Most accomplished and productive people usually have one thing in common which is obsession with completion. When they are faced with projects, it is almost their compulsion to finish the task. If they are faced with a project, they would usually break it into manageable chunks especially when they are organized and systematic.
Some of them usually go for all-nighters especially when the project is too big to finish in a few sittings. But no matter how big or small the project is they usually get it done on time and in a consistent manner. If you want to be like them, it takes self discipline and hard work but you’ll get there.
However, if you focus on completion, you can finish tasks and projects in due time.
•Create your project list
If you have around 10 projects to complete, number them from 1 to 10 with 1 being the most important and 10 the least important. For example, you can put the project with the nearest deadline as the first priority. You should also label each project basing on their completion criteria. The first five on the list should be the go-list while the second half as the hold-list.
•Check your list daily
Make sure that you are making progress by completing small outlined tasks for the day. Your primary goal should be completing the project even if it means giving it a big push.
•Finish and start
Once you have finished one task, you can now start on a new project. Do not repopulate the list without doing the rest of the projects on the list. You can reload once all 10 have been finished.
You might be wondering whether this works and it does. Doing this kind of system teaches you to develop a trait that will help you become an accomplished student.
Doing more and working less is simply hard to implement. How then will you make things work out for you without wasting too much of your time? Below are some tips you can use to start working less and be more productive.
- Always keep track of how much you are actually getting done in a single day. It is common to feel guilty if you have things you need to do and yet you chose to have a lot of fun. Your current and future output when compared should show some increase. If you keep track of the things you actually did, it is easier for you to be more productive and spare time for some leisure.
- Avoid doing the same thing in one setting. Put some new experiences in between or discover some new methods of doing things so that you wouldn’t fuel the lazy person in you. You can join organizations, start new hobbies or find new challenges that would fuel your imagination and your mind.
- Know your motivation and keep it. If there are one or two things that can motivate or inspire you to do more, go for it. Not knowing what motivates you in doing something is an easy way to let the boredom creep in. Find a higher purpose why you should attend classes or finish assignments or projects.
- Sit down and focus on one task in one hour and you’ll realize you have done more than you can when you try to do all things at once in an eight our day.
The mere fact that you’re taking down notes means you wanted to retain the information. It’s important to take effective notes, or you’re wasting your time. Notes should be concise, highlight the most important parts of the chapter or lecture, and include references as to why you deemed them important. Too long and you’ll never read them, too short and you won’t remember what you were talking about.
Best Practices for Notetaking
- Identify what’s new to you. There is no point writing down something that you already know. Why will you write down the information you’ve known from the heart?
- Determine whether your professor will most likely use the information later. Focus on things that directly demonstrate the lesson you’re studying including pertinent names, places and dates.
- Tricky information. We all know our professors try to trigger our logical mind by setting out traps and tricky questions in their examination. Often the answers to these traps are given out during their lectures – not in the book. If you are particularly keen about observing such habits then it will be easier for you to crack it down.
- Side comments. Sometimes, side comments are ignored or considered unnecessary. However, most practical questions and answers can be found on side comments whether during lectures or books. Listen to the questions your peers are asking, and the information the professor gives them.
- Doubts. Your doubts and questions are the best source of useful information especially when you are faced with a tough exam ahead. There is not a single student in existence without questions about a certain lesson. If you have doubts, write it down and verify it in your research later.
What You Should Include in Your Notes
- Dates for your notes need to be in chronological order so you can understand the entire event
- Names for you to associate the events or ideas better
- Theories which essentially are the main key points
- Definition of things that is new to you
- Points of arguments and debates such as pros and cons, criticisms of an idea and both sides of the coin.
- Illustrations and exercises
While not technically notes, write down all your questions as they occur to you. This will help you remember to ask the professor and get you the answers you need.
Time management is one of the things that are not taught inside the four corners of a classroom. It is a skill you need to develop so that you become more productive and do many things all at once.
•Always read your emails and don’t leave anything sitting in your inbox. Sort out the emails into categories or folders. If the message needs more time before replying, leave it on the to-do folder and so forth. The point is you need to clear your inbox from clutter.
•Multitasking isn’t always good especially for college students who didn’t grow up in the technology invaded world. Multitasking is deadly if you don’t know how to juggle watching TV, replying to instant messages and doing homework all at once. Try to limit this practice.
•Prioritize the most important thing in your list. The first thing you need to do in the morning before you do anything is to list down the things you need to do whether you do this on your phone, notebook or paper is completely up to you.
•Read your emails daily but do it on schedule. It wouldn’t do you any good if you read emails as soon as it arrives. Even though someone contacted you, this doesn’t mean you have to respond immediately. If you want to be more productive at what you do, focus on the task that you specified on schedule and stick with it.
•Instead of making random notes just about anywhere, take advantage of bookmarking services. This will help you get rid of the clutter.
The best thing about time management is you get to achieve many things in a day without compromising on anything.
Most students worry about making the best out of their semester which is usually gauge by the lessons you have learned throughout. But a more important thing is – how?
Organization This is usually self-explanatory for college students who have a hard time coping with time management and even studying. But here are some practical things you can follow –
•Take notes – “A dull pencil is better than a sharp mind.” This is usually one of the greatest adages that you can follow about studying and learning. There are things that your sharp mind tends to miss later on but when you write everything down on your notebook or post-it papers you enhance your chance at remember it later on.
•Agenda list – It is important that you make a regular weekly list of itinerary. Your agenda should give you sense of direction and purpose making everything better every day.
•Real time inbox – This is a figurative term which simply refers to a permanent place in your room or apartment where you study. This is where you will place all your notes, books and assignment papers.
•Get to know your professors – Search engines usually give you short biography on your teachers. Alternatively and more accurately, you can search about them in your school library. Learn about their research interests and knowledge.
•Study partner/mentor – The secret to success is not about being alone but being able to find someone who can understand your habits and study style.
The average college student spends roughly 30 minutes each day just walking on campus. Double that for students who live off-campus and have to walk, ride, or drive a greater distance.
Just because that time is short, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything with it
Being Productive While Commuting
- Listen to audiobooks, podcasts and class recordings – It has been proven that listening can significantly improve your knowledge base. It helps you discover the things you might have missed before.
- Practice with flashcards – Flash cards are easy to read and it doesn’t even take 30 minutes to cover everything. If you don’t want to carry flashcards with you, you can download an app for your phone.
- Prioritize your day– Whether you use a paper planner or your phone’s calendar app, take a few minutes of your commute to organize your day.
- Proofread your papers – You can scan your papers and check for grammatical, spelling and sentence construction errors.
- Scan class notes – Reading while you are on the move is a big no-no, so scan the highlights or even listen to lectures you have recorded on your phone.
- Return calls, texts, and emails – If you’re like the rest of us, you’re probably awful at returning messages from people. Make it a daily priority during your commute to actually connect with people.
Your commute is also a good opportunity to focus on your personal growth. Use this time to practice breathing techniques and meditation as well!
College is the turning point in the life of most students. But, achieving academic success in college is also a struggle for most. How do other students manage to achieve their goals?
The key to success is simple: do your work. Study hard, learn the material, and do your homework.
Selecting the Best Place to Study
The most convenient way to study isn’t always the best choice. Most students choose to study in their rooms, but that is a haven of distractions. Between Netflix and to friends, having a good study session in your room is unlikely. Studying in your dorm room is bad , but studying on your bed is even worse.
The first thing that you need to do is to find yourself a study place. It should be a place that will promote learning, productivity, efficiency and concentration. It should be the place where you spend your time studying, and only studying. Some people like the library, others like a quiet café, it’s up to you.
Experiment on what works for you. Make a set of criteria like the level of noise, availability, cleanliness and accessibility.
Developing Study Skills
Once you have found the perfect place to study, you need to get started on developing your study skills.
- Break subject matters into manageable chunks
- Use your free time during daytime to study
- Spend more time on difficult classes
- Review notes, ask questions and discuss things with peers
All of these are the basic skills you need to work on. You will achieve academic success in no time if you follow them religiously.
- Study your lessons at least 3 days prior to your major exam for around 2-3 hours a day.
- Don’t study the night before you take the exam. Instead, you should go to bed earlier and get plenty of rest.
- Get to school early. Aim to be seated for your exam at least 10 minutes before it begins. This will help minimize text anxiety.
- Make sure you read instructions well and follow them strictly.
- Scan the entire paper before you answer any question to have enough time. This will allow you to keep track of time, instead of running out.
- Always check the back of each page for questions you might not otherwise notice.
- If you are answering essay questions, it is important that you state your complete answer. You need to read the question properly and answer it completely.
Studying is one of those things like cleaning the gutters; you do it because you benefit even though you’d rather be doing anything else. Here are some tips to improve your study habits.
When studying, the easiest way that you can hurdle formulas, definitions and other concepts that need to be memorized is through mnemonics. It is the most common study skill among college students. Check out this website for more tips on mnemonics.
Making an outline of what you are supposed to study will help you study quickly. The main advantage of reading and writing is you will memorize the key concepts quicker. If you need some help with creating a successful outline, view this post.
Most course books include test exercises and mock quizzes, or you could make one for yourself. The idea here is so that you can gauge how much you have already studied.
Breaks allow your body to recuperate and your brain to digest the information you have studied. Have you heard of saturation? This happens when no matter how hard you try to retain the information you are studying you can’t. You need to take a short break in between study period to allow memory retention.
Flashcards can be a very helpful tool, especially in classes where you need to memorize. Vocabulary, dates, number, formulas. It’s all easier to remember with flashcards. Here are some alternatives to regular paper flashcards.
Cram, formerly Flashcard Exchange, is a web and mobile tool that gives you access to over 195 million flashcards, with hundreds of thousands added each week. If you don’t want to use the existing cards, you can always create your own set!
Flashcard Machine is a great way to create, study and share flashcards online. With free registration, you can create unlimited flashcards and share them with others (even non-registered users). You can separate flashcards into multiple subjects and groups and include images and audio.
Brainscape is strictly for flashcards. You can make your own, or use the ones already created by other students. You can make flashcards through a web browser and sync them with the app across all of your devices. They claim to use decades of cognitive science research to help you study more efficiently.
Flashcards+ by Chegg, yes, that Chegg. The same company that introduced us to renting, buying, and selling textbooks online has expanded their resources to include a pretty great flashcard app. You can create your own cards, or download decks created by other students.
Quizlet is a two-for-one deal. You can use their mobile app for their easy-to-use flashcards feature or check out their website for the full range of options. In addition to flashcards, they also have interactive diagrams and a new app called Quizlet Learn that allows you to customize your studying based on what you need to know and how soon you need to learn it. Beware: not all features are available on the free version.
Reading is an essential skill in college, but it’s one that most students detest. The average student spends 15 hours a week reading and studying for their classes. If you’re not a productive reader, that number is probably much higher. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your reading by following these tips.
How to Be a Productive Reader
1. Don’t tackle too much at once.
If you’re assigned a five chapter chunk for homework, work on one chapter at a time. This doesn’t make the challenge seem endless. Also, don’t procrastinate, I know it’s hard, but if you start early and have time for breaks (a few minutes to an hour to a day), then it’s much easier.
2. Read once for main points.
Skim through the reading, get all the main points, headers, bold words, everything that sticks out.
3. Take good notes.
Write down the big picture using an outline, a mind map, or other note-taking style that works for you.
4. Read once more for details.
Once you have your notes on the important ideas, go back through and see if there’s any details you missed. Dates, names, places; stuff that your professor might ask, but isn’t necessarily what you’d call “important.” This is more for history, political science, and psychology classes. When you’re getting into physics or the like, this isn’t as important.
5. Study your notes.
Now that you’ve got your great notes, don’t look at the book again. If you’ve gotten the important info out of it, you don’t need it anymore.
What are your top reading tips? How much time do you spend studying each week?