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How to be productive

How to be productive

Nine tips to maximize your time and effort

As students, it’s easy to over-commit and volunteer for more than we should. At Augustana, there is a wealth of opportunities and many ways for students to get involved, which makes it even harder to balance time.

It’s already November, and students will soon be back into the swing of writing final papers and preparing for exams.

Knowing how to manage your time and maximize your productivity is imperative as a busy university student. Here are nine ways to help you maximize your productivity:

1. Track your time

Kenna Griffin, assistant professor of mass communications and the director of student publications at Oklahoma City University suggests that students need to know how they are spending every minute of every day.

“Try tracking everything you do for a week. You will become more aware of how you are wasting time which will allow you to be more intentional with your scheduling,” said Griffin.

2. Recognize the time you’re wasting

The first step is acknowledging that you do waste time. Griffin notes how if you know why and how you’re wasting time, you’ll be able to know what you need to change in your schedule to waste less time.

3. Write down your goals

Griffin highlights the importance of writing down your goals as a student and deciding what you’re going to accomplish every day. “Most experts agree that you can accomplish three big things per day. Write down your short term and long terms goal and you’ll be more productive,” said Griffin.

4. Question the purpose

Look at everything you do and ask yourself, “does this help me achieve my goals?” Griffin says that you need to question the purpose of all the things in your schedule and know that they are helping you reach your goals. If they aren’t, it may be time to rethink your commitments.

5. Say no so you can say yes

“Say no to a lot of little things, so you can say yes to big things,” said Griffin. Griffin thinks it’s important to know when to say no and yes. Say “yes” for the activities and projects that you care about and that will help you reach your goals. Say “no”, and don’t be afraid to say “no” to the things you don’t care about. Don’t feel obligated to do anything you don’t want to do.

6. Use the best tools

“Decide what works best for you and go with it,” said Griffin. Use tools that will help you be more productive, and avoid tools that you know will waste your time. “If you’re not a morning person and you have to sleep in until 11 a.m., do it, and get all your work done when you’re most productive,” said Griffin. Griffin also said that it’s important to use the best tools for scheduling, such as day planners, calendars, or phone apps.

7. Theme your days

“Make every day of your week have a theme. For example; Monday could be your essay day, Tuesday could be your reading day, etc.,” said Griffin. Griffin said that lots of entrepreneurs embrace the idea of theme days. It is a great way to plan ahead and know when you’re getting everything done. Write down your short term and long terms goals,” said Griffin.

8. Regroup

“Let go of things. Take days off and don’t schedule extra tasks on your busy days,” said Griffin. Griffin said that students should complete tasks based on their importance and when they are due. “Think about your goals and make sure that what you’re doing moves you closer to achieving them,” said Griffin.

9. Be intentional with time off

“It’s okay to sleep until 2 p.m. It’s okay to binge watch Netflix for a full day or see your friends,” said Griffin. Be intentional with the time you are not working, and stick to it. Don’t worry about commitments when you are taking a break.

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