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College demands a lot from you, in terms of time, focus, and production. There’s a lot to do between readings, classes, assignments, papers, and exams. The same goes for life after college. Your career will also demand a lot from you, in terms of work and commitment.

Here are 5 productivity hacks for both school and work you can use, regardless of circumstance.

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productivity hacks

Do The Hardest Task First

You only have so much physical energy and concentration available over the course of the day.

When you wake up, your body and mind are at their maximum potential. As the day goes on though, that fuel reserve burns up.

That’s why it’s normally best to start your day off with tasks that require the most physical or mental focus. Your mind will be better able to adjust to the pressures it faces when tackling it, and you won’t feel as exhausted afterward.

For example:

  • If you have to work on research or writing a paper (or presentation) during your day, try to work on it as early as possible.
  • Save checking emails and other simpler tasks for later on where possible. Checklists help out a lot with listing priorities.

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Turn Off Unnecessary Tech

In today’s world, technology has proven to be both a tool and a distraction.

If you’re easily prone to procrastination, then shutting down every possible distraction is key. For better focus, be ready to turn off your phone, disconnect from your internet connection, and put every other gadget away for a few hours.

Also, be ready to turn off the following:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Snapchat
  • Twitch

Social media provides plenty of information that can pull your focus away from the work at hand. Learn to turn it all off when you need to get important work done.

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Save Emails For Last

As mentioned earlier, don’t get bogged down with emails in the morning.

One of the biggest time sucks is email correspondence. Don’t get us wrong – ignoring emails outright isn’t right either. Starting your morning off with a quick check at your inbox is fine. Use that time to prioritize what’s received and if anything needs an immediate response.

More than likely though, most messages can wait a day or two. In that case, set aside time later in your day, once other tasks are finished to handle your email correspondence. That way, you’ll keep your other work in line without ignoring everyone who requires attention.

Do Work When Traveling

Be ready to take advantage of traveling for work.

While many people distract themselves with sleep or mindlessly messing around with technology, you can use it to get things done. Sitting on a plane with hours to go before landing is a great opportunity to work on projects or write.

Going home for Thanksgiving and have a paper to work on? Write what you can while either flying or on the train. It’ll help pass the time faster and you’ll feel better once you arrive at your destination. Travel time is also great for checking and responding to emails too.

Listen To Podcasts And Audiobooks

If you’re interested in always learning but have trouble finding time between work or required assignments, then look into audiobooks or podcasts.

Let’s say you have a long daily commute. By pulling up either your favorite podcast or audiobook app, you accomplish two things:

  • First, you kill time during the transit, which depending on where you live, could be at least 1-2 hours a day.
  • Second, your brain can passively absorb information about subjects you normally don’t have time to spend learning. There is a minimal strain and your mind stays active without taxing it.

Furthermore, there are plenty of audiobooks and podcasts that can provide further productivity hacks just waiting for you.

For more information and tips, check out Prep Expert.

Clay Cooper

Clay is a double-perfect scorer - within one week, he earned a 1600 on an official SAT and at 36 on an official ACT! Clay has also achieved 99th percentile scores on the PSAT, ISEE, GMAT, GRE, and LSAT. He has taught and developed courses for high school, college, and graduate-level standardized tests extensively around the country, and specializes in the field. He has studied law at Georgetown University Law Center and worked in the legal field as well, for attorneys, judges, and the Tennessee Attorney General.

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