9 Secret Tips to be Productive this Semester

9 Secret Tips to be Productive this Semester

Balancing school and life can be a challenge for many college students. The time commitments involved with attending classes, completing homework, holding down a job and making time for a social life can feel overwhelming. Have you ever caught yourself saying “If only I had more time”?

Most students complain about having too much work and not enough time, but they spend half their day stalking people on Facebook and reading articles on BuzzFeed. Being productive in college is how you’ll succeed. Not only will your grades see a difference, but also yourself as a whole.

Everyone only has 24 hours in a day, the difference is that productive people use these 24 hours more efficiently. The trouble starts when you begin to blur the line between work and play. The more you can separate your work and your life, the less stress you’ll have, and the more productive you’ll be.

College is hard and nobody is denying that fact. Using some of these tips can help all students.

Find your happy place.
Where you work matters. If you have a private room, it’s fairly easy to shut the door and concentrate on what you’re doing. However, if you have a roommate, or if you share an apartment or live in a busy (and loud) dorm, where the majority of students are taking shots when 2 P.M. rolls around, it might make sense to head to the library where you can get your work done.

Wake up Early.
This is easy to me because I’m naturally an early riser, but to really have a productive day, start by waking up earlier. There is no better feeling than being up when the sun rises with a cup of coffee in my hand, for me at least. Now, I’m not talking 5 am, but before 9am would be ideal. Usually as college students we don’t have the most normal or consistent sleeping schedule. Leave the weekends to sleep in late after long nights out with friends. Trust me, your bed won’t miss you too much.

Make your bed.
When you room is a mess, you are mess. The first step to having a clean room, aka a clear mind, is by making your bed. Coming home to a freshly made bed will ensure that your night will be just as productive as your day. Plus, you can dump all the clutter you have collected throughout the day onto a clean surface after your hectic day.

Eat a healthy breakfast.
Just scramble up some eggs, its really not that hard.

Apps are your friends.
Mobile apps can seriously make or break your productivity. Use scheduling and to-do apps to break down homework tasks tracking with software and coordinate on group projects. You can always use Siri to set up reminders and alerts for the most important items. It’s even possible to use programs that shut down your access to social media networks for a period of time so that you aren’t tempted to surf the web when you should be studying, talk about being productive.

Take breaks.
Having an eventful day can put you into a slump. Instead of going back to your dorm to take a power nap, take a break instead and grab a coffee. Taking a few breaks throughout the day to regroup won’t hurt you. In the long run, rewarding yourself for how hard you’ve been going all day will only benefit you in the end.

Avoid Ambiguity.
Our brains are wired to steer away from ambiguity, so if there’s any ambiguity in your task, the less likely you are going to do it. Always try to be as clear and specific as possible when writing tasks on your to-do lists. “Homework” is not an acceptable task. Using a single word task is a valuable as it not even being written down as a reminder. Instead use reminders like, “Read chapters 4-5 for Econ,” or “Call Dad about health center fee.”

Hardest to Easiest.
Save the easier work for later in your session. Get started with the harder assignment first, while you’re still relatively fresh. Starting off with something easy and something you know you can complete will motivate you to keep going. If you choose the most challenging first, you are more likely to close your computer and hit up the local bar.

Limit Distractions.
Seriously, put your cell phone away. Is the deadline for your research paper more important, or is opening your EX’s snapchat more important? Your email should not be open all day long. Neither should Facebook, or Twitter, or any other social media. Close all unnecessary tabs and keep open only the tabs that you need. Instead of obsessively checking your email and social media accounts every 5 minutes, try setting a few times during the day to check all email/social media.

Now, go get some work done!