9 Killer Productivity Tips for Better Results in College

College life can be tough. There’s so many things to juggle – assignments, studying, reviewing notes, and projects.  And then you have your personal life to deal with on top of all of that. It is no wonder that many students suffer from burn out and that can affect your grades. Being productive at whatever the task is at hand is absolutely essential to being successful at college.

If you want to stay sane, check out some of these productivity tips and hacks that can prevent you from burning the candle at both ends:

1. Be Committed to Excelling

Each day you are faced with choices – study or go out with your friends? Sleep in or make it to class on time.  If you are committed to being excellent, you will have the answers to your choices.

2. Start Monday with a Plan

There’s no quicker way to being unproductive than by starting the week off badly.  Make sure that every Monday starts with a plan.  Try to lay out your plan before you go out and relax on Friday night because if you don’t do it then you are likely to put it off all weekend and then Monday will come and you won’t know what you need to do or when you need to do it.  If you have a solid plan for Monday morning you’ll know exactly when that quiz or test is schedule, when you are going to study for it, what assignments have to be completed, and what  you need to read to be prepared for class each day.

3. Get Some Exercise

I know, who has time to exercise with the amount of things you have on your plate?  Exercise doesn’t have to mean a two hour workout at the gym though. Find simple ways that you can integrate exercise in your life.  It will help you be more productive and it improve cognitive functioning.

A few simple ways to get more exercise:
  • Park in the furthest parking space from the door.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Walk around the block while reciting vocabulary terms.
  • Skip the television shows and go for a walk with a friend.

4. Get Detailed

What does your schedule look like?  Is it loose or do you use lots of details.  Instead of just having a list of things you have to do each day, plan out your day in hour or half hour increments.  If you know that you only have an hour to read your textbook for the next day’s lecture, you’ll be more focused.  Schedule the time that you need for school and for your personal life and give yourself the time you actually need for each task.  Focus on that task alone. Schedule breaks and family time and fun time, too.

5. What Distracts You?

Everyone has certain little things that distract them.  Some of you may find that you need to work and study alone because it is too tempting to get into conversation that is not related to what you are doing.  Some people get distracted by television, the Internet, or their phone.  Remove whatever it is that is preventing you from getting your work done.  If the Internet distracts you use a tool like the Stay Focused extension for Chrome.  It prevents you from visiting certain sites or the entire Internet for periods of time.  If your phone distracts you, turn it off or put it in another room while you’re working.

6. Start Your Day Earlier

The end of the day is usually the least productive for most people. We sit around and accomplish very little.  If you can, go to bed earlier and get up earlier.  Most people are more productive in the morning (even if they don’t like being up early).  Family members are likely still sleeping and your friends certainly aren’t up yet so they won’t distract you.  Your mind is fresh and will retain more information.

Even the most hardcore night owl can change their habits and become an early riser!

7. Get Enough Sleep

No matter how hard you work, you will never be as productive as the student that gets a solid 7-9 hours of sleep each night.  Make sure you get to bed at a decent hour.  Sleep in a dark room and turn the television off.  Put your phone away or turn off the ringer at the very least.  Sleep will help stay more focused and get more work done in less time.

8. Eat Right

If your tummy is grumbling you won't be able to focus on much else.  Try to start the day with some protein and complex carbs.  Make sure you eat lunch and carry some healthy snacks in your bag.  Both your body and your brain need proper nutrition to function at their best.

9. Ask Questions

There's nothing worse then getting home and settling in to do an assignment and finding out that you don't have all the information that you need.  If your assignment is unclear, take advantage of class time to ask questions of your instructor, instead of checking your phone or your email!  Keep a couple numbers of fellow classmates handy, in case you do get home and find out you are missing something.  If something is unclear, don't hesitate to ask questions!