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The Eagle’s Guide To Working Smarter (Not Harder)

Late nights studying, assignments piling up, meetings to attend, books to read: Mix all these things in with late nights out, a variety of procrastination strategies and trying to maintain a social life. This juggling act is the life of an average student. Who wants to be average, though? An eagle is known for his or her ability to soar. An eagle is powerful and built, poised and confident. Put simply, the eagle is on top of his game.

Stay organized.

Have you ever met an organized person who does not start with a “to-do” list? Creating goals pinpoints your task and helps you focus. Taking it a step further and creating a "to-do" list could help you avoid procrastination tactics, like checking social media and making unnecessary phone calls. Place the lists side by side to keep your priorities straight. Also, keep an agenda or notepad and a pen on hand.

Manage your time.

Use your free time (as little as you may have) to your advantage. Adding up your free time can handily boost productivity. Even small tasks, such as sending e-mails or checking something on Agora portal, can be fulfilled in the small time between classes or meetings. Managing your free time wisely by getting assignments out of the way will only free up more time.

Use your resources wisely.

Google is magical.  If you are a visual or aural learner, do not waste your time reading and rereading notes or textbooks. Use Google Images and YouTube if you can. Use a few different explanations of one topic to get the whole picture. Keep in mind that there is, in fact, an app for everything. Apps like Wolfram Alpha can be particularly useful for several subjects. Be careful with technology, though, because it can also be a dangerous procrastination tool.

Mark your starting and stopping point.

Simple rituals can really round out your work experience. Always starting with a walk or a cup of coffee can get you into the mindset you need. End your work by straightening up your workspace and making tomorrow’s “to-do” list. Be sure to separate your schoolwork from your social life. Going out with friends to complain about how much work you have will not be a relief nor will it get any of your work done.

Be creative.

It has been proven that engaging in creative hobbies improves workplace performance. The same can be said for schoolwork. Creative activities do not have to take much time either. Dabbling in music, drawing or mind puzzles can be entertaining and quick. You do not have to be good at it, but trying something new can be pretty freeing.

Be patient and thankful.

Do not stress over that which you cannot change. Avoid regret; do not dwell on the fact that you did not do a project earlier because it will not get done any faster. As Nike says, “Just do it.” Make mistakes and learn from them. If you never make mistakes, you need to challenge yourself more. You have a lot to be grateful for. The fact that you have this work to do means a lot. It will get you further in the future.

I'll pack my favorite red slippers when I become an astronaut. Colored pencil enthusiast, mother of parasites, part-time pilot. Runs in large circles and obsesses over dogs.