times because you missed a lecture or an exam because you completely ignored your alarm or seven of them, perhaps.

    This shouldn’t be a problem for you anymore, if you start using Alarmy: Sleep If You Can. It really is as tough as it sounds – when you set an alarm on this app it won’t stop making terrible noises until you perform a specific task, such as taking a photo of a specific item, for example.

    4. Get Your Writing in Order

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      An integral part of student life is to write all sorts of papers and essays and therefore you’re most likely familiar with this one irritating thing called writer’s block. Now, it doesn’t really matter if you consider writing to be one of your talents or not, because it is required for you to do it.

      Therefore, when you have a dilemma or you require academic assistance regarding your assignment, you can turn to EssayShark – it’s created by experienced professionals and it will offer you guidance when you’re in need of it. You can check out this essay sample and see what kind of results you can expect if you decide to use their app.

      5. Social Networks Shut Down

      In the end, you should pay attention to the most problematic distraction there is – social networks. It can be really difficult to focus on your studying when you get a notification from a crush of yours or perhaps when you’re participating in an online argument. Let’s face it, you need to stop wasting your time on endless scrolling.

      With an app called Anti-Social, you can mark sites as distracting and, when turned on, it will prevent your phone from ringing if there’s a notification headed your way. It will be of tremendous help when it comes to increasing your productivity. If you want to achieve enviable levels of productivity, you need to implement some discipline to your student life. Luckily for you, your efforts regarding this problem extend to only a couple of clicks, because downloading any of these apps will do this for you – you just need to make your selection based on your requirements.

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      Aleksandar Ilic

      Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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      Last Updated on July 8, 2020

      How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

      How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

      What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

      When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

      In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

      While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

      As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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        Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

        Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

        The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

        But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

        However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

        This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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        Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

        We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

        Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

        Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

        The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

        When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

        When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

        How to Make Decision Effectively

        Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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        1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

        You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

        Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

        Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

        2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

        You don’t have to choose all the time.

        Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

        Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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        3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

        You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

        The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

        Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

        Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

        So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

        More Tips About Decision Making

        Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

        Reference

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