Campus Cope: making the most of your time

Janine Ybanez/HIGHLANDER
Janine Ybanez/HIGHLANDER

The road to productivity is an uphill battle indeed. Productivity has been a main source of peril for students since the concept of school and work were created. Many people have the idea that being productive requires a great amount of discipline and practice. While that’s true, it’s also something that can be incrementally established. Productivity, more than anything, is a combination of physical and mental practices. The real battle toward productivity begins with recognition of our lazy habits and attempting to sort them out, one by one.

One of the first things that can help boost productivity, while giving you peace of mind, is making sure that you’re organized. The less mess around you, the easier it will be to hone in on what needs to be taken care of. Having a clean space will eliminate the stress of having to sort through it, thus making you more likely to focus on what really matters. Second-year biology major Jasmine Huerta testifies that “keeping a clean space can make all the difference. I used to be a very messy person until I realized that it was the source of my laziness. I invested in some folders for each class and made sure I separated my work.”

Once you have a clean space it’s advantageous to begin buying office supplies that work to separate the different sections of your life. Those classic two-inch binders with the colorful dividers may seem like they tread into middle school territory, but they go a long way to making sure everything is in its place.

Whether we like it or not, we can all fall victim to what’s going on in our surroundings. Pause for a second and realize that there are more important things than finding out what new scandals Olivia Pope is hiding behind. Instead of studying or doing work in an environment loaded with electronics and devices that will catch your eye, venture out and find a spot that’s ideal for studying. The library is the typical choice for people who like to isolate themselves and study in a serene environment.

If the library still doesn’t prompt you to be more proactive, other alternatives include studying in nature. People love outdoor environments because not only are there no devices for them to fiddle with, and it provides a sense of calmness that will make them focus on your work. An ideal spot is right outside the Physics 2000 building which sports wonderful green scenery.

One of the final tips that can be instrumental in becoming productive is to reward yourself. After exhausting your mind, it’s important that you provide yourself with a well-deserved break — just make sure you’ve really earned it though Sporadic social media checks during your work sessions can make your mind feel as though you are covering a lot of ground. In reality, it just distracts you from giving all of your effort to the assignment at hand. Don’t use petty breaks as a reward for the work you’ve done because in the end it will just prolong whatever assignment you are trying to finish. Treat every assignment and task as if it was for a job. Having that sense of urgency and prominence will shift your mind from a passive state into an active and ready position.

Even after all of those tips, the road to becoming a productive student won’t come easy. There will be all sorts of detours along the way that will attempt to knock you off-course. Even if you encounter some missteps it’s important to understand the significance of becoming a productive student. Some people never actually reach that point. Don’t worry if you don’t reach it right away. Everything in life is trial and error. Treat this mission as if you were learning to ride a bike. Baby steps and small, gradual leaps can go a long way to making you a more ideal student.

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