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"When you can choose, you must be right."

Productivity hacks 101

Examination month is by the door. What better way to handle the knock of stress, information overload, and bundles of projects than to have a positive and prepared mind.

Productivity hacks.

I must admit though that I am a professional crammer, and so are more than 72% of students who admitted the beneficial effects of doing things to the last minute. Sure, during the exams, it is easy to remember the important details of the Cold War, or memorize the whole periodic table of elements, but more often than not, these certain details are retained in our minds likely only until the test finishes. And then after an hour, you then proceed to another subject and the same cycle repeats. The major question I have in this debatable personalized technique would have to be — how effective is it for our general well-being and will it help us in the long run? 

Pulling an all-nighter lately has been romanticized when working on a certain paper or reviewing for a quiz.

Let’s glamor it up!

On your study table, add up a stack of papers, a collection of pastel-colored highlighters, a crammed pencil case, a clip lamp, and a cup of hot drink– and there you have an *:・゚✧*:・゚✧ Instagram-worthy *:・゚✧*:・゚✧ set-up.

But as much as how organized, well-lit, and #aesthetic the setting is, the show must be inside our brain. We need to invest in a better, more efficient studying method that our future selves will thank us for! The workload and schoolwork is tantamount to the uncountable number of ants that come in armies during spring. One student might say, “Woop, hold up, hold your horse Jolina, your metaphors may seem to be an exaggeration but it’s completely true”. As we get older, we tend to have even bigger responsibilities, and that’s when knowing productivity hacks can come in handy.

As we deal with a stockpile of readings, notes, and worksheets, especially in the last few months of the academic year, we are swamped and in an array of wordplay. That’s why I’m here to the rescue to give you a list of advice to assure your life will be Yabba Dabba Doo! Did you just hear Fred Flinstone’s happiness and excitement?! Well, without further ado, here are 5 proven and tested tips that will, for sure, promote productivity and hopefully help you at school.

Productivity hacks

 

Productivity hacks

  1. Put away any distractions.

Social media may have a lot of benefits when it comes to communication but it can be mentally distracting. They take up too much of our time and by the way, they were designed to be addicting. We keep checking our phones every now and then, waiting for a notification, looking for so-called inspiration from scrolling through the newsfeed. How are we supposed to moderate ourselves from using online applications? There are platforms and built-in focus apps that block websites for a period of time such as Forest, RescueTime, and Serene.

 

  1. Organize the information.

Rewriting, highlighting important details, or creating a mindmap does help a lot in retaining sequential and outline-based information. Some people remember well when ideas are laid out and visually presented, while others tend to create a summary or use an eye-pleasing color coding method to distinguish the levels of importance. Below is an example of what you can follow:

 

  • Pink: titles and headlines.
  • Blue: for terminology and vocabulary.
  • Green: definitions and explanations of terminology (green explains blue).
  • Orange: examples of the terminology used.
  • Yellow: other information.

 

 

 

  1. Pomodoro technique.

This 42-year-old time management method is based on straight 25-minute of work or study without interruption and then 5-minute rest. Each 25-minute period is one “pomodoro,” which is Italian for tomato, so coined for the creator’s use of a tomato-shaped timer. If you need 3-4 pomodoros, you may take longer breaks, approximately around 10-15 minutes. This was made to prevent squandering the time on distractions and to refresh the mind during intervals and create room for other tasks.

 

  1. One step at a time.

Studies have shown that multitasking or doing more than one task at the same time is less effective and can be prone to having more distraction. Prioritizing one work and finishing it will bring more attention to the process and its outcome rather than jumping tasks and not absorbing anything at all.

 

  1. Music is instrumental.

There’s magic in listening to classical music that makes our mind flow with the waves of each note. I personally can attest to this having Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach as my studying companions in high school. Calm music will help you relax and create a comforting environment during stressful days. 

 

More tips that are no-brainer!

Before the day of the exam, the most natural routine that you must get is a full night’s sleep, meaning at least 8 hours of physical rest. Not only does it improve your mood the following day, it also increases mental alertness and memory and cognitive function. And on the day of the exam, one cardinal rule that is sometimes forgotten is taking a protein-loaded breakfast. Eat like a king, as the old saying goes. A fruit, or eggs, or oatmeal and milk will get you through the day!

 

PS: Don’t put too much weight on yourself and if you ever feel tense, take long deep breaths. Break a leg because I know you can do whatever life throws at you! 

Jolina 💪

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