How to be more productive

As a student it is easy to put off work and binge on Netflix instead. We are all guilty of planning to take a 10 minute break and end up still scrolling through YikYak or Facebook three hours later. However, it is important to keep a healthy balance between work and leisure, and not spend too much time relaxing. If you feel that you are constantly procrastinating and leaving work until the last minute, these tips should come in handy.

1. Make a daily to-do list.

At the start of each day, or even the night before if you’re pushed for time, make a list of things you need to do. Tick things off as you go along, and reward yourself if you have completed everything on the list. This will give you something to look forward to and you’ll be more motivated!

2. Keep all distractions out of reach.

It is all too tempting to check your Facebook or Whatsapp when you are bored of doing an assignment. Try to turn off your phone before starting any work and log out of any websites on your laptop that may distract you (yes, this means Netflix, YouTube and Spotify!). Only check social media once you have finished your work. It would also be useful to work in a quiet environment, such as the library, away from loud music or chatter. You’ll be much more productive if you work on your own too!

3. Don’t start work the night before it’s due.

As students, we all have a tendency to leave everything until the very last minute. However, if you have a long assignment or essay due, start as soon as it’s set. Make a plan and list any books or websites you need to read. Dedicate at least 2-3 hours per week to working on the essay, and increase nearer the deadline.

4. Eat healthily.

Maintaining a balanced diet is another way of making sure that you stay focused throughout the entire day. With so much work to do, it is easy to fall into the trap of skipping meals and pigging out whenever you get a spare moment. However, it is important to eat three meals a day. I’m sure you have heard this several times before, but try not to eat loads of ready meals and takeaways, and stick to freshly prepared dishes instead. It may be hard to believe, but preparing your own meals is much healthier and a lot cheaper too. Snack on fruit and nuts rather than chocolate and crisps. Berries are particularly great as they keep your brain working throughout the whole day and can improve your memory, while nuts are a fantastic source of energy.

5. Get a good night’s sleep.

Try to get at least eight hours’ sleep every night and don’t sleep in all morning. You’ll be more tired and get less work done as a result.

6. Take breaks.

After 30-45 minutes of working leave your desk and go for a short walk or grab a glass of water. This will enable you to concentrate better. If you are revising, test yourself after the break to see what you need to work on.


Photo Credit: michael pollak via Compfight cc

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Serena Reidy

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