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Multitasking and productivity go hand in hand. While that is not to say that the more tasks you are trying to complete at the same time, the more productive you are, people who are able to focus (really focus) on multiple tasks at the same time tend to perform better in life.

University is a place where these abilities are both put to the test, and often improved upon. Luckily for those of us who are not endowed with natural multitasking capabilities, there are things we can do every day that help us improve our ability to do a number of different things at once. If you are serious about being successful at school (and really at anything), below are some multitasking and productivity tips to help improve your productivity, and your life.


No matter how skilled you think you are at doing multiple things at the same time, every person can make their life easier and more manageable by adding some organizational tools to it. A task calendar is an important thing to have, regardless of how many things you are trying to multitask at the same time.

In the digital era, most people have completely abandoned paper for things they can store on their phones or computers. This is a link to a list of some of the best Android and iOS apps out there for helping you keep track of all of the different things you need to do every day. Even if you consider yourself to have a memory like a steel trap, from which nothing escapes and everything is always right there waiting for recall, a calendar, or calendar/day timer app can make your life so much easier, and increase your productivity exponentially.


Even if you are trying to accomplish multiple things at the same time, or juggling multiple responsibilities at the same time, the best way to ensure all of them get done to the best of your abilities is to compartmentalize them and focus on them one at a time. When we say “multitasking” what we mean is accomplishing multiple things that share deadlines at the same time. Trying to do multiple things at the same time (as in simultaneously) is actually bad for productivity.

In order to really maximize your productivity, you are going to need to be able to focus intensely on what you are doing and then switch your brain to the next task. For instance, we can use the analogy of making a cake. Making a cake is the macro task, but there are dozens of smaller, subordinate microtasks associated with it. You have to walk to the cupboard, you have to take out the siv, you have to beat the eggs, you have to grease the pan, you have to preheat the oven. The best way to approach this macro task is to dedicate yourself fully to each microtask as it is needed.

The cake analogy is how you should go about structuring your days at university. While keeping time constraints in mind, focus all of your attention on each microtask and, when it’s done, immediately move onto the next one. Starting one process here, and then switching to another before the first one is done is a recipe for lost productivity.


At some point during your university career you are going to come up against your multitasking and productivity limitations. In a sense, your university experience deliberately imposes this on you. Part of learning about the world and learning about your place in it, is understanding what you can expect from yourself. While you should always be striving for more and challenging yourself, you will avoid a lot of pain and suffering throughout your life if you come to grips with what you can realistically accomplish.

Modern university is, in a sense, designed to see just how many different competing obligations you can handle in your life. Multiple final exams on the same day require you to make difficult decisions about what and how to study; parties and interpersonal relationships present temptation when you really should be finishing your weekly article review, testing your ability to sacrifice and postpone. Sometimes, however, the impossible is asked of you. Sometimes there is just not enough time to do all of the things you need to do. When that is the case (and it likely will be numerous times throughout your university career), there are essay writing services to help lighten the load.

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