10 ways to be more productive as a student

Being a student comes with its own set of challenges and hurdles that one must climb every day in order to succeed. There is a constant juggling act of time management, forgoing distraction, managing expectations, and accomplishing tasks.

All of this can mount up rather quickly and result in turning students into giant ticking time bombs of stress. Have you ever walked around a college campus or highschool during finals week? The stress tension can be cut with a knife!

Generally students achieve success in their education by maximizing productivity. However, the most common misconception about productivity is that it is all in the end results.

How much work you do equals how productive you are, right? Well… Not always. In many cases maximizing productivity simply means maximizing efficiency.

For students, maximizing how efficient they are in their day to day lives, can drastically increase their productivity and in turn create a better result in their work. However, maximizing efficiency can be a momentous task in and of itself.

Let’s talk about 10 ways that students can maximize their productivity, through maximizing efficiency.

10) Schedule Leisure Time.

There is an old saying that says ‘all fun and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. Being a student doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice fun, and leisure. You absolutely can enjoy your hobbies, video games, books, movies, friends etc,. However, when it comes to maximizing productivity, it’s important to not let leisure time turn into procrastination.

Find out how much time per day/week that you are comfortable spending away from studying, and schedule that into your time. If it is an hour a day, give yourself an hour a day; if it is more, give it to yourself. Fun and leisure is essential to happiness, and should be enjoyed. Just make sure that it doesn’t overrun your productivity.

9) Stick To A Schedule.

This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. Creating a daily schedule might seem tedious, but it is a great way to maximize your efficiency daily, and it is a great skill to have for the future.

Creating a schedule will allow you to identify where your ‘lost’ time is going, much like checking your bank statements. Once you figure out where the time is going, you can learn how to best allocate it.

Find the best times that work for you with eating, exercise, studying, leisure, school, work, ect,. Once you have it all mapped out, stick to it! The weekends are for chilling, the week days are for sticking to the program.

8) Limit Social Media.

Social media has become a blessing and a curse on society. In some ways it can help us connect and network with our peers and friends far easier. In other ways, it can hold us back from being as productive as we should be. Managing your social media time is a balance that should be dealt with carefully.

Recent studies on the use of social media indicate that the average user spends 2 ½ hours per day on social media. That is a massive chunk of time that could be spent being productive. Let’s be honest, most of the time our daily feeds are filled with the same old stuff. It’s not really necessary to spend hours on hours scrolling with no purpose.

Cut back on social media, and see how much free time and headspace you clear up!

7) Set Achievable Goals.

Nothing is more detrimental to productivity than the feeling of failure. By constantly setting yourself up for failure, you are subconsciously telling yourself that it isn’t worth it to even try. This can stop your productivity in its tracks.  That is why setting achievable study and work goals is essential.

Instead of saying that you will write your entire paper in one night, maybe try to break it up into smaller segments over several nights. Instead of trying to fit all of your work into a few hours, maybe allocate a different time per day for different projects.

Setting achievable goals will not only help to encourage the feeling of small daily ‘wins’, it will also increase efficiency by reducing the amount of impossible goals you put yourself towards every day.

Know your limits, and try to work within them. Try to stretch those limits in small incremental amounts rather than all at once.

6) Get Some Sleep!

Studies conducted by the Sleep Foundation show that adequate sleep is one of the most important factors in promoting productivity.

While it may seem logical to pull late night cram sessions, it can actually be a huge detriment to your success. Lack of sleep can cause lack of focus, impaired judgement, irritability, forgetfulness and more! By contrast, those who are well rested tend to be more creative, alert, and ‘present’ in their daily activities.

So, the next time you are cramming hard for a test, or staying up all night to write a paper, remember the importance of sleep. A well rested student is a more mentally sharp student. You can drastically improve your efficiency and productivity by getting a full night’s sleep.

5) Put Yourself In A Good Environment.

Studying or working on your school work from the comfort of your own room might sound like a great idea, but that isn’t always the case. When we are too ‘comfortable’ it can become easy to get distracted by the TV, cellphone, relaxing, etc,.

When we are in an environment we are comfortable in, we tend to procrastinate and take our sweet time. In contrast, studying in public places that are too crowded or noisy can become equally as distracting and detrimental.

Find a place that promotes creative thinking and productivity within your brain. The library is a great choice as it is quiet, educational, and filled with other students and professionals who are all there for the same thing; to be productive. Surrounding yourself with a serene yet productive environment can go a long way towards promoting productivity and efficiency.

4) Find Accountability Partners.

Just like finding a good gym partner who ensures that you hit the weights daily, a study partner can perform the same task. When we surround ourselves with people who inspire us and help us stay ‘on-track’, it can have a huge impact on productivity and daily goal setting.

A great study partner will have similar goals as yourself, and will help ensure that you are not procrastinating, or even overworking yourself.

By having a quality study partner, or study group, you promote a social circle that encourages productivity and daily efficiency. You can learn how they manage their time and daily goals, and in turn help maximize your own. A study accountability partner is a great idea for any student who wants to get the most out of their day or week.

3) Take Plenty Of Breaks!

This might seem counterintuitive, but hear me out. A study conducted in 2014 by the social networking company Draugiem Group showed that the perfect formula for productivity is actually not what you’d think. In fact, it was taking a 17 minute break for every 52 minutes of work.

This is because the carefully timed cycle allows the brain to focus on 52 minutes of intense work, followed by 17 minutes of rejuvenation. The rejuvenation period prepares the brain to ‘reset’ and get ready for the next intense working period.

While it isn’t strictly required to adhere to this regimen of ‘52-17’, the idea remains the same. Give yourself and your mind plenty of chances to relax and unwind between tasks. This will help to clear your thoughts and decompress before you tackle the next project. Work smarter, not harder.

2) Track Your Progress.

Many people love to keep something known as a ‘checklist’ for their day. The concept of a checklist isn’t new, but the implementation has recently found it’s way into corporate and educational environments around the world.

Creating a checklist to track what tasks that you have completed that day is a two fold productivity tool. 1) it helps to ensure that you have a clear understanding of what has and has not been done yet. 2) it gives you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as you ‘tick’ off each completed item.

This is sort of the backend process of the ‘setting achievable goals’ mindset. This is ensuring that you track those goals as they are achieved lest you accidently do them twice, or forget that they have been done. Also…. It’s fun to check things off.

1) Transcribe Your Notes/Lectures.

Note taking can take up a significant amount of your concentration and focus during lectures and classes. In addition, it can also eat up time that could be spent doing better things.

That is why utilizing transcription software in the classroom is a great idea. Many transcription apps and services allow you to record lectures or classes on your phone in real-time. You can then have these transcribed into text files for reference later.

Using transcription software in the classroom is a great way to increase efficiency and focus, while also having your notes taken care of for you. Transcription in the classroom is just one way that technology makes the lives of students easier, and can help make you more efficient and productive throughout your day.

– Final Thoughts.

Increasing efficiency and maximizing productivity has been the ultimate goal of students for as long as humans have been studying. Every day we try to learn new tips and tricks to help get the most out of our days, and keep up on our mounting piles of work. By sticking to a strict regimen, placing yourself in a good environment, and using a bit of modern technology, you too can get far more bang for your buck out of your day.