The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
As a student, academic validation, productivity and your overall GPA are often rooted in how you value yourself. Yet, productivity cannot be measured easily because what really is “being productive?” I think we confuse productivity with completing schoolwork and getting academic tasks done, but in reality, cleaning, taking time to recharge and even doing one of your hobbies is also productive. The school system is set up as a trap to get you stuck in a place where you become overwhelmed by the idea of being productive. Nevertheless, it is essential to note that burnout will occur if you try to be productive 100% of the time.
I used to be so caught up in a cycle of work and continual productivity and was constantly unsatisfied with my final products. However, I eventually realized that no one cares about how productive you are. Instead, people care about the things that make you interesting because the true value is found in personality, interests, memories and shared experiences, not productivity. So I urge students to take a step back from the endless cycle of work because in the grand scheme of things, productivity will be much more meaningful if you take care of yourself and realize your true value first.
On the note of productivity: as exam season creeps into all our lives, here are some strategies to tackle your finals.
Take Time for You
It can be frighteningly easy to get so caught up in studying and work that you leave yourself behind. Peak productivity is not when we work ourselves to the brink, but rather when our bodies are fueled and feel content. So do not be afraid to take the time to relax, watch a show and take a step back from your work. Also, when you are taking a break, do not feel guilty about it! Your best work will come when you feel like your best self: something that takes time to learn and put into practice.
Eat and Drink Water
When you are caught up in studying, fueling your body can slip your mind. Make sure to get some study snacks or order a delicious treat while hydrating. When working, it is crucial to put your needs first over an assignment or test; I guarantee you that if your stomach is satisfied, you will do much more meaningful work. Eating regularly and enough is important when studying. After all, we are always taught that food is fuel.
Schedule Your Day
Time blocking is something that does not work for everyone but can be a helpful guide when planning what work you need to do. I recommend you make a list of tasks for each day and ensure your expectations are attainable. Adding time for yourself to your to-do list is also important, as you get the satisfaction of completing a task and relaxing.
Talk to Your Friends
Chances are your peers are going through the same productivity funk and could benefit from hearing from someone in a similar space. Discussing your work and plans with your friends is an excellent way to brainstorm and provides relief in knowing you are not the only one grinding through exam season. Do not be afraid to book a coffee study session with your friends and enjoy yourself studying instead of hiding in your room.
Just Do Your Best
The most important thing to remember when doing any kind of work is to do your best at that point in time, as that is all anyone could ask for. It is not worth pushing yourself beyond what you can do at that moment because if you give it your best every time, you will have reached your goal.
Overall, it is important to remind ourselves that productivity is not always productive, and we can get so much more out of our time if we realize academics are not everything. I wish everyone a healthy and stress-free exam season!