8 Ways to Reach Peak Productivity

We all know that after the first few weeks of class, the work begins to pile on. It’s not the beginning of the school year anymore, so it’s time to get cracking on all of your homework assignments. Sometimes, getting into the groove of it can be hard. All of the deadlines and due-dates seem daunting, not to mention that you might have an important internship or time-consuming extracurriculars. But when there’s a will, there’s a way. There are plenty of things that you can do as a college student to achieve peak productivity. It’s all about staying organized, motivated, and on top of your game.

1. Keep a Planner

Keeping a planner on me has saved my life on multiple occasions. I find it so helpful to be able to list out everything that needs to get done so that I can gauge how much I need to do. Then, once you get an assignment done, you can have that satisfying feeling of crossing that item off of your list. It may sound silly, but the crossing of a task is one of the greatest feelings in the world. It makes you feel like you’re actually getting somewhere with your work, which always motivates me to continue getting things done.

A planner also comes in handy as a way of ensuring that you don’t forget anything. This could mean homework assignments, as well as events you’re planning on attending or important test dates. You can mark things down months in advance to remind yourself way in the future.

2. Stay Organized

Just like keeping an organized planner, it’s also important to keep organized in other aspects of your life. For example, if a messy desk stresses you out and prevents you from being productive, make cleaning it the top of your to-do list. For me personally, I find it difficult to focus on my work if my room or desk is a mess, or if my notes and other papers are not organized. Even if disorganization isn’t a pet-peeve of yours, it still helps to at least keep your school-work organized. That way, accessing your work is easy and you won’t lose anything.  

3. Get Work Done in Between Classes

If you have a break in between classes, take advantage of it and get an assignment or two out of the way. There’s nothing like going back to your room at the end of a long day with one less assignment. It saves a lot of time for getting other work done, giving you more time to relax at the end of the day. You’ll be surprised at how much work you can knock out if you do this relatively consistently. Even if you’re only getting started and don’t end up finishing in between classes, you’re still a little more ahead of the game.

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4. Find a Go-To Study/Work Spot

If studying in the library or at your desk doesn’t work for you, get creative. Try going outside, to a friends room, or somewhere secluded and peaceful on campus. Find a place that motivates you to be productive. Staying somewhere that brings you down is a drag, so go out of your comfort zone. You might find a great spot that you really enjoy.

5. Don’t Procrastinate Deadlines

We’ve all had that essay that wasn’t due for a whole month after getting assigned. So you put it on the back-burner and tell yourself that you have plenty of time. DON’T MAKE THIS MISTAKE. That deadline, no matter how far away it seems, will creep up on you the right before it’s due. Not only does this put a lot of stress on you to get it done on time, but it also puts all of your other obligations on hold. Set small goals for yourself over the course of the time given for the assignment. That will help prevent you from forgetting about the assignment entirely until the last minute.

6. Get Ahead When Given the Opportunity

If there’s a week where you aren’t assigned a ton of homework, take advantage of it by getting ahead. It may seem tedious and pointless at the moment, but trust me when I say you’ll thank yourself later. The calm before the storm always leads to an excessive amount of homework the following week. Lucky for you, you’ll be ahead of the rest. Now you can focus on the important tasks with fewer distractions.  

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7. Take Breaks

Don’t kill yourself trying to do everything in one go. It helps you think better if you don’t try to cram in all of your homework at once. Otherwise, it becomes too overwhelming and the work feels never-ending.

8. Split Up the Work Load

I like to set a goal for how much I want to do all at once before giving myself a break. For example, I’ll tell myself that I have to work until I finish all of my math homework. It makes a big difference if you do larger assignments in small increments. It makes getting the assignment done less intimidating because you can slowly work on it over time.

Through the thick and thin of the semester, these tips are sure to eliminate some of the stress. They will help keep you organized while making you the most productive that you can possibly be.



Cover Photo Courtesy of J. Kelly Brito