3 Easy Strategies To Help You Be More Productive

Content provided by:
Brittney Vigna, MPH, CHES, CPH, PAPHS
Assistant Director of Health Promotion and Wellness

Going to a major university provides students with tons of opportunities to learn, grow, and excel. However, all of these opportunities can start to pile up very quickly if students are not careful to manage their time in an effective way that works for them. There is not one “cookie-cutter” recipe for the best way to manage time, however, finding a few good strategies that work for you and running with them is a great start.

1. Use your resources to your advantage.

Many students are fortunate to have access to smart phones, which can be a huge strategy to organization. Change how you use your phone from a weapon of mass distraction to an asset. Turn on notifications for calendar alerts and turn off notifications for social media and text messages (if you’re worried that you’ll miss an emergency, turn on alerts for specific people!). Also, utilize the options to only use social media during certain times. Choose the times of the day when you feel the most productive, and opt to turn off social media to give yourself total focus.

Additionally, Project Health, the Career Center and the Counseling Center all have great resources for students who are trying to learn how to manage time and reduce stress.

2. Take scheduled breaks.

The tech company Draugiem Group conducted a study to figure out the best relationship between work time/break time at work. The study found that those who work for 52 minutes and then break for 17 minutes were the most productive. When studying or trying to accomplish a to-do list, give yourself mental breaks from the task at home. That way, when heading back on “the work clock”, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to sprint onto the next task. Set your timer for 52 minutes and get ready to knock some tasks out!

Note: Make sure the breaks are not going to be something TOO distracting! If you know you’ll get sucked into Instagram for too long, try a different activity, such as listening to an audiobook or taking a walk.

3. Write things down.

The easiest way to not forget something is to write it down or make some documentation of a task. A study conducted at The University of California, Los Angeles attempted to find if typing notes or writing notes helped students retain and learn information better. Two groups of students were used, with one group writing notes and another typing notes. The findings showed that the students who typed notes had more notes, however, they did far worse than students who wrote their notes down did when tested. Why? Students who typed notes generally type lectures/content verbatim, leading to a ‘mindless transcription’, while students who write notes down have to quickly consolidate information, leading to a better understanding of information. Moral of the story: write things down. Understand more information earlier. Save all the time studying later.

Try these three strategies to help boost your productivity and reduce some stress!

Join us for the 4th Annual Wellness Week!

Wellness Week is right around the corner, and we have a full schedule of events designed to help students get more engaged with health and wellness resources on campus and in the community. All events that are a part of Wellness Week are free, and we have some wonderful campus and community partners providing some excellent health information and activities for campus.


Traveling Food Demo, 11 AM – 2 PM
Find campus Registered Dietitian Sheena Gregg popping up all over campus to do some healthy eating food demos! Look out for the Health Promotion and Wellness van and the free samples.

The Barre Code Tuscaloosa Pop Up, 4 PM – 5 PM, The Ferguson Student Center Great Hall
The Barre Code Tuscaloosa is hosting a pop up barre demo for free in the Great Hall! Bring athletic wear and a water bottle, and get ready to feel that thigh burn (Sponsored by the Ferguson Student Center). Worth one Greek point.


Open Labyrinth Walk, 10 AM – 2 PM, The Ferguson Student Center Great Hall
You might have seen our labyrinth on campus, but haven’t gotten to try it out yet, so now is the time!

Glow Yoga, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Canterbury Church Yard
Sponsored by University Recreation, Glow Yoga features upbeat music and a free yoga class! Join us under the lights in your best neon work out gear. Worth one Greek Point!


The Student Health Fair, 10 AM – 2 PM, The Ferguson Student Center Plaza
The Student Health Fair features approximately 30 campus and community vendors to help students get more involved with the health and wellness resources available to them. Free t-shirts for the first 500 attendees and worth one Greek point!

Campus Dialogues, 1 PM – 1:50 PM, The Ferguson Student Center Great Hall
Campus Dialogues, presented by Crossroads Community Center, The Ferguson Student Center and the Office of Student Involvement will take on a health and wellbeing theme this week providing students with opportunities to discuss where there may be campus or societal barriers to health. Free cookies and tea available!

HIV Testing, 10 AM – 2 PM, Room TBD
The Alabama Department of Public Health will provide free and confidential HIV and Hepatitis C testing to UA students. It’s free (and it doesn’t hurt!)


Homerun Derby Challenge, 11 AM – 2 PM, The Ferguson Student Center Plaza
Learn more about CRIS (Collegiate Recovery and Intervention Services) and their homerun services by playing our home run challenge and answering some quiz questions on alcohol and other drugs. Free iced coffee for participants!

For additional information about Wellness Week, please contact Brittney Vigna at bevigna@ua.edu.