Academic Success Center

Academic Success Center
USF St. Petersburg Terrace 301
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
Telephone: (727) 873-4632

Maintained CeCe Edwards
Last updated 7/11/14



Quick and simple things to do to help you be more productive:

Adapted from Bob Lasiewicz's article 22 Powerful Productivity Tips for Tutors and Their Students

  • Eat a banana or something like it. Researchers from UCLA found that the brain works best when there’s about 25 grams of glucose in the blood stream; that’s about as much as what’s in a banana. Having 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.
  • 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. Carry a sweater or sweatshirt with you for those chilly classrooms and lecture halls.
  • 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.
  • 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. So while you might think you can manage multi-tasking, you can't, so don't!
  • Look at Cute Animals. Researcher Hiroshi Nittono from Japan 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.

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.


Mathematics and Science - This is a website created by Salman Khan. The site has over 4,000 short tutorial videos of different subjects such as: algebra, chemistry, calculus, biology,
health science, calculus, economics, and astronomy. The videos and teaching style of Khan are easy and interesting to follow. Khan Academy is a great complement for any student. The videos are completely free and easy to access. - Designed to help undergraduates with Chem I and Chem II, this site covers all of the topics that are taught here at USFSP. Each section has a video of PowerPoint slides that help explain important concepts in way that is clearer and easier than reading than a textbook. I think that if students went through these presentations (especially before they came in for extra help) they would have a good review of the material that is presented in class. Limitations: It takes a long time to go through a presentation. This is not a fast way to answer a homework question, but it is definitely a better way to increase content understanding. - This is an excellent resource for those who want additional practice in statistics. It was created from a professor at East Carolina University. It is easy to navigate and provides numerous resources in the subject: workshops, articles, tutorials, quizzes, journals, etc. It also provides computing programs, such as SPSS and SAS, for computations.

Foreign Languages - This online dictionary is intended for use by people learning new languages. It offers multiple entries for each word and uses each entry in a different meaning or context. Each entry includes an example sentence in English to clarify the context of the word. For example, a Spanish student may try to translate the following sentence into Spanish: “I booked the hotel early”not knowing which verb to use. offers 15 entries for “to book” with examples and explanations with each. It clarifies the difference between when a policeman books a convict, a volume of literature, to reserve a hotel, etc. Even if students cannot find an entry that pertains to the context in which they wish to use a word, it will bring to their attention the specific context they are looking for. This allows students to understand foreign language conversation on a more subtle level.



Purdue Writing Lab at

Video Tutorial on APA documentation style at

Online Grammar at

Avoiding Plagiarism at


Study skills

Study Skills at

Learning Style Questionnaire at

Test Anxiety at


SPSS - This site is sponsored by Central Michigan University and the content is designed by Dr. Carl Lee and Dr. Felix Famoye. Information on SPSS is neatly organized and provides overviews of topics, video clips, and sample data sets. This is an excellent resource for using SPSS in statistical analysis.

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