Productivity is something that most students struggle with. How many times have you headed to the library ready to get some studying done only to get distracted by a friend? If you experience this a lot then you should consider following these productivity tips to make the best out of your study sessions and help you become a true achiever.
Getting into the right mood to get your studies done, needs the right environment. When picking a place to read, go for a place that will ensure that you’re physically comfortable. Go for good furniture. If you will be studying in your bedroom most of the time, ensure that you have a desk and a comfortable chair. This will make it easy to concentrate on your studies, and also keep your back protected from injury.
Working from a messy desk will only distract you. The more mess you have around you, the more stressed you will feel and you won’t get any work done. So if you want your studying time to bear any fruit you have to clear your learning table and rid it off anything that does not relate to your studying process before you get started. Once your environment is organized, you will be able to order your thoughts and get a lot done.
The nature of your environment will highly determine how productive your studying sessions will be. It’s going to be hard to get any school work done if your roommate is having a party or if you’re home and your family keeps budging in and out of your room. If you get distracted easily by your surroundings, studying at a park may not be your best bet.
While your room is always the first place to think of when you want to get some work done, especially if you’re taking a distance learning course and you don’t attend a physical college, it’s not always the best environment. Find somewhere that’s quiet and free of any distractions for the period that you will be studying.
It may be tempting to get everything done all at once. This, in most cases, fails badly. You end up doing nothing most of the time. Instead, try and set small goals that you can try to achieve every day. Knowing that smaller tasks are easier to complete will give you the motivation to get into the studying mood. Focus on the most important things that you need to get done first such as an assignment that is almost due then move on to read for an upcoming test.
Keep track of everything you manage to accomplish and have a reward system where you reward yourself for every goal achieved. For instance, you could buy yourself something you’ve been wanting after you manage to finish studying your chemistry notes.
Don’t wait to get into the mood to learn. Instead, train your brain to look forward to studying. You can easily achieve this by setting aside specific periods of time daily to focus exclusively on studying.
You could decide that you will be studying every day in the morning or in the evening for a couple of hours. Or you could have blocks of studying sessions where you read for an hour in the morning, another in the afternoon and another in the evening. How you do it is totally your choice just ensure that you have a routine going on and stick to it.
One of the most important productivity tips is making a schedule. Once you have determined the times you will be studying, the next thing is to decide what you will be studying when. Without a schedule you’ll find yourself studying some subjects more than others. To perform well in college you have to pass all your subjects especially if you’re looking to get an undergraduate scholarship.
This is why it’s a good idea to make a study schedule before you start going through your notes to make sure that every subject is covered. Some subjects may need more work than others so plan accordingly. Having a schedule will also help you to follow through with your studies without much struggle. Having a predictable schedule will help you know what you will be studying when and you don’t have to worry about making time to do it. This will totally increase your productivity.
Sometimes, especially during exam weeks, you will be tempted to get as much information in the most available time. While this may seem like a good idea, the truth is that it works in reverse. The more you try to read for a long time, the less you will understand.
Studying for longer periods does not necessarily mean that you’re doing it effectively. You’re better off studying for one hour only and understand one topic really well than to study for 5 straight hours and get to understand nothing.
Your brain, obviously gets tired after a while. For more productivity take breaks after 20 minutes or maximum 50 minutes. Taking a break is just as important as the studying that you’re doing. Give your brain a break and do something else for about 10-15 minutes. Take a walk or grab a quick bite. Anything but books for the break period. During the break period, your brain will have a chance to absorb what you’ve been reading and you’ll understand it better.
It’s also important to take a break whenever you find yourself zoning out and daydreaming instead of studying. This is an indication of brain exhaustion, so give yourself a few minutes to relax and then get back to your books.
Make your reading sessions more interesting and engaging by studying different topics in one session. This will reduce boredom and increase your concentration. Studying different topics will not only increase your productivity but will also help you learn the best strategy to use when looking for solutions to different problems as you will already be exposed to more than one problem.
It may be boring and outdated even, but studies have shown that you have a higher chance of storing more information when you write something out by hand than when you type it. It’s also advisable to use a pen than a laptop as laptops are more distracting than pens are. Really what much can you do with a pen? How about a laptop? Facebook, computer games, a movie perhaps? The list is endless.
To improve your productivity, recopy your most important notes on a new sheet of paper by hand. Then use these sheets to revise.
Procrastination is the number one killer of productivity. If you want to be more productive in your studies you’ll have to stop procrastinating, hard as it may be. Stop putting off things that should be done immediately.
Don’t convince yourself to do something else when you’re supposed to be studying for the promise that you’ll get back to the books later. Do it when your schedule says you should be even when you don’t want to.
No, seriously it is. Ok, it is when it’s studying time. If you must use your computer or the internet, deactivate your Facebook account for the period that you will be studying to prevent the temptation to have a look what your friends are up to.
If this is too much for you, then try using productivity software on your computer that will prevent you from accessing Facebook while studying. One such tool is Facebook Limiter that blocks your access to Facebook during certain set times. These should obviously be the times you’ve set aside for studying.
Quizzing yourself could possibly be one of the best studying methods. Even scientists agree. It’s also especially effective if you’re preparing for an exam. It can be an intense learning method but it’s also highly effective as it helps jog your memory on things you’ve learnt before. It helps you to practice on things you have studied in the past but might have forgotten.
Yes, this old method still works. Joining a group of friends or classmates to learn together can really increase your productivity. You could have a group session every week and spend time quizzing each other or simply going through a topic that most of you don’t understand well.
The advantage of groups is that people have varied levels of understanding and so you will find someone who understands something you don’t and they will help you figure it out or you could be the one teaching others.
Not literally though. You need a good night’s sleep every night if you want to be productive the next day. It’s pointless to study when you’re exhausted and sleepy. Don’t give up sleep in order to stay up and continue studying. You need some beauty sleep as much as you need to read.
A well rested brain will grasp more and better than a tired one. So try and get at least eight hours’ sleep daily.
Exercise boosts your memory which is great if you want to remember what you studied. It’s recommended that you take exercise briskly for at least 20 minutes every day. This could be running, jogging or simply walking. It’s good cardio that will get you energized and ready for a good day.
Practicing these productivity tips will help you get the most out of your learning and make college a success. Check out more student resources to help you make the best out of your time in college.