7 Steps to Become a More Productive Business Student

Say Farewell to Unproductive Semesters! So I hear students say “I don’t have time.” Well I’m not buying it. The truth is you don’t want to make time. I have formulated 7 steps for you to become a more productive business student.

1. Get off Social Media

I don’t know if this the most important one, but this was the first one that came to my mind. Leaving social media is more difficult for some than others. Think about the amount of time you use on social media every week and how unproductive you are because of it. Imagine using all that time toward more productive measures like learning a new skill or watching an educational video. Unless you are aiming for some type of marketing career nobody cares if you are fluent in social media.

2. Make Lists

I have a list for my organizations, academics, professional, health, and personal/family. These topics take up the most time in my life so I created a basic to-do list for all of them. But, that is not enough. At the end of every day, write down what you accomplished. Writing down daily accomplishments will help you make sure that you are not just adding more and more things on your list to finish, and it will help you see how productive you have been.

3. Don’t Procrastinate

You know what I mean! Stop waiting till last minute to do homework assignments, submitting an employment applications, meeting with professors for help – you get the point. I’m still guilty of this until this day, but I have improved significantly from high school. So make it a monthly goal to finish things long before they are due.

4. Sleep!

Yo, I know you are a college student and so many things are always going on, but that is no excuse to skip out on sleep. Sleep is one of the important parts of feeling healthy, focused, energized, and smarter. I’m not going to give you the chemical background of sleep because you can just look that up on Google. But, the most important part is REM sleep - where you retain information. There is a big debate over how much sleep is necessary. So I won’t get into that. Let’s just say the range is 7-9 hours every night.

5. Network – Meet New People

Go to all networking events. Go to every activity, panel, seminar, and so forth that is related to your major. Get business cards and follow-up. Interact with faculty and staff. Have study groups to meet in new students. Simply put: just meet new people.

6. Plan out Your Day

Once again don’t tell me you don’t have time. During the second semester of my freshman year I had an internship, 17 credit hours at UIC, actively involved in two organizations, and commuted back-and-forth two and a half hours per school day on the Chicago public transit system. You have to understand tradeoffs. Are you going to read or go to a party? Get a good night's sleep or study for the exam that is tomorrow? Watch television or go to the gym and workout? You have to make the choices that are best for you. Maybe a previous blog of mine can help you. Plan out how you want to spend your day and of course make time to relax and have fun.

7. Be Active in Academics

This is mainly for people that are having problems with school. If you are already doing well, continue to do it and add this to how you conduct your academics. Sit in the front of class, ask questions, answer questions, get to know the professor, and pick classes that will give you useful skills. For example, I took a class called Spreadsheet Analysis which was extremely useful in navigating Microsoft Excel and the programming language for Excel macros known as VBA. Most people only get to go to college for their undergrad degree one time so take advantage of it and learn as much as possible.

If there is anything I have learned in my three plus years as an undergrad – productivity is the pathway to prosperity.

Questions, criticisms, or ideas for future blogs? Email me at KSHAH50@UIC.EDU