Congratulations to all of you for making it through the first week back! Syllabus week is behind us, and it’s time to get down to business. The homework assignments are already flooding in, groups for projects have been assigned, and the first test is probably just around the corner. You’re probably already starting to ask yourself how you are going to handle all of the demands pulling at you while getting them all done well.
Below are 8 techniques to boosting your productivity this semester: getting that homework done, rocking those group projects, and acing those tests.
Make a list
Put together a list of all that you need to get done today. I like to use post-its since they’re small and I can stick them on my phone and bring it everywhere with me. Write down a few things that might be easier, like making your bed or eating breakfast, as well as all of the necessities, like writing a paper and reading a chapter.
Put your phone away and close all unnecessary tabs on your computer. Decide that you won’t look at social media or text anyone while you are working on the task at hand. This will help you finish it in less total time.
If the item that you are working on will take more than a few minutes it is important to take breaks. Every hour or so take a fifteen minute break. Stand up and stretch, check your phone, or go get some food- take care of whatever distractions have entered your brain while you’ve been working. Once you’ve gotten them out of your system, you’ll be able to return to your work.
Use an app
Apps such as 30/30, Omnifocus, and Forest help you by planning out your time, turning off distractions, and even rewarding you for not looking at your phone for a pre-set amount of time. These can be particularly beneficial if the internet and your phone are your biggest distractions.
Use a reward system
My little sister likes to put an M&M at the end of every page while she is reading for school. I allow myself a short walk outside after I’ve finished one chunk of homework. Whatever it is that will motivate you, incorporate that as a reward throughout your work for the day.
Try to get ahead
If you have a light day without as much work, consider taking some time to work ahead. Don’t feel the need to work weeks in advance, but starting your homework that’s due a few days from now might make the rest of your week easier.
Change the atmosphere
Shockingly enough, the best place to do homework is not your bed. Studies have shown that if you do activities aside from sleeping in your bedroom, it will make a bit harder. Consider doing homework in your residence hall’s lounge or in the library. This can also help eliminate some of the distractions that your room might present.
Surround yourself with good influences
Try working with friends who also have a lot to get done. You can keep each other accountable and also enjoy each other’s presence during breaks. Do be careful about who you work with however, as some friends might be more of a distraction than an encouragement.
Written by: Career Peer Nicky
Tell us what you think: What kind of a reward will you set up to make your homework times more enjoyable?