Back in the eons of time, when I was an undergraduate, I had a nasty habit of leaving everything to the last minute. Convinced that this is what was standing in between me and my ability to get a first on every project I turned in, I decided I’d finally had enough and that I would give the time and attention to my next essay that it deserved. Do you know what I got for that essay? A measly 55% along with comments that stated it was one of the most tedious and rambling pieces the tutor had ever come across! Now don’t get me wrong here, as I’m absolutely not advocating you do your work at the last minute. What I am, on the other hand, suggesting is that working harder may not be the panacea to your problems that you think. In fact, I have come to learn that there is another way to succeed, and you can read more about this below.
Of course, what I am talking about here is grasping the concept of working smarter rather than just harder. In fact, with a few simple changes to the way in which you work, you could improve your grades and spend less time working that you do now?
The first change that you need to make is getting a better grip on your time management. This is because sitting at your computer, checking Instagram, and watching funny videos on Youtube may look like work, but it isn’t exactly the most productive use of your time is it?
Of course, to get your time management right, you need to accept one thing being human, that you will get distracted at times because your brain can only concentrate for long swaths of unbroken time.
However, you can learn to better manage your time by using something like this automatic time tracker to help you. The idea being that while you are at your computer, and even while you are not, you can track what you are doing. Something that can then make it crystal clear where your time is really going, and where you need to refocus it to improve your productivity and complete your assignments and dissertations.
Next, when it comes to working smarter as a student, you absolutely need to know how to take notes. Oh, and taking pictures of what is on the whiteboard with your iPhone doesn’t count. In fact, notes are much more effective and easy to refer back to if you do something active with the information.
To that end, using an app that creates flashcards, or even going with the Cornell note-taking system where you write keyword along the left-hand side, and summarize each page as you go can help. In fact, by doing this, you not only better understand your topics more quickly, but make it easier to find the information you need to get a good grade straight away. Now if that isn’t working smarter, I don’t know what is!