Power-House Productivity Strategies for Students

As a student, the primary goal is to get your degree, obviously.

Though because of the energy, curiosity, and passion that comes with the life of a student, there is constantly a whole host of other ‘distractions’ that demand our attention.

Be it society’s, sports clubs or just popular social activities in general, there are always other things in our peripheral.

This can often make it difficult for us to be able to slot everything into our daily routine.

It goes without saying that the academic side of being a student is demanding.

It consumes a large portion of our day.

But what if there was a way to get work done sooner, without compromising on the quality of the final product.

Stick around if you’re looking for ways to work smarter and not harder.

First up, if you’re looking to become more productive then understanding what productivity entails is quite a crucial step in the process.

Simply put, productivity is all about being able to destroy a mountain of work, with zero to minimal disruptions to your work-flow.

Productivity is the name.
Efficiency
is the game.

With that in mind, the first thing to do is to

KNOW YOUR GOLDEN HOUR

Between the night owls and early birds, there are plenty of hours in a day to choose from for when you would like to study.

If you are able to align the times that you like to study with the times that you – personally – are more productive then you have hit the jackpot.

Everyone is different and so right off the bat, find the formula that works for you.

tokyo, new york, and london timezone clocks

CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY

Yes, you want to become determined and deadset on accomplishing your tasks.

There is a saying out there that goes something like:
‘If you give yourself 2 days to complete a task, it will take you 2 days. If you give yourself 2 hours to complete that same task, it will take you 2 hours.’

The fact is that without creating any sense of importance behind the task at hand, you are definitely not going to feel in any way motivated to complete it.

labelled pieces of paper NOT SURE, IN THE FUTURE, IN TIME, NOW, NEXT WEEK, etc
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Now that you’ve set yourself an admin demolishing mindset, the next part talks about

WORK .VS. PLAY

This one is definitely more of a luxury than anything else.

Personally, I function better when I can establish a separate environment for getting my work done.

The bonus here is that – if you are fortunate enough to make use of this opportunity – it can seriously help to subconsciously alert you that you are now in a ‘work environment’.

Having a conducive working environment is crucial to the topic of productivity.

It also allows for you to work towards setting up some office-orientated infrastructure like filing cabinets, bookshelves, desks, etc.

But again, it is a luxury/ privilege above anything else.

modern home-office space with desk and chair, laptop, and decorative pieces

So, you have settled into your working environment, but there’s still one thing left to do before you get going:

SWITCHING NOTIFICATIONS OFF

’’Did he seriously just tell me to switch my phone notifications off!’’

Contrary to popular belief, the world does not simply end when one decides to deactivate their notifications for a period of time.

Besides, if you are going to be hitting the books then chances are good that you won’t ‘’really’’ need your phone, especially for the social media side of things.

The #1 piece of destruction to one’s productivity is falling into the YouTube/ Instagram trap where you go on an aimless adventure for the ‘’10 minute’’ study break that you set for yourself.

And I think that is something we all can relate to – I know I’ve certainly been there before.

Great stuff, we’ve got our to-do lists in order now and we’ve set up our workspace for success, but our to-do list just seems impossible to conquer.

desk workspace with paperwork, laptop and notifcation alerts
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Where do we start?

TEDIOUS TASKS 1st

It is probably always the most difficult part about starting anything – starting.

Not to mention when you have a list of tasks the size of Mt. Everest that makes you feel like you’re going to fall off the face of the earth.

So why start with the little tasks first?

You’re going to need some momentum to get going and that doesn’t just happen. Momentum is a gradual process.

Whilst your list of objectives for the day may seem like a mammoth task, chances are good that you can shave off some of that mammoth’s fur by starting with the clutter on your list.

Related: Simple Time Management Strategies

to do list with three tasks

With the building momentum of cruising through tasks comes the danger of spreading yourself too thin.

KNOW WHEN TO MULTI-TASK

It’s an addicting feeling: juggling 3 different tasks all at once.

To be honest it can make us feel quite unstoppable.

But it’s important to be aware that multi-tasking – although effective at times – might not necessarily be the most efficient.

woman multitasking many things at once, phone call, contracts, calculations, laptop

And so, you start rolling and cruising through your work, but then you hit a roadblock

REWARD YOURSELF

If you can set yourselves some really nice incentives to work towards it can make even the most-dull of tasks a little more entertaining.

Be it a coffee break, going for a walk, watching a movie/ episode on Netflix, chilling with some friends, give yourself something fun to look forward to.

These positive reinforcements will help you to encourage yourself in the future to stay the course when working through some of your bigger items.

reward spelt on pin board with different coloured letters
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Off the back of that last point is the next, and that is to

TAKE BREAKS

I am definitely guilty of this one.

Sitting down at the desk and progressing through content/ assignments is a marathon.

Burn-out is one of the biggest vulnerabilities we face.

Whilst it may feel like your work-flow is being disrupted to begin with, as you move further into your session these breaks will become your lifeline.

relax refresh recharge

If you are on a break then don’t feel shy to

MAKE A CUP OF COFFEE

The caffeine kick from this ‘’black magic’’ – as I like to call it – always comes in handy when I start to hit a wall.

Not only is caffeine a helpful stimulant when it comes to getting through those long study sessions, but it’s also a tasty beverage.

Who doesn’t like coffee!?

Just be aware that caffeine can have adverse effects on your health so don’t go overboard on its consumption.

cappuccino in a mug

If you do find though that you are needing caffeine to wake yourself up then maybe consider trying to get

QUALITY SLEEP

The data is out there.

Having a good night’s rest in the bank for the times that you want to set a new PB for your biggest productivity session is seriously important.

And whilst it might be a bandwagon to jump onto about how little sleep you got last night, it ultimately isn’t going to do you any favors in the long term.

quality of sleep

THAT’S A WRAP

I think we all wish that there was some kind of magic recipe to just make our to-do lists vanish into thin air, but unfortunately, there isn’t.
The goal is to produce quality without over-investing into the quantity of time spent on the completion of tasks.

I WANT TO KNOW FORM YOU:

What’s your secret ingredient to getting work done?