4 Steps to Building Your Productivity

Procrastination shows no mercy towards its victims. As much as buying brightly colored planners and fine-tip pens can make you feel productive, actually completing your work in a timely manner is a whole new beast. No one is shy to the experience of completing an assignment mere minutes before the midnight deadline, or the surge of utter panic after forgetting to print an essay that’s due in class. While productivity may seem entirely dependent on academic habits, it starts with a change of mind and lifestyle. The following tips may help in culminating the punctual rockstar you dream of being: 

1. Find your quiet place. 

Let’s face it. Your desk is just too beautifully organized (or a makeup-trashed mess) to effectively study your heart out. Home base simply has too many distractions, especially if you share your space. You’ll fall in love with the look of your bed, especially when the late hours approach. A “30 minute nap” really turns into 2 hours wasted surfing the Instagram explore page in your pajamas. Friends might seem like great study partners, but alone time can also be beneficial. Moving your body to a new environment requires you to get in the right headspace, which can help you focus on the task at hand. There is a lot of power in getting ready for the day and settling in a study room on campus, or even a high-top table outside your next classroom. While work can still be done in your room, try finding your new study sanctuary on campus. 

2. Read for leisure. 

This may seem counterintuitive. Reading takes away time you could be spending reading the textbook or doing your homework, right? Once you find a hobby you enjoy, you’ll make time for it. Reading is one of the most underrated hobbies of adult life. Unfortunately, this habit can also be a lot easier said than done (Read: all the novels I have bought and have yet to open). If I had spent half my time freshman year reading instead of scrolling through Twitter before bed, I would have quite a few more books under my belt. Finding a habit like this can help you manage your time, so you can take charge of your day instead of letting the days slip by you. Not only is this just a great soul-food activity, but it improves your ability to focus and expands your vocabulary (with an added bonus of making you sound smarter). This opens the door for more positive habits that may flow into your academic performance. 


3. Wake up at the same time. 

I’m going to give it to you straight: this one is hard, but only at first. Your body naturally wants to wake up around the same time each day. If you sleep in until noon on the weekends after partying it up in the Thunderground all night, good luck making it on time for your 8 AM on Monday morning. While this habit does have an adjustment period, the results are more than remarkable. Work with your brain, not against it, by setting your alarm for the same time every weekday. Give yourself time to sleep in on the weekends but try to keep it within a two hour window of your usual wake time. You’ll start waking up refreshed every morning and ready to tackle the day. You might even have time to make yourself a breakfast that isn’t a granola bar! 

4. Volunteer. 

Because you don’t already have enough to do every week, right? Community service is another one of those soul-serving habits that are often neglected. The beauty of this type of work is that it doesn’t need to be a steady commitment. Spending a couple hours at Feed My Starving Children or packing boxes at St. Mary’s Food Bank can make all the difference in both the organization’s goals and in your personal development. These genuinely compassionate works can help you improve self-confidence and evolve into a fun excursion with friends. This might even make an interesting date idea, especially if you’re ballin’ on a budget. Whatever the motivation for volunteering, this is another habit that allows you to improve on your ability to put forth your full effort. Starting a weekend with a morning of volunteering can motivate you to continue studying and accomplish your tasks.  

Productivity is just one aspect of improving both your success in school and personal sense of accomplishment. Maintaining a healthy balance between fun and work is important for every college girl, especially when stressors seem to be piling up. Now go transform into the productive queen that’s dying to come out (but only if you want to).