5 Ways to Stay Productive in College

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As college students, I am sure we can all agree that finding ways to stay productive is extremely difficult. Some days are really great, and we get an immense amount of stuff done. Other days all we want to do is lay in bed and watch Netflix all day; trust me, I’ve been there. I feel you! Each quarter balancing school with work, on-campus organizations we may be involved in, and just life, can get harder and harder and even more stress inducing. In order to combat that unnecessary stress, here are 5 things you can incorporate into your daily, weekly, and quarterly routine to stay productive in college.


  1. 1. Plan out your week

    Planning out your week can look different for everyone. Personally, I have found that writing my week out in both a planner and online calendar help me stay incredibly productive. By doing this at the beginning of each week, I am reminding myself of what that specific week is going to look like overall. I write out the times I have class, meetings, and even the time I will spend working on assignments I have due that week or just generally studying. Writing this all out in a planner and/or online calendar will make you feel more accountable, especially if you’re the type of person who likes to cross things off! 

  2. 2. Put every important due date/test date in your calendar at the beginning of the quarter or semester.

    Closely related to the first way to stay productive, this second point really forces you to look ahead and begin ingraining those important dates in your brain at the very start of the quarter or semester. Going through your syllabi, actively paying attention to those dates, and writing them down will allow you to be more productive. Now you can start working on those assignments and studying for those tests ahead of time. 

  3. 3. Figure out where and how you like to study.

    Study Pic

    Photo Cred: Amanda Morales

    Figuring this out for yourself is so key to maintaining a productive lifestyle while you’re in college. Everyone is different, so what may work for your closest friends or roommates may not work for you… and that is OKAY! Whether you find that you focus best in a coffee shop, at the library, or at your desk in your room, or with friends, without friends, with noise, music, or complete silence, do YOU and keep doing YOU. The most important person to please in this situation is yourself! If you’re not putting yourself in the right environment or mindset to be your most productive self, all the work and time you spent trying to retain the information will go out the window. Listen to yourself and know yourself! It is so important. 

  4. 4. Wake up at the same time every day.

    Hmm, odd one right? I am sure most, if not all, of you are questioning how waking up at the same time every day can ensure you have a productive day. Well, by doing so you’re setting up a routine and schedule for your body, just like the one you wrote out in your planner or digital calendar for the week. You are forcing your body to wake up at the same time every day so that there is less room to feel tired and fall into that lazy slump we all feel when we wake up too early or too late. 

  5. 5. Stay Active!

    I can't stress enough how beneficial staying active is to your health (both mental and physical), wellbeing, and productivity. I have found that every morning I wake up early and take a workout class, whether that be Pilates, Orangetheory, Yoga, or SoulCycle, or simply going outside for a morning walk or run, I feel so much more productive. Getting outside and forcing your body to get in the habit of being active first thing in the morning (or whenever it fits best into your schedule), releases your endorphins and prepares you to start the day stress-free and strong. Incorporating this into your routine a few days a week will do wonders to your productivity and encourage you to stay on top of and crush those daily and weekly goals.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. How could it be possible to remember all of these (especially staying active) and incorporate them into a daily routine when there is so much going on in your life? Well, prioritize and start small! Take one of these tips, whichever you think will be the most beneficial for you and make it a habit once you get back into the swing of things after spring break. I’ve learned from experience that it is always best to start small and work your way up! I can promise you that incorporating just one or two of these tips into your routine will make a world of a difference.