This week has been stressful to say the least. Three midterms, two all nighters, 15 cups of coffee, a pack of highlighters and two packs of sticky notes later, it’s temporarily over. I’ve been so much more productive and on top of my readings since second semester has begun and I thought it would be helpful to try and share some of my best tips:
1. Use a Calendar/Agenda/To-Do list: You’ll be amazed at how much this will keep you on track (I happen to use all three). I like keeping my calendar as one of the desktop screens on my Macbook so I can always flip to it quickly during class to record important dates and deadlines. I also keep an agenda in my bag at all times. I love planning out my week ahead of time, this is especially practical for figuring out when readings need to be done. I also use an app called “Wunderlist” that is amazing at keeping me one track. I have a tab for school work and it allows you to set up reminders and it keeps a visual checklist of what needs to be done for the day, week and month. It’s free on the app store and I strongly recommend it for anyone.
2. Have a designated “Library Day” each week: I have a lot of gaps between classes on Monday so instead of heading back to res, I spend it in the library. It allows me to start on readings for my classes that week and get a head start on making sure that I have all my assignments and readings in check. By having a specified day at the library each week, I find that I am much more productive at getting my readings done.
3. Listen to a playlist that helps you concentrate and study: I’ve been loving some of the playlists on 8tracks.com and on Spotify (I’ve been too lazy to update my iTunes library). The best ones I find are the study indie and house remixes. Surprisingly for me, I’ve been gravitating towards rap as well. I find some of the things that rappers brag about really motivational and that’s exactly what we all need sometimes.
4. Give yourself lots of breaks and rewards: This sounds really self-explanatory but do take breaks at the library and when studying. I like to watch a YouTube video of 15 minutes of an episode of TV. I find that when I take little breaks like this, I tend to be able to focus and work for longer periods of time. I also like getting a treat before a study sesh. I’ve been trying to cut back on my Starbucks intake so I only allow myself to get Starbucks when I’m going to the library or when I’m spending the day working on an assignment or essay.
5. Take weekends off: By not doing work on weekends, I find that I am more productive during the week and I get much more done with less procrastination. Since we all know that weekends were meant for getting drunk and nursing hangovers anyways, I want to enjoy that guilt-free without thinking about the work that’s piled on my desk. I find that I enjoy my weekends much more without having to worry about unfinished work and to that I say, “more tequila please, bartender!”