Getting through a day at school, whether it be high school or college, can be just as tricky and exhausting as a full-time job. Staying organized keeps you moving through your day in the most productive way possible, without getting distracted by the little time-wasters that pull you off track.
Here are five key productivity hacks any student can use to keep on track and stay on target.
Don’t Do Later What You Can Do Now
Any task that takes a few minutes or less to do, just do it now. When you stop to think about it, you may realize you take more time thinking about and putting off those little tasks than just doing them immediately.
For instance, when you’re gathering your materials for a research project, list your sources as you collect the info. Don’t wait until you’ve begun writing your report. You’ll end up wasting time trying to find all the reference information when you’ve hit the bottom of the report for your bibliography. Grab a pocket notebook and a six-click smooth writing multi-colored pen to jot down your references as you collect research sources such as books, magazines, and websites. Jot each one down in a different color, so it’s easy to return to when you’re ready to write your report.
Simplify Your Organizer
You don’t need some complex organizer with preset sections. Get a blank notebook, jot down the day and date, and start using fun superfine gel pens and crazy cute stickers to write to-do lists, homework lists, due dates, etc. You can pre-mark the dates a month ahead of time so you can put due dates down when you need to.
Customizing your own organizer out of a simple notebook allows you to pump up the creativity and be inspired to stay organized and productive.
Create Prioritized To Do Lists
Create a to-do list based on the day, week, and month or whatever prioritization method you prefer. You can group them all in one list and use a different color erasable highlighter to denote each priority level. If the level of priority changes, just erase the color and re-highlight. Or, for more versatility, write your to-dos on different colored sticky notes that you can conveniently move to the next page when you need to. Now you can quickly identify what you need to get done now versus later.
Reward Yourself For Tasks Completed
Bribery always worked when we were kids right? Bribe yourself now, too. Your reward for crossing items off your list doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as simple as watching five minutes of your favorite YouTube channel or putting cute little stickers next to every item you’ve completed. Whatever it is it should be something you look forward to doing.
Break Up The Day
Your energy throughout the day will ebb and flow. You may find you tire out towards the end of the school day, but pep back up when you get home and have some food. Know yourself, know when you tend to be high energy, and when you tend to be low energy. Get your intensive tasks like research, intense math homework, or writing notes done when you’re feeling up in energy. Get your easier tasks done during low energy periods, like cleaning out your backpack, packing your lunch, or answering emails.
And during those times your energy has completely bottomed out, take a break. There’s no use trying to push through a task when you don’t have the energy. By taking a quick break, your body and mind have a chance to re-energize. You should find you feel better when the break is over, and you have a tad more energy to be productive.