Techniques and tools to increase the productivity of students

Raiysa Zuwairiyah | Published: September 05, 2018 21:00:35 | Updated: September 06, 2018 13:26:39


As time and technology progress, humans have to adapt to a fast-paced world that will leave them behind if they do not keep up. Thus, it becomes cardinal that people are productive and efficient in these busy and competitive times.

The need for achieving the highest productivity starts from one's life as a student. Coping with the assignments and projects of different courses side-by-side studying for quizzes and exams can sometimes be too much to handle. There are specific hacks that students can follow to get the best results in their studies. Obvious advice that many suggest is getting exercise before studying and perhaps taking a walk before an exam. Doing so improves memory and brain capacity. Dr. Chuck Hillman of the University of Illinois conducted research, which gave the result that 20 minutes of exercise before exams, or presentations can improve performance. Meditation also helps in reducing stress before an exam and provides an increased focus on the task ahead. "I started meditating with an instructor at a fitness centre near Ajimpur when I started having severe panic before HSC exams. It helped a lot," said Shafin, who is currently a first student in a public university.

Explaining something one has learnt to others makes the concept much clearer in mind, as teaching requires conducting a break-down of the matter understandable. "I get more practice and understand the concept better when I have to explain financial accounting to my friends," said a student from a business school in Dhaka.

Drawing figures and diagrams of the theory and making mental associations is a great way to remember and recollect things that one has learnt. Steve Jobs said, "Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't do it, they just saw something." Making Mind Maps is a great way to accomplish that, giving a boost to memory, creativity and efficiency.

Flashcards can help with memorisation. "The mountain of words I had to memorise for admission tests would have been impossible to conquer without my handmade flashcards," commented an undergrad student from IBA, Dhaka University. Watching videos and documentaries on the topic being studied is a sure way to remember it better and with more accuracy. 10 Minutes School has introduced the efficiency behind video tutorials for education through their extensive content and video study materials.

Keeping things organised will always aid in the faster completion of work and studies. This is important for both students and graduates currently in their job lives. Google Keep and Evernote are apps that can be used to keep track of work and study related activities that require attention. Merely using calendars in phones can help a lot in keeping track of schedules. Creating to-do lists is quite useful, Todoist, Trello, Wunderlist are apps that can help with that.

In group tasks, it is sometimes difficult for everyone to meet at a place and work together. In such cases, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides come in handy to get projects done online with everyone's collaboration. "Google Slides increases group productivity because everyone can see in real-time what the other team members are doing for a group presentation." Hangouts is a communication service that allows one on one or group calls, and people can view slides and sheets simultaneously on it. This can save a lot of time in coordination with team members. Meetings can now be held online with the help of technology. Feedly is an interesting app that compiles the news feeds of different social media, blogs, news sites and podcasts that one follows. It can help in keeping track of all the news and trends happening all around, all in one place to even save the time spent jumping from feed to feed on social media.

For business graduates, networking is crucial to reach the peaks of their careers. LinkedIn is a lot like social media for businesspeople, connecting and sharing their expertise and skill sets, finding new connections and getting jobs through such. Jay Shetty, an award-winning host and former monk, saw his first job after his monkhood of a year through LinkedIn. He highly recommends it to graduates around the world. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. can also not be disregarded for networking.

For graduates and students alike, sharing files becomes somewhat of a hindrance. Dropbox is a fast and easy way to accomplish that avoiding the trouble of sending emails and such.

A peculiar recommendation for productivity has a portable study or workspace. For example, having small and easy to carry notebooks, carrying a laptop and working in different environments can help in retaining information better and progressing through tasks faster.

Finally, sleep. There is no alternative to sleep and rest for regenerating spent energy. A Harvard study from 2007 concluded that lack of sleep tributes the highest in a lack of productivity and efficiency, and causes a deterioration in work performance due to more errors and accidents. Therefore, to make the best use of the study hacks and productive apps, getting the right amount of rest is on top of the to-do list for best results.

The writer is a first year student of BBA programme at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka. She can be reached at z.raiysa@gmail.com

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