How can I become a more efficient worker? by Ella Louise
Question from Quora.com
Answer by Ella Louise:
This is something I struggled with throughout university too. Hours would be spent working ‘inefficiently’ and therefore taking too much time.
It sounds like you are still getting the results which means the end result is still positive (top student) but I imagine that lack of efficiency will be effecting many other aspects of your life.
With little to go on, I can only make assumptions as to why you are struggling with this.
Organisation: If you have not planned out your study efficiently before you start you will struggle to stay on track. I would set aside study time and plan exactly what I wanted to achieve during this time, including time limits on particular subjects or coursework. Obviously there was some leeway if something required a little more attention that I had thought, but generally by setting time limits on myself I was able to stick to my plan.
Break Down Tasks: When organizing your study. before you begin it is a good idea to go over the specific topic and try to break it down further into manageable sections. Sometimes, trying to learn all about one entire topic without first planning it out can be daunting and therefore result in a inefficient study session. You will still learn it all but it may take you twice as long.
Procrastination: The planning and organisation mentioned above is actually what helped me overcome my procrastination. Once I set myself time limits I realized how often I allowed myself to get distracted by other things, my phone, the internet etc. A huge way to prevent this is to cut yourself off from all forms of distraction.
Discipline: Again, linked to the above you have to practice discipline with yourself. Keep checking in and ensure you are still focused on your main point of study. As a lover of learning new things I would often find myself straying from my original study topic and researching something interesting that caught my eye. As I was still ‘working’ I didn’t full realise how much of ‘distraction’ this is. So, even though learning new things is never a bad thing, when you are limited in time and are studying a specific syllabus or topic – remain disciplined and stick to the topic in hand.
Prioritize: Finally, by my final year I learnt the importance of prioritizing. You can be efficient without being effective if you spend too much time working on unimportant tasks. Go through you requirements and list in order of importance. This way you will start with the most important and even if you do struggle to stay ‘on time’ and cannot complete everything you have planned to, it will be only the lesser important tasks that are left out. In relation to study you may prioritize in relation to topics you struggle with, over those that you already have a good handle on.
I hope this could help in some way and I wish you luck in your studies. Keep you head up and keep up the good work. As a top student you are obviously doing something right, just relax a little, stay focused and prioritize and tell yourself you have to stop at a certain point, even if everything is not done. You need your sleep.