Park Ridge, IL


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About Me

Late Semester Productivity

April 24, 2017

In the midst of finals week, time becomes a scarce resource. Come to think of it, time always feels like a scare resource in college (and in life)—finals or not. Productivity, in turn, becomes increasingly important the later it gets in the semester. So, I thought I’d impart some of my overarching tips on achieving that end-of-the-year productivity.

  1. Work in time blocks, not assignment based segments. Oftentimes, people say “I’ll write one page” or “Read a chapter and then take a break,” but I think this can be a dangerous trap. That statement has nothing to do with efficiency in the work and can unfortunately lead to things taking longer than they need to. Therefore, I suggest working in time intervals (of maybe 30 – 45 min at a time), where you work without distractions for that time block. This helps to minimize those incessant urges to check your phone, watch that YouTube video, or look up that name of that one guy in that movie you saw a couple years back.
  2. If you’re going to do work with someone else, find a work buddy who’ll keep you focused. Seeing others productivity prompts you to match that work ethic. It also discourages goofing off and appearing lazy (even if your friend wouldn’t care anyways). That being said, group study sessions can be a dangerous game. Studying with friends can quickly lead to long stretches of divergent conversations and ironic complaints about how much work you have left to do. So choose carefully! As an alternative, you can always study alone in a public place (like the library). It can have the same effect without the likelihood of getting off track.
  3. Over-budget the time you think it’ll take you to complete an assignment. Unforeseen obstacles can arise at any moment in the day. Additionally, humans are typically really bad at estimating how long it will take to get things done. It makes sense when you notice all the construction projects that run past their initial schedule or the video games that get delayed for months. (Maybe this has to do with all those unforeseen impediments.) Giving yourself adequate time to complete your work will keep you from stressing out and needing to shut down for an hour or two.

These aren’t the end all be all tips for productivity but I’ve found them useful in a number of contexts. And considering that everyone—college student or not—can use a boost in productivity, I thought it would be worth sharing here. 

My name is Joe. I am currently a freshman at the University of Richmond. I plan to major in Business (concentration undecided) and to minor in Creative Writing. I consider myself a man of diverse interests. I find just as much enjoyment in playing basketball as I do staying home to read a book. In terms of music, I'll listen to most anything, whether it's Frank Sinatra, today's top 100 hits, old school rap, or anything in between. Same goes for movies. New movies, old movies, black-and-white movies, action movies, romantic comedies, serious dramas. It doesn't matter; I'll watch them all (and often choose to). Aside from that, I'm simply excited to be at UR and to be able to share my experiences with prospective students, fellow classmates, and anyone else who may care to follow along.

Why UR?

A simple answer to the question "Why UR?" would be to say that it just felt right. Though, whereas that isn't inaccurate, I know how vague and frustrating an answer like that can be for readers. So, I will try to explain myself. The University of Richmond, as I researched it more and more, became continually more appealing. Every new thing I learned became another reason to attend. (That certainly was not the case with other schools.) I didn't have to wrestle with thoughts like, "I guess I can live with that" or "Maybe it won't seem like that when I'm actually there." In fact, even viewing the university with a critical eye, it was difficult to find something bad to say about it. That may sound like I'm simply affirming my final decision, but it's not easy to answer that question without directly showing someone what I'm trying to articulate. UR is a place that, although ripe for descriptive writing, must be experienced firsthand to truly understand. That, I believe, says more than any list of reasons ever could.