Maximising productivity & minimising stress in student life

Maximising productivity & minimising stress in student life

In 2021, a survey by the American Psychological Association revealed that 60% of college students felt overwhelmed by stress

In 2021, a survey by the American Psychological Association revealed that 60% of college students felt overwhelmed by stress. Similarly, statistics from the NCBI show that nearly 70% of students experience decreased productivity due to stress. However, by adopting certain strategies, students can enhance their productivity and reduce stress.

The first step to improving productivity understands why you are studying a particular subject. When students know the practical importance of a topic, they become more emotionally involved in learning. This emotional engagement boosts productivity. Spending just 10 minutes researching the future utility of a subject can provide clarity and focus. Knowing the “why” behind your studies helps you concentrate better and stay motivated.

Adding to that, the ancient wisdom highlighting the five qualities that students should develop to excel in their studies can further help maximize productivity and minimize stress:

1. Kaka Chesta (The Efforts of a Crow): Emphasizes the importance of patience, hard work, and ingenuity, drawing from the story of a thirsty crow that cleverly raises the water level in a pitcher by dropping pebbles into it.

2. Bako Dhyanam (The Focus of a Crane): Highlights the need for focused attention on important goals, akin to a crane patiently waiting for the big fish amidst distractions, symbolising the importance of prioritisation and concentration.

3. Shwan Nidra (The Alertness of a Dog): Advocates for vigilance and awareness, likening it to the alertness of a dog even while sleeping. This quality encourages constant learning and awareness of one’s surroundings.

4. Alpahaari (Inputs we give to our senses): Advises moderation and discernment in sensory inputs, as these impressions deeply influence one’s psyche. Being mindful of what one consumes through the senses is essential for mental and emotional well-being.

5. Gruha Tyagi (Leave the home, i.e. comfort zone): Encourages exploration and openness to new experiences, urging individuals to step out of their comfort zones in order to grow and discover themselves.

Along with these five qualities of a student, these are six principles that can be learnt from our ancient texts as they help us healthily achieve our goals.

1. Enthusiasm: Stay positive and motivated. Enthusiasm is the fuel that keeps you going, even during tough times.

2. Confidence in Your Efforts: Believe in your abilities and the work you put in. Confidence helps you stay focused and resilient.

3. Patience: Good results take time. Be patient and trust the process. Do not expect immediate rewards.

4. Effective Study Habits: Engage in favourable activities like proper note-taking, timely revision, and clarifying doubts. These habits improve retention and understanding.

5. Avoiding Distractions: Limit interactions with individuals who are not serious about their studies. Reduce time spent on social media and unnecessary internet browsing. This helps in maintaining focus and productivity.

6. Following Successful Examples: Look up to achievers in your field. Emulate their discipline and dedication. Their success stories can inspire and guide you.

Stress Management Strategies

Stress often stems from the fear of failure or not meeting expectations. After putting in the best effort, one must prepare themselves to accept any outcome. This acceptance can work wonders in helping reduce stress and stay focused on one’s goals.

While acceptance is bliss, it is equally important to lead a balanced life to reduce stress and boost productivity. Ensure you allocate appropriate time for eating, sleeping, and recreation. A disciplined routine helps in maintaining both mental and physical health. Hence, a balance between learning and personal well-being proves to be important to avoid burnout and achieve long-term success and fulfilment.

All in all, it is important to understand the purpose behind their studies, adopt effective study habits, avoid distractions, and maintain a balanced lifestyle during one’s time as a student. This can significantly enhance productivity and reduce stress. Emulating successful individuals and staying positive and patient also play crucial roles.

These strategies not only improve academic performance but also contribute to overall personal growth and well-being.

(The author is Director of ISKCON’s Govardhan Ecovillage (GEV))

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