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It’s a whole new school year and a return back to live in-person classes for many. No matter if you’re just starting or finishing up your last few classes, this is your semester to do well. I’ll share just a few tips to take with you on your path to success. 

Pomodoro for Productivity

This is a wonderful study technique I was introduced to in my first year of college that I would recommend to anyone. It is also super easy to do. First, pick a task that you want to work on, then set a timer for 25 or 30 minutes and focus on this one task. After the timer goes off, take a quick break. Then, set the timer again and get back to work. It really helps you to stay focused and is good for anyone struggling with time management. Try it the next time you sit down to study. 

Say No to Procrastination 

I write this statement as I put off reading chapters of the book I’m supposed to read. Imagine finishing everything you need to get done and that fresh breath of air you’ll take after it’s all completed. Better yet, think of the nice three extra hours of sleep you’ll get as opposed to waiting until three hours before it’s due. If you ask me, the second option didn’t seem so bad, but I do love my bed so I will be doing my work. First, I’d recommend figuring out why you’re procrastinating, and then going from there. If it’s because there’s so much you have to do, then do a pomodoro and break it up. If it’s because you get tired throughout the day, then find your peak productive hours of the day and do your work then. At the end of the day, get it done so you can sleep more, worry less and breathe. 

Catch a Break

You probably hear this often or maybe need to hear it now, but this is just a reminder to give yourself a break. Being in school, working or even doing both isn’t easy. Don’t feel like you have to finish your 12-page paper before going to do something you enjoy. It’s okay to write three pages, watch your favorite show that comes on and then get back to it. Learning to reward myself for the little things has been one of the hardest things I have learned since starting school, but it’s also been one of the best things I’ve done. After all, it means I get ice cream when I want, so I am very content. 

Go to Class AND Listen

At first glance, it might sound simple. However, I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to class with the intent of paying attention but end up going and getting distracted. I’ve found that I am best prepared and most productive when I am attentive during class. It’s honestly the worst when the class is longer than an hour because then I’ll lose focus or get tired. On days like these, it might help to sit at the front of class if it’s in-person, chew gum or be that one person who actually participates in class and answers questions.

Try out some or all of these tips this semester. If you are already doing them, awesome. Educate your friends and classmates if they find themselves struggling. Happy new school year and cheers to your semester full of success.

I am a third year student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City medical program. When I am not starting a new TV show, I enjoy looking at new recipes, taking pictures, and laughing with other people.
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