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8 Productivity Tips for Students Who Need to Get More Done

Need to get more done at school? With these productivity tips, you can be more efficient, more successful, and happier at school

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By Scott Winstead

productivity tips for students

Being a student is hard work. You have a ton on your plate between going to class, doing homework, taking part in extracurricular activities, and having a social life. It’s no wonder a report from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America found 80% of students feel overwhelmed and stressed out and like they’re spinning their wheels. We all know the feeling of putting in tons of work but feeling like we’re not getting anywhere.

In today’s post, I want to share some of the most effective productivity tips for students that I’ve learned over my many years in the field of education.

The thing is being productive is a learned skill. You can have all the best intentions and put in hours upon hours of study time, but if you don’t know how to manage your time and energy, you’re going to struggle.

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As someone who’s worked in and around education for about two decades now, I’ve found there are specific things you can do to increase your productivity and get better grades while still maintaining a healthy balance in your life. With a dash of strategy, a sprinkle of organization, and a whole lot of determination, you can whip your study routine into shape and make time for all the adventures college life throws your way.

Here are 8 productivity tips students can use to get ahead:

1. Get organized

The first step to being productive is getting organized.

A well-organized schedule can help you plan ahead and make the most of your time, ensuring that you have enough time for all of your commitments. From your morning school routine to your after-school to-do list, it’s important to have everything planned out as best as possible.

This can help you squeeze more productive hours out of your day without feeling overwhelmed.

In addition, getting organized can help reduce stress levels and improve your focus. When you know what needs to be done and when it needs to be done, you can avoid wasting time and energy on unnecessary tasks.

As a result, taking the time to get organized is an important first step to boosting productivity as a student.

And don’t forget to schedule some time for fun!

2. Set priorities

As a student, you are constantly bombarded with tasks, both big and small. Some of these tasks are more important than others, and knowing how to identify your priorities is key to boosting your productivity.

To do this, you need to ask yourself a few questions when making your to-do list.

First, what is the deadline for this task? If it is due soon, it is likely a priority.

Second, what are the consequences of not completing this task? If the consequences are serious, then again, the task is likely a priority.

Finally, how difficult is the task? If it is quick and easy to complete, it may not be worth your time to focus on it when you have other more pressing tasks to complete. Often, it makes sense to prioritize the hardest tasks.

By asking yourself these questions, you will be better equipped to identify your priorities and boost your productivity as a student.

3. Break tasks into smaller pieces

Big projects can seem daunting, but they’re a lot easier to manage if you break them down into smaller tasks.

For example, if you’re writing a paper, start by doing some research, then outlining your paper, and finally writing the draft.

The truth is that breaking down a big task into smaller steps can help you be more productive and actually get the project done faster.

Here are a few tips for breaking down big tasks into smaller quick and easy tasks:

  • Focus on one small task at a time. Don’t try to do too much at once or you’ll just feel overwhelmed.
  • Create a timeline for each small task. This will help you keep track of your progress and ensure that you’re staying on schedule.
  • Make sure each small task is simple and achievable. If a task is too complex or daunting, it will only discourage you from completing it.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to break down any big task into smaller, more manageable pieces. As you complete tasks along the way, you’ll feel more motivated to keep moving forward to reaching your goal.

So don’t be discouraged by a large project—just take it one step at a time and you’ll be able to get it done in no time.

4. Schedule breaks

A lot of students mistakenly believe that productivity is all about working as hard as you can for as long as you can.

But over the years I’ve discovered that taking breaks is actually essential for boosting productivity.

At a certain point, working too hard becomes a productivity killer because you’re just too tired to focus.

By scheduling breaks, you can avoid this problem and actually get more done in the long run.

Taking breaks is essential for maintaining your mental health and well-being, and it can go a long way to making you a more productive student.

In addition, scheduling breaks can help you to break up your work into manageable chunks, which can make it feel less daunting.

I recommend setting a timer for every 50 minutes or so and taking a 5-minute break when it goes off.

5. Stick to the plan

We’ve talked a lot to this point about getting organized and creating plans for studying and getting key tasks done. Now, it’s important to reiterate that once you have a good plan in place, it is essential that you stick to it.

The best plans are useless if you don’t actually adhere to them.

It can be tempting to veer off course or take shortcuts, but if you want to boost your productivity as a student, it is essential that you stick to your plan.

The best way to do this is to establish specific goals for each study session and then hold yourself accountable to meeting those goals. I highly recommend checking out our guide to SMART Goals for Students for some good guidance on proper goal-setting.

6. Find a study buddy (or two)

One of the best ways to improve your productivity as a student is to find a study buddy. Having someone to study with can help you stay on track and focused, and it can also be a lot more fun than studying alone.

A study buddy can be someone you know from class, or even someone you meet online.

The important thing is that you have someone to help keep you accountable and motivated.

When you have a study buddy, you can rely on each other for support and encouragement. If you’re struggling to understand a concept, your study buddy can help explain it to you.

And if you’re feeling like procrastinating, your buddy can help you get back on track.

Having someone to study with makes the whole process more enjoyable and helps you get better results.

The one key here though is to make sure you choose a study buddy that will actually help you improve your productivity.

Don’t choose someone who is always distracted or trying to do other things while you’re studying.

Instead, look for someone who is reliable and willing to help you stay focused.

7. Take advantage of your resources

As a student, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all of the assignments and deadlines you have to juggle. And when things start to pile up, it can be tempting to just try to power through on your own.

But there are a lot of resources available at most schools that can help make the process a little easier.

Tutoring services can help you if you’re struggling with a particular subject.

Writing centers can give you feedback on papers.

Libraries are great places to do research.

And most schools have a counselor who can help you manage stress and anxiety.

There are a lot of people and places that can help you be more productive as a student, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help when you need it.

With a little help, you can achieve peak productivity this way.

8. Get plenty of sleep

This one might seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating: getting enough sleep is crucial for maintaining focus and concentration during the day.

As a student, there are few things more important than getting enough sleep.

Not only does sleep help to improve focus and concentration, but it also helps to boost energy levels and memory recall.

In fact, studies have shown that students who get a good night’s sleep are more likely to get better grades than those who don’t.

Furthermore, sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. This is particularly important during exam time, when students are under a lot of stress and therefore more susceptible to illness.

So if you want to stay healthy and perform well at school, be sure to get plenty of rest.

Final Thoughts on Productivity Tips for Students

Being a student is tough, but there are lots of things you can do to maintain your productivity and overall happiness throughout the semester.

Getting organized, setting priorities, breaking tasks into smaller pieces, utilizing technology, scheduling breaks, finding study buddies, taking advantage of resources at school…these are all great ways to maintain focus during the semester and get good grades!

Want to learn even more about maximizing productivity and achieving better time management? I highly recommend checking out the excellent online time management class “Time Management for Boosting Productivity”. It’s loaded with practical tips and actionable advice to help college students and anybody else be more effective at project management and time management. I’ve taken the class myself and it’s changed the way I work.

What are some other productivity tips for students that you live by? Let us know in the comments below!

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