As we are moving towards the end of the semester, it is inevitable for undergraduate and graduate students to have long working hours and less sleep. This keeps repeating semester after semester and year after year. After going through this vicious cycle for a few years, I would say that there is a solution to work around this problem. The answer lies in being efficient. Sound obvious? But is more difficult than what it seems. Here are my few tips that would help you in being efficient.
1. Plan: The hardest step in moving towards efficiency is planning. The planning stage should start even before the semester starts. A plan should compose of a detailed calendar (I use google calendar and it even sends me a reminder) that lists the deliverables needed for a course (e.g. Homework start and due date). Make sure that you have enough time to complete the tasks (give at-least 200% more time than what it takes to get the work done). If you are about to start planning for this semester, I would suggest to follow what has already worked for you.
2. Action: This is the most important step and the difficult one. When you starting working on a particular task, let’s say a homework, fully concentrate only on the homework. Each person knows the perfect setup that will help them to be the most productive. If you get to complete the scheduled task/s before the deadline, try to engage in activities that you like (e.g. going to the gym). It is important to do so because it refreshes your mind and helps to maintain the consistency for the next task.
Some of these tips may be obvious but in most cases we fail to put them in action. Developing these skills will help you go a long way and will also help you in achieving your life goals.
Pavan is a PhD student in the Department of Civil Engineering