by Bob Lasiewicz, Managing Director, Crossroads of Learning.
I recently read an article that shared a terrific set of tips for being more productive, all backed up by current research.
Many of them can be utilized to improve the environment in which tutoring takes place or to influence the behavior and habits of students to improve their ability to learn and thrive.
Suggesting a light snack before a tutoring session is something to consider.
Buy some houseplants. Scientists at the University of Exeter conducted 90 experiments that found houseplants not only improve creativity (45%) and overall wellbeing (47%), they also give your ability to concentrate and focus a boost, spurring greater productivity. Tutoring centers should definitely think about houseplants when designing their center along with computers, furniture and textbooks.
Control your temperature. A study from Cornell tested the impact of temperature on productivity, finding that when working in temperatures below 68 degrees, employees made 44% more mistakes than at an optimal room temperature of 77 degrees.
Going easy on the AC could actually improve results from a tutoring session.
Slice up some lemons. In studies, workers made 54% less errors when they smelled lemons, 33% fewer mistakes with jasmine, and 20% fewer with lavender. Sounds like a little lemon-peel could go a long way to improving accuracy when tutoring students.
Chew some gum. Researchers from Cardiff University in Wales discovered that chewing gum not only reduces levels of occupational stress, but those who chew gum are able to complete a greater load of work. The culprit? Increased cortisol, which brings on lower levels of perceived stress and improved arousal and alertness. So let’s all try to forget those teachers who never let us chew gum in class!
Don’t try to multi-task. A 2001 study by Rubinstein et. al found that participants lost tremendous amounts of time switching between multiple tasks, and even more time as those tasks got more complex. Another study by Robert Rogers and Stephen Monsell showed participants were slower when they had to switch tasks than when they repeated them. The net loss? As high as 40% of your productivity. Along with some other great advice in the list about managing e-mail and social media, tutors can share strategies to help students break some strong habits in order to get the most out of their study time.
Look at Cute Animals. Researcher Hiroshi Nittono from Japan (of course) conducted a study that showed that looking at pictures of cute puppies, pandas, kittens and cats won’t just improve your mood – it actually makes you more productive. It’s easy to forget that the mood of a tutoring session can be just as important as the content.
Other entries in the article discuss the impact of working under natural light, music/ambient noise, wake-up time, adequate sleep, taking naps, procrastination, work blocks, time-tracking, perfectionism, exercise and more. To review the complete list, click here.
Crossroads of Learning training for tutors, trainers and academic coaches is available via on-line courses or a train-the-trainer/workbook program. All courses and materials articulate with the certification requirements of the National Tutoring Association. CEUs from Fielding Graduation University are also available.
Tutors, tutoring companies and afterschool providers can also increase their office productivity by managing their program with the Oases Online scheduling & tracking software.
Request a demonstration today and we will show you how to streamline those time wasting processes with Oases.