Being in college you learn that there are many distractions. Those distractions vary from friends to coursework (yes, coursework can especially be distracting when starting to pile up and you need to get other work done) and not to mention just noise in general. There are countless distractions in this 21st century that we live in, I figured I would share four ways to be more productive and help block those annoyances.
1. Turn off those notifications!
If you do any work on the computer and there are notifications that popup all the time, either by getting messages through your phone or your social media accounts, you have the ability to turn them off. If you have a Mac, there is a ‘Do not Disturb’ button that you can switch on and off to mute those annoying notifications. If you’re on a set schedule of working on your computer, you can even set a schedule for notifications to not be sent to you during specific times. This is certainly helpful when your trying to crank out that eight-page research paper.
2. Invest in some good headphones.
If you’re anything like me, you love listening to music and you do so even while getting work done. It’s a motivator that helps get you through the day. Now I recently invested in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones this year which had me skeptical at first, are they really worth the money? Yes. I can say that they have done wonders! I could be in the middle of the dining hall on campus and not hear anyone talking. For me, that’s key! Being a people-person, I love to talk to others around me; most of the time. If there is an interesting conversation, I want to listen in. This is certainly difficult when trying to study and picking up side conversations everywhere around me; or even my own thoughts becoming too loud to think. Noise-cancelling headphones have cured that problem. If the space isn’t terribly loud and you don’t want to listen to music, no need. Just put the headphones on and boom! Your productivity level will go up just like that.
3. Learn to take notes
Content is something that enters your everyday life. If you’re anything like me, you have a hard time remembering all the information that is thrown out at you in a days time. Due to this issue, I have learned to take write/type these thoughts down. Hardcopy ways that you can do this is my keeping a notebook, like a moleskin, in your pocket or daily-carry bag of choice. Pull it out whenever you need to take notes and color-coat the notes with small sticky bookmarks for the various pages on unrelated content. If you are at your desk all day and need to take notes, I suggest writing in sticky notes and have them color-coated to different tasks or even in regards to due date.
If you’re looking to get into mobile options, would suggest Evernote or event the Notes application if you have an iPhone. Evernote has the a three-tiered service, Basic (Free), Plus ($2.99/month, $24.99/year), or Premium ($5.99/month, $49.99/year). Now I still have Basic which gives me plenty of space, 60MB for notes to be exact. I have found that I don’t need to upgrade yet because text doesn’t take up too much space. Now if you are trying to turn your notes into presentations right from Evernote, you will want to purchase the Premium version. The Notes application for the iPhone has become very useful. With a recent update, Apple has added the ability to create checklists, group your notes in select folders, and now lock select notes with a master passcode; one different from other passcodes.
4. Exercise those muscles.
A study was done by The American College of Sports Medicine to see whether or not students tested better if they exercised or sat still for a bit. The study shown that the students who exercised more had better scores on their homework. Even just 30 minutes a day can make you more productive! Try it and see if you can tell a difference.