Staying on track with school is hard.
The good news: there are certain “hacks” you can employ to improve productivity and stay focused.
I got some tips from an Unbound alumnus and a current student, Daniel and Lemise. Use these tips to stay on track!
1. Prioritize Sleep
This is a big one. Sometimes we think that to be productive, we have to push ourselves to do more. In reality, sometimes the opposite is true. Pushing ourselves too much is a huge productivity killer. We can get more done if we sleep well and get our rest!
2. 5 Minute Sprints
Here’s a tip: cut your work up into five-minute increments. It’s a lot easier to commit to five minutes of school than an entire hour. This helps you actually start the work. After a couple of these “sprints”, you’ll get in a rhythm and can focus on work for longer.
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You can use the “Tomato Timer” to structure your study sessions.
3. Reward Yourself
This one sounds awesome. Whether it’s rewarding yourself for a couple hours of study with a Netflix break or using candy bars as progress markers in your textbook, it’s always fun to get a reward for being productive. This helps “gamify” your work and makes it more enjoyable, and thus more doable.
4. Get Accountable
It’s really helpful to have someone else keeping you accountable to your goals. That’s the power of community! Maybe you can enlist a family member to hold you accountable for your school goals. Or find a study buddy to work with.
5. The Worst Comes First
That’s right. Get the stuff you hate doing out of the way first. It will help you fight procrastination and it can be a motivation to get through so you can get to the good stuff!
You gotta love this one too. Lemise suggested eating something with carbs to give you an energy boost when you’re cramming and just can’t afford to sleep. Even when you’re not up against the clock, having a quick snack can raise your energy levels and help you power through to the finish.
7. Mix Up Your Routine
To be fair, this may not work for everyone. Try to mix up your routine a bit. Try studying in a new area. Study at a different time of day. Sometimes it’s those little changes that can invigorate your productivity!
8. Give Yourself Grace
If you can’t check your entire to-do list off today, it’s ok. Things happen, they take longer than expected, you hit obstacles, it’s all part of life. Move on and use your unfinished list as motivation for tomorrow!
Hopefully, armed with these productivity tips, you’ll be ready to face anything that school or work throws at you. Just remember, productivity doesn’t have to hurt. When you incorporate things like snacks, rewards, and new experiences into your study routines, it can be something you look forward to!
If you want to learn great productivity habits alongside other passionate students while building your own projects and earning college credit, apply for Ascend by Unbound.
Featured gifs courtesy of giphy.com, featured images courtesy of unsplash.com.
Jace Bower is the Marketing Coordinator for Unbound. An Unbound alumnus, he has experienced firsthand the powerful advantages of doing college differently and participating in an intentional community. Jace graduated with his bachelor’s degree in History in 2016 and has worked in restaurant management and marketing since then. He also served on the Unbound Student Cabinet in 2019.
The author of two books and a semi-regular blogger, Jace can often be found doing something with words. When he’s not, chances are he’s reading about theology, listening to music, or playing pool or tennis with his wife Shannon in their Virginia home.