Tag Archives | productivity

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Starting a new 9-5 job can be overwhelming; how do people go to the same job, every day, for 40 hours a week? It’s all too easy for monotony to set in and make you wish you never started your job in the first place. With all the stress, other people who think they know best, and doing the same thing every day, losing motivation is basically a guarantee. But it doesn’t mean that there is nothing we can do about it. By making a few simple changes, you can make your job exciting and start looking forward to future tasks once again. Here is how I did it and the tips I picked up along the way:

Get things done
Try to focus on all the tasks you have at hand and go at them with everything you’ve got. There must be a reason why you started your job in the first place, and by passionately accomplishing your tasks, you will be able to find that flame inside of you and fall in love with your job again.

Stay organized
It is no secret that people are more productive when they work in an organized environment. You should be able to easily find anything you need to get the job done and keeping your workspace tidy will put you in the right mindset every day when you get to work. So even if things get cluttered during the day, try to always tidy up before leaving the office. Physical space isn’t the only thing that should be neat: if you are working on your computer, sort out all of your files, declutter your desktop, delete any unnecessary notes, reply to or archive all emails and set yourself up for success the next day. Make sure you always have a pen and paper to write down some ideas and that you can access answers to any question related to your work.

Learn how to deal with coworkers
Very few people have the opportunity to work completely on their own, but there is a good reason why people usually work in groups: having someone with a different skill set than you or someone you can bounce ideas off of is a great way to boost your productivity. But how do you deal with the other ones; he ones who really just won’t let you work in peace? The golden rule is: just nod and carry on. Trying to argue with someone who has a different opinion than you will only take time from your day that could have been spent in a much better way, especially if you feel like the discussion wouldn’t give productive results.

Be in a productive environment
Whether that means being surrounded by a team of hardworking people, putting up motivational posters, or working in complete silence, a productive environment is something we should strive to achieve. When my company was moving offices, we consulted experts in office interiors to make sure that we were getting most out of the environment. For us specifically, it was important to have a relaxed, yet hard-working environment with plenty of space for large meetings. For your offices, it might mean making sure that everyone has enough workspace to do what they need to, or that they are in an environment that stimulates creativity. Opt for comfortable chairs and desks, simple but effective rugs, big space, and air conditioning to create a great business environment.

No matter how long you’ve been working at your job, or how long you plan to stay there, being productive throughout the day is important, mostly because it keeps your brain working and gives your life direction. If you ever feel like you completely lost your passion, or you are not sure why you are doing what you are doing, try to remember why you first started, or what your favorite part of the job is – or even see if you might be better off switching to a different position with new challenges.

This article was contributed by Emma Joyce.

A carefully crafted class schedule is vital to a great college experience. If you overload yourself, you will be struggling to keep your head above water the whole semester. Too few classes and you’ll be in college so long you’ll spend the rest of your life paying off student loans.

Just like in the corporate world, the proper balance of productive hours and relaxation time can make all the difference. Interestingly, science has proven that the typical American schedule is already massively overbooked – so much so that our “productive” hours have become much less productive, due to mental and physical exhaustion.

Any good student knows the feeling of having trouble focusing on an exam due to spending too many hours, often late into the night, studying for it. This is a prime example of overwork damaging your productivity. Taking a little extra time to relax before a deadline can actually increase your productive workflow so much that you get more done in less time than if you’d kept burning the midnight oil to get those few extra hours of studying in.

So take a day before your exam and go have some fun, just don’t max out your student credit cards doing it. You’ll actually do better on your exam than if you cram all day and night before the test. You can’t argue with science! Well, you can, but you would probably fail that class, and who wants that hit to their GPA?

Check out this infographic to learn the science behind this awesome fact. You may end up revising your study schedule, your class schedule, and your work schedule after reading it! Here’s “Why Every Weekend Should Be a 3-Day Weekend”:

Why Every Weekend Should Be A 3 Day Weekend

Via: InvestmentZen.com

This article was contributed by guest author Tiffany McAdams.

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When our brains get overwhelmed by everything we have to do in college, they have a tendency to shut down. You can’t afford for your brain to take a vacation – you need it to finish all of your work. A little organization and structure will go a long way in keeping you productive. With the right tools in your toolbox, you’ll be able to finish anything.

1. Learn With Your Phone
You have plenty of apps on your phone that you can use to keep in touch with your friends and family, and even some you use just to help you waste some time. Have you ever used an app to study? Note taking apps and flashcard generating apps make it convenient to study from anywhere. Many of them will even sync to your computer, allowing you to import the study materials you already have handy.

2. Get a Planner
A planner is an old school productivity tool, but it’s making a big comeback. People really love decorating their planners, but they don’t need to look pretty to work well. By writing down all of your plans, including your assignment deadlines, it will be easier for you to keep track of your responsibilities before they have a chance to smother you.

3. Meal Planning Apps
Believe it or not, meal planning apps will make your life a lot easier. A lot of people are more health conscious now, and you can benefit from technology. Even if you aren’t looking to shed a few pounds, meal planning apps come with tons of advantages. You’ll be able to keep up with your grocery shopping and prep your meals ahead of time. You won’t find yourself studying until midnight and settling on delivery pizza or junk food when you feel overwhelmed.

4. Budgeting Apps
You need food, you need books, and you desperately need a new pair of sneakers. You may feel like you need to choose one or the other if your money gets scrambled up in the confusion of college life. Budgeting on paper is difficult to keep up with. Budgeting apps make it a lot easier to keep track of where all of your money is going. You’ll be less likely to ask your parents for a last minute loan if you have easy access to the full scope of your finances.

5. Anki
Anki is a flashcard deck program that’s easy to set up. You can choose from any of their preloaded decks, or create your own. It’s great to use when learning a foreign language, as many of the language packs come with audio clips of native speakers pronouncing the words. It’s a lot more immersive than reading plain text – the verbal accompaniment will enrich the learning experience.

6. Old Fashioned To Do Lists
Who wouldn’t benefit from a to do list? Whether you manually write out the things you need to accomplish on a piece of paper, use an app, or get yourself a huge chalkboard, it will help you keep track of all the small things that have been piling up while you’ve been focused on the bigger stuff. You got the grade you wanted on that huge project, but how long has it been since you’ve done your laundry? Don’t let the mundane chores slip away.

7. Fitness Trackers
Whether you wear one of those tracking bracelets or use an app on your phone, you’d be surprised how much good it does for your life. Focusing on exercise can help boost your cognition, providing you with the energy you need to take on the day. You’ll never be productive if you feel tired and bogged down all the time. Your health is more important than you may realize.

By focusing on becoming more productive now, you’ll already be set when you graduate and land the career you’ve always dreamed of. It’s never too early to begin forming lifelong good habits.

This article was contributed by guest author Sarah Davies.

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Have you ever been studying for hours and all you could remember was one sentence? Did those hours ever turn into days and days into weeks? There are probably numerous factors affecting your productivity while studying, including stress, time of day, and motivation, but one that you might have overlooked is your physical environment. In fact, a study done with primary school pupils proved that physical surroundings can impact children’s performance and well-being in general by as much as 16 percent. College students are not immune to this influence either. When studying at home, in a rented apartment or in a dorm, you are the only one in charge of your focus, and one thing that can help you (or sabotage you) is the environment. Here is everything you need to know about your physical surroundings and productivity.

Background Noise
Do you have trouble keeping your attention focused or get easily distracted? Can even a quiet sound pull you out of the book to your surroundings? Sometimes it isn’t just about the volume. Many students get distracted by the most ordinary and inconspicuous “noise”, like a leaking faucet. Others can’t seem to focus when it’s too quiet. The trick is getting to know yourself. Do you perform better in silence or perhaps you need background music to be able to focus? Try to study at the library, park, and coffee shop and see which level of noise keeps your brain sharp.

Lighting
Reading in dim lighting strains your eyes, while harsh artificial lighting can give you a headache, but this factor goes way beyond eye problems. Lighting affects alertness, concentration and cognitive performance in general. Too much artificial light can make you stressed and sleepy. The temperature and direction of lighting are significant factors that can hurt or enhance your studying results. Cool white sources with a temperature of 6,500 Kelvin or higher and warm white light sources like halogen lamps are the most suitable. Planar light sources are the best when it comes to direction, since they mimic natural light.

Temperature
You may be able to stay focused in a too hot or too cold room, but only for a little while. These circumstances are bound to become unbearable. The temperature will quickly become everything you can think about, which will distract you from studying. Find the most comfortable temperature for you, set the thermostat (if you don’t have one – get one) and make sure it is constant, because changes in temperature can also mess with your concentration.

Air Quality
Poor air quality, which is most frequently caused by problems with heating, air-conditioning, ventilation systems, and insufficient cleaning, can play a major role in studying performance. Polluted air makes learning uncomfortable by causing problems like coughing, watery eyes, headaches, nausea and dizziness. Some of the steps that are useful for improving air quality in a studying space are opening the windows several times a day, switching to organic cleaning products, cleaning your air-conditioner filters, introducing indoor plants, and using HEPA air purifiers which don’t make a lot of noise, but still purify the air efficiently.

Distractions
“Oh look, my smartphone. I should probably check Facebook for important updates.” Sound familiar? Of course, studying can be interesting if you are learning about a subject you like, but most of the time it is boring or difficult, so everything around you seems like a better way to spend your time. Try to turn off your phone (and computer if you are not using it for studying) or leave it in some other room. Reward yourself with breaks when you will be allowed to check your e-mail, complain about the hardships of studying on Facebook, etc. Also, too much comfort can be a distraction – a cozy blanket and soft pillows simply call for an afternoon nap.

You should take all these factors into account and try to create the perfect environment that will boost your productivity.

This article was contributed by guest author Chloe Taylor.