It's the time of year where school is approaching more quickly than we thought. Sadly, summer has flashed in front of our eyes, and it's time to go back to the routine. Although, it is exciting to return back to school—except for when it comes to schoolwork. Here are a few tips on how to stay productive and bolster your work ethic for the upcoming school year.

1. Change your mindset

Frequently, productivity can be squandered by a negative mindset. It's important to go into a full to-do list with an "I can accomplish this" mentality. If you look down upon that list or think about how exhausting the list seems, you won't find the energy to power through.

Additionally, I think we have all experienced a to-do list that seems to exceed any expectation of finishing. If this is the case, it's important that you give yourself some grace and remember that you are only human—you don't have to finish the whole list.

2. Time blocking

Time blocking is an extremely efficient way of completing tasks. Instead of focusing on a never-ending to-do list that ultimately distracts you, break those projects into sections and complete them one at a time. By doing projects one at a time and taking breaks in between, you allow yourself to focus deeply on completing the task at hand instead of looking at a packed list.

3. Clean, clean, clean

Having a clean workspace is an important factor in creating great work time. Imagine working in a dirty area: you will most likely be distracted by the fact that there are loose pens and pencils all over your desk. A clear work area leads to a clear mind.

4. Get comfy

Nobody said that you needed to work through the Sunday scaries in jeans. If working in your pajamas makes you most comfortable, wear them to the library. If you prefer a quieter, more personal spot to work, then work from your room. It's important that you ensure that you're comfortable because it's one more factor you won't have to worry about.

5. Work for yourself, not for anyone else

Now, when you're getting assignments done or within the workplace, you have someone to answer to and someone to work for. But when you're tackling your assignments in your own space, it's important to remember that you're meeting your own expectations. Often times, I find myself in a rut trying to accomplish my tasks based off of how my peers are performing. Just as often I feel the pressure of society to be successful at all times. However, it's important to remember that we're human beings, and sometimes our best is all we can do.

With the school year coming back, don't get burned out too quickly. Don't find yourself at midterms week first semester exhausted from studying so hard and working inefficiently. Focus on what works for you and how you can improve your productivity. We live in a society that focuses on end-goals and how beautiful they look, but nobody will give you grace during the grunt work. Remember that you can succeed, and you will.