How to be a more productive student (or “How to waste less time and have more time for fun”)

I don’t normally pass along posts from content generators such as the Huffington Post, but the article below popped up in my Twitter feed a little while ago, and even though it’s written for working professionals, I think there are some really useful hints for students. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/08/productivity-hacks_n_5775492.html?&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000067

The ones that really stand out for me are pretty basic: 

  1. Turn off email and IM! I respond to messages only at specific times in my day, so that my normal work isn’t constantly interrupted. 
  2. Take a 10-minute break every hour. Step away from whatever you’re doing and focus on something not related to work or school. Your mind will be fresher when you come back, and you’ll actually get more done than if you’d kept working. Just make sure the 10-minute break stays 10 minutes.
  3. Do the quick tasks now. That way, they’re out of the way! 

Some other ways I’ve found to be more productive are simply to start using the shortcut keys on the computer:

  • command-C (ctrl-C for PC users) to copy
  • command-V to paste
  • command-X to cut
  • command-Z to undo
  • command-S to save
  • command-F to find a word on the page/website

I’m continually surprised at how many people spend hours every day on a computer but still don’t know these basics. Saving a few keystrokes or mouse clicks with every interaction makes it possible for your hands to keep up with your brain, which makes it easier to get your work done. Which makes it easier to play! 

Happy learning! 

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