It’s so great to be a college student, isn’t it? You get to meet so many people and do so many things. It will be the adventure of a lifetime. Looking on the other side of things, you’re facing challenges as well. You’re dealing with expectations every single day.
Will I make it through exam week?
Will I do well in all courses?
Can I manage to write all my term papers? Will the professors like them?
The struggle is real. Believe it or not, all other students are dealing with the same pressure. You know those crazy successful students who seem to accomplish everything on time and still find space for socializing? Yeah, they face the pressure, too. However, they learned how to be more productive within the time they have. You have the very same potential. You just need to unlock it.
In this post, I’ll give you few simple steps that will turn you into a more productive student. If you follow them, you’ll realize there’s enough time for everything!
1. Get a Nice Desk and Chair
When you’re ready to study, you should sit comfortably, with your back straight. You need a well-organized desk, so you’ll stay focused. The library is an option. Your bed is not.
But, you can’t always get to the library, right? Sometimes you stay up late at night working on papers and going through your notes. That’s why it’s important to get a nice, spacious desk and a comfortable chair. If there’s not enough space in your room for a bigger desk, the least you could do is get that chair. Yes, a chair can and will make you more productive. Sitting straight is important because that posture instantly puts you in working mode.
2. Set Some Order
Your living and studying space must be clear of all clutter. You don’t need all those books, candles, cosmetic items, decorations and what not. Get rid of all unnecessary things that surround you. The mess is making you unfocused. The items are distracting your attention from studying. You’ll be surprised what a difference a clean and organized room makes for your focus.
3. Keep a Schedule
Get a to-do app, will you? Google Calendar is great, but you can also go for Todoist. The important thing is to put all classes, exam dates, and assignment deadlines in there. You’ll notice there’s a lot of time left. That doesn’t mean you should use all of it for leisure. Think about how you’ll distribute the effort throughout your days, so you’ll get ready for the exams and prepare the assignments by their due dates. When you’re well-organized, you’ll still have time for fun.
4. Get Informed!
Have you noticed that the most successful students always have questions to ask?
How long should the essay be? How many references are too few and how many are too many? Is it okay to use this particular resource? How much will this project affect the grade?
Whenever a professor gives an assignment, successful students are the ones asking questions. That’s because they are gathering precise information for everything they need to do. They need to identify the priority of all tasks, so they can fit them properly in their schedule.
Never be afraid to ask what you need to ask! Keep taking notes of the most important explanations and guidelines you get during the lectures. If anything is unclear, just ask.
5. Recognize the Problem!
When you’re not productive enough with a particular task, an underlying problem is stopping you from achieving your full potential. You can’t complete all essays on time? That means you have to work on your academic writing skills a bit more. If you can’t seem to focus during lectures, it means that you probably need more sleep.
Acknowledge your problems. Identify the reasons that cause them. Then, work on the causes and you’ll fix the productivity issues.
6. Stop Waiting for the Perfect Conditions to Start Doing Something
It’s too late to start writing this paper now. I’ll do it tomorrow.
I’m too tired to study.
I have to go to this party. It’s important. I’ll just study more tomorrow.
Look, the circumstances are never gonna be perfect. You can’t wait for the perfect conditions to start writing or studying. You’ll never be relaxed enough, focused enough, and inspired enough to do the work. You have to keep forcing yourself all the time. Look at the schedule. Stay true to it!
7. Write Down Your Big Goals
Why did you go to college or university? You must have great plans for your future. Write down your biggest goals. Passing all courses, graduating, succeeding at whatever future you’ve envisioned for yourself. Put that list where you can see it and revisit it every morning for 5 minutes.
Goals give you focus! When you know good things are coming at you when you try, it won’t be hard to go through a day of long lectures, hard studying, and assignment writing. You’re doing it with a purpose in mind.
8. Learn How to Manage Stress
You can’t really avoid stress. It’s everywhere around! That’s the first thing you need to understand. Look at all those students around you. They also have to study. They have similar goals and equal time constraints. Most of them have financial issues.
Stress is inevitable. You can, however, learn how to manage it. Is there a yoga class on campus or anywhere near? If you can find such an opportunity, you mustn’t miss it. The slow, controlled movements and guided meditations will help you analyze stress and become more resistant to it.
How is stress linked to productivity? Well, when you’re stressed out, you can’t stay focused and calm. Focus and inner piece are exactly what drives productivity!
9. Eliminate All Distractions
Snooze the phone when you’re studying. Whoever needs you, they can find you later. You don’t need to check your email, and you have no business on social media while studying.
Is it hard for you to stay away from distracting websites when you’re working on the computer? Install browser extensions such as StayFocusd and Strict Workflow (for Google Chrome), or Leechblock (for Mozilla Firefox). They will prevent you from accessing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bored Panda, and all other websites you label as distracting.
10. Pause the TV Shows!
Yes, I know everyone is watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 13 Reasons Why, and The Big Bang Theory. If you watch all shows you’re interested in, you’ll be wasting a lot of time. Use that time for sleep, exercise, or studying!
It takes a lot of character to stop watching your favorite TV shows. However, the gains will be immense. Plus, you’re not giving up on it completely. You’ll watch all you’re missing over the summer break. You know how cool it is to binge watch an entire season of Game of Thrones, right? Well, you’ll be saving yourself for that pleasure. Don’t forget to remind your friends to save you from spoilers, okay?
Productivity is not something you’re born with. How productive are babies, anyway? This is a skill you develop through life. College is the perfect time for getting serious about it. The 10 steps above will lead you to your ultimately productive mode. Just make sure to follow them all!
Lorene Glover is a part-time writer and full-time entrepreneur. She’s never afraid to work more, read more, and do more. Her mission is to help people reach their potential. A respected executive figure in the human resources field, Lorene Glover has a long track record of sharing inspired and useful productivity tips and tricks. Students the world over have benefitted from her efficient tips, helping them to achieve a sensible life balance.Want to work with Lauren? Just head here! Outside of work, Lorene is the proud mother of two toddlers.
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