It's easy to feel overwhelmed in college. Heavy course loads, busy social lives, and hectic work schedules can add up—making it hard to get everything done.
Everyone is different, but these tips might help you increase your productivity as a student—and, as every student knows, extra time means extra sleep!
Use a Planner
Keeping track of important dates and deadlines is one of the most helpful things you can do for yourself as a student. Writing down upcoming assignments, exams, and appointments can save you time. If your professor gives you a syllabus with a schedule of the entire quarter, take ten minutes to copy any deadlines or important dates into your planner. Even if some of the dates change, you’ll be aware of them—which means fewer “surprise” assignments.
Take Regular Study Breaks
It’s tempting to keep working on an assignment until you finish it, but study breaks will help you be more productive. Setting a study schedule—let’s say a fifteen minute break for every forty-five minutes you study—can help you stay on track. Your brain is amazing, but it deserves a break. Plus, taking regular study breaks gives you a chance to check your phone, so you can turn it off while you work.
Though it may seem like multitasking will allow you to do more at once, avoid multitasking while studying and doing homework. If you’re reading while you cook dinner or watch Netflix, you’re not really digesting the material. You might have to do the work again, or do poorly on an assignment or exam. If you focus on the task at hand, you eliminate the potential for redoing the work. It’s just easier.
Get Enough Sleep
Seriously. It might sound laughable (college students, getting sleep?), but it will make such a difference. If you get enough sleep, you’ll feel ready to take on the day and get things done faster.
Staying active—even for thirty minutes a day—can be so beneficial to your health. If you're exercising your body, it'll help when you exercise your brain.
Have a Designated Study Space
One of the best things you can do for yourself as a student is have a designated place to study. It doesn't have to be a desk, but it should be somewhere that you can consider solely a spot to study. If you have one place dedicated to schoolwork, you might rid yourself of distractions throughout the day.
Manage Your Time Wisely
I know, I know. "But I do manage my time!"
Time management is more than just taking the time to study or do homework. How you use that time is just as important. Making a schedule to keep yourself on track throughout the day is better than a to-do list, because it's easy to spend too much time on the first few items of your list. A schedule shows you how much time each activity should take, making it easy to stay on track.
Eat Healthy Foods
This one is kind of a no-brainer. If you eat healthy food and drink lots of water, you'll feel better—both physically and mentally. If you feel miserable after eating a bunch of junk food, you won't be too productive. Taking care of yourself is the easiest way to be more productive in college.
Join a Club or Volunteer
Making time for your personal interests outside of school and work can actually help you be more productive. Joining a club or volunteering somewhere will give you time to focus on something just for you, making it easier to focus on assignments and exams when you have to.
Have a Chore Day
It can be so easy to procrastinate when you have other things to do—you can justify not studying by doing laundry or grocery shopping. If your schedule permits it, pick one day to get all of your chores done. Then, when it comes time to do your homework, you won't have any excuses! It also saves time by creating a routine that you'll (eventually) become used to, and bust out in no time.
Make your life easier—if you can increase your productivity in college, you'll be able to enjoy the college experience that much more!
Or, at least, you'll get an extra hour of sleep a night.