It’s your last year in college and probably the busiest to date with all the school requirements to catch up, while looking for paid internships and making the most of your final year.
To help you power through the hectic days and keep your eyes on the prize, check out these practical productivity tips for a student like you.
1. Set a Timetable / Develop Your Own Productivity Routine
For any student who has a myriad of things to do daily, scheduling and prioritisation skills are indispensable. One has to dedicate time and energy to job-hunting activities, such as preparing resumes, attending job fairs, and appearing in job interviews.
Developing and cultivating habits that maximise your time and being flexible is the goal. Moreso, having a routine helps you find your footing during unprecedented times when you still need to be productive at work and school.
2. Tackle the Hardest Tasks First to Prevent Procrastination
Dreading a particular task only delays it further and increases the to-do pile. Because you can’t avoid that tedious report forever, get on with it as soon as you are able. The sooner you start working, the sooner you can get it over with.
How you perceive a task’s level of difficulty can affect your interest, or lack of, in doing it. This tendency to procrastinate may also have to do with perceived self-control or moods and feelings at the moment. It’s helpful to look into these matters when creating appropriate strategies involving difficult tasks.
3. Take Regular Breaks
It’s amazing how ideas would come to you, like a catchy title for an essay, when you are in the bathroom and hardly thinking about anything. Stretching, walking, solving the day’s Wordle, or snacking can re-energise your about-to-be-fried brain.
Taking breaks helps sustain your energy and focus for as long as they are well-spaced and not intended to disrupt your rhythm. Rest your head and hands for a bit in the middle of a task or before jumping into the next one in your queue.
4. Break Goals into Smaller Achievable Tasks
This strategy works well when dealing with complex projects like those involving research and back-and-forth. They have to be broken down into steps or milestones that are achievable at a given time.
When you dissect goals, they appear less overwhelming and more doable. If your goal is to email 10 job applications a week to land a graduate role, aim to send one or two a day. For your plan to submit all book reports in three days, start with the most difficult and so on.
5. Plan Your Day in the Evening
Before you turn in for the night, review the day’s progress. Whether there are items that need to be done first thing tomorrow or could be put off until the day after tomorrow, keep tabs and make concrete plans.
Also, put everything in writing or at least in an app that allows you for updating, organisation, and tracking. Just knowing what you’ll be dealing with and being able to see them all in one glance would hopefully lessen cramming and free up time for some recreation.
6. Use Tech Tools to Stay Organised
Thankfully, technology helps maximise productivity by automating tasks and keeping you on track. Consider these tools for a more organised day:
- Digital planner: Go paperless in plotting your everyday schedule and more.
- Note-taking app: Use it for handwriting to text recognition or for taking notes digitally.
- Cloud storage: Save and back up all your files.
- Project management: Stay on top of your thesis and more with customisable, virtual boards.
7. Complete the Task Before Switching to the Next One
Multitasking uses up more resources as your brain tries to remember the finer details of each project. Also, it takes time to be in the zone for a task, and if you switch to another abruptly, you could lose your momentum.
If you hit a snag in your creative writing assignment, try to pause or maybe proceed to the next item on your to-do list. Otherwise, try to keep at it until you are done. That’s one item off your list and a lighter workload for you.
8. Find Your Most Productive Hours
Your ability to get work done is built on your daily habits. For example, your day officially starts in the afternoon because of classes and that you work on your assignments at night. Or you find the early morning hours the best time to write essays and reports.
Let your productivity peaks and dips be your guide in determining the best time to do tasks. You’d be able to utilise your energies effectively without further shortening your time for other activities.
9. Tune out Distractions
By now you have picked a favourite place for studying and working. But no matter how perfect the location is, distractions still exist. So in addition to the tips provided here, check out the following when something else grabs your attention:
How to Deal with Distractions
- Set time for checking emails and messages.
- Turn off push notifications (can be done permanently).
- Invest in noise-cancelling headphones.
- Be clear about objectives and goals when studying in a group.
- Think of deadlines as motivation.
- Prepare a big reward for all your hard work.
Between school and real-life responsibilities, there seems to be no time for rest for a college student. It’s all the more reason to get a good night’s sleep because you’ll need it to face the next-day tasks with focus, clarity, and vigour.
Productivity is a premium in the workplace, with incentives, wages and potential increases, and promotion tied to it. But you are not really without experience because time management, resourcefulness, communication, and creativity, among other skills mastered as a student could be put into good use when you start working. Also, you have these tips to make your day easier to manage.