Technology is Your Friend

Author: Zara Odafe
Zara is a student employee with Technology Services and is a junior at Illinois majoring in Communications.

The 2022-2023 school year is about to wrap up. Students are chasing deadlines to get assignments, projects, and exams completed. When the workload starts to pile up, organization and time management can be neglected. According to the Top 10 Benefits of Time Management, having good time management skills helps people complete more work whilst creating an efficient plan for their day. Although there are negative connotations about the relationship between technology and productivity, technology can assist students with their hectic college life and keep them on track. 

Below is a list of types of apps that can help students meet their daily goals. These types of apps can assist with organization, task management, and help prevent procrastination. Even though traditional planners may work just as effectively, it’s useful to have an organizing system that students can bring anywhere or access on any device. Plus, some of the apps have capabilities only accessible via technology. Let technology be your guide and make a busy day easier! 

1. Organization

Keeping up with a hectic schedule can be hard to navigate. Especially when new events and responsibilities get added to students’ schedules at the last minute. Organizing a hectic schedule online helps people not miss important events. There are calendar apps that contain visual displays of a student’s day. Students can add video meeting links to their calendars to keep them on track and easily access the meeting link. Online calendars can give notifications when an event is coming around the corner. Therefore, students can be guided to where they need to be throughout the day.  

Outlook is an example of an organizational service provided by the university. 

2. Task Management

Assignments can pile up and become overwhelming; organizing can make the workload more manageable. There are apps that provide users with a visual system to display their work in front of them. For example, the Outlook platform contains a to-do list section. There are task management apps that focus on keeping daily tasks organized and up-to-date. These task management apps contain features to organize to-do lists into sections like work, school, and personal life. There are satisfying features like checking off tasks or crossing them out when completed.   

In addition to these features, users can bookmark reoccurring assignments. When assignments require sources, images, or any other additional resource to complete an assignment some task management apps provide areas to store those resources. This feature can be useful for students preparing to start an assignment ahead of time.  

3. Procrastination Management

Students can have all the resources to keep their work and life organized but the motivation to complete the work can fluctuate. Procrastination is normal and there are online resources and apps that can combat it.  

Schoolwork does not have to be completed in one sitting. Taking breaks can allow students to rest their minds, recharge, and continue on. Pomodoro is a technique that breaks down time periods of focus into smaller sections with timed breaks in between. There are videos on YouTube, websites, and apps dedicated to this technique. Students can explore different time increments that work for them.  

For many, their own devices can be their biggest enemy. There are apps that keep students accountable and urge them to stay focused. There are apps that turn studying into a game. There are apps where students are given the responsibility to take care of an animated figure like a plant or an animal by staying off distracting apps or websites on their phones or computers. These animations respond to students’ ability to stay on task.  

Focus games may not be effective for some students and they may need harsher preventatives. There are apps that lock social media apps and distracting websites. These apps can lock students’ distractions for a specific time in the day or period of studying. To gain access to these distracting apps or websites a password may be required. 

Technology can be a huge distraction, but it can also be a helpful tool for organization and time management. Most assignments that students complete are online. Therefore, avoiding the usage of technology can be impossible. However, technology can be used to motivate students during a period of heavy deadlines and stress. Technology does not have to be your enemy when there are so many opportunities for it to be your friend.