How to increase your productivity

As we all know, Imperial is one of the world’s top universities, with an internationally recognised reputation. Would you say that this reputation is obtained by having students chilling out? You guessed right, it isn’t.  

If you are a student here, you will already know what the overload of work is like. If you aren’t a student yet, do not worry, you will find out. 

So, when you have a computing exam coming up, three tutorial sheets to be done, a few lectures to Panopto, two labs to write and a life to live, you better organise yourself. 

Here are a few tips that may help you to be the most productive you can possibly be: 

Plan weekly 

Your whole year is already timetabled, the least you could do is check how does your week looks like. If you have in mind the amount of lecture hours per day, you will be able to allocate tasks depending on how much “free time” you have on each day. 

At the same time, you should also bear in mind that many duties will appear out of the blue and that many things are not really in your control. For this reason, give yourself some buffer time. 


Set up a to-do list for the day 

If you have set a to-do list, it is more likely that you will actually do the things instead of procrastinating or stressing out.   Sitting at a desk with a list by your side increases significantly the chances that you will be productive. And crossing boxes in a list is pleasing, we can all agree on that. 


Manage your time efficiently  

There are many ways by which you can squeeze your time to the fullest. For example, assigning a specific time to a task forces you to be focused, as you have a clock ticking at the back of your mind. Another technique is following the “Pomodoro method”, which consists on breaking up your time in intervals followed by breaks. It has become very popular, as there are many apps and websites that allow you to use this technique. 

Lastly, yet very important, avoid the excessive use of social media. Scrolling down through Instagram’s feed can make you waste 30 precious minutes without even noticing.  You can adjust your settings and have limits of use for certain apps. 


Give yourself a break  

As stated in the Pomodoro method, having breaks is essential to increase one’s efficiency. If you want to work hard for a relative long period of time, you need your brain to rest from time to time. Something that really works for me is going to the library with friends and setting a time for a communal break. This way, you have something to look forward to, while forcing you to work intensively for a determined period of time. 


Eat healthy and exercise  

Mens sana in corpore sanoKeeping your body in a healthy state is essential in all the phases of your life, but specially in your studying years. 

As stated by Heidi Godman, in a publication at the Harvard Medical School website 

“In a study done at the University of British Columbia, researchers found that regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping, appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning.” 


In conclusion, being productive requires quite some effort, but it well pays off.  Nobody wants to binge visit the library 14 hours a day after a spring break of wasting time. 


PS: The article mentioned can be found here. 

2 comments for “How to increase your productivity

  1. Thanks for these great tips.
    Another factor which can also affect productivity is distraction. The more you value a task the more it likely for you to stay focused on it. Getting rid of distraction allows you to stayed focus and concentrated.
    This also have to with environment, a cool and calm environment with monotask can also serve as a catalyst in boosting productivity

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