Time management and productivity can be some of the hardest tasks we face as university students. Beyond just going to class, we’re also expected to have jobs, look for internships, participate in extracurricular activities, and still manage to maintain social lives. It gets difficult, and it can be overwhelming. As someone who has completed both a diploma and degree (almost!), I feel I have mastered the skills of time management and productivity.
Here are my top time management and productivity tips that are easy and actionable.
1. Plan, plan, plan!
In high school it was so easy for me to get by simply by going with the flow of things. However, in university that doesn’t really cut it as the term progresses. You need to schedule your time to ensure everything is getting done. I know I’ve stated this before, but having a planner really works! I suggest you grab the course outlines for all your courses and mark down every test, assignment, and exam for all of your courses. Don’t forget to include personal dates and appointments too! Once this is done, make sure to keep it updated, check it daily, and schedule the times when you’re going to work on each assessment.
2. Get a study buddy
Find a friend or make friends with someone who is taking the same classes as you. This way you guys can study together and create a study schedule. This is going to give your day some extra structure, keep you on track, and you will be less likely to procrastinate if someone is pushing you to study. Make sure your study buddy is someone you will be productive with! Find someone who is also motivated to do well in the class!
3. Find your happy place
To be productive and use our time to its fullest potential we need to find the place where we are most productive. For some it may be a library, café, or home. Whatever the place may be – find where you’re productive and make it your study space. Personally, I study best in my room. However, this doesn’t work for everybody! Be sure to stick to a place or type of environment once you find what works for you. This way your mind will get used to being productive in that space – whenever you’re there you will automatically know it’s time to be productive.
4. Set a timer
One of my tricks is working for a set amount of time, and then taking a break for a set amount of time. For example, set a timer to go off after 30 minutes of working and then take a 15-minute break. This way you’re less likely to be distracted or procrastinate during the time you’re working. It’s all about balance! You can also schedule breaks or deadlines for when you have to finish a particular task as an alternative. This way you will be motivated to do your work to get to your break time or meet a deadline.
5. Say goodbye to distractions
This one is hard for me, but I tell myself: I have to get off of the computer or phone at particular time. That really helps me focus on doing the things I need to do as opposed to getting distracted by social media or an interesting text message. By putting away my distractions until my break, I get my work done faster and work way more efficiently!
6. Take care of yourself!
Be sure to take care of your health and get the right amount of sleep to be productive! If any aspect of your health is lacking, you’re going to feel it in so many ways. You’ll be working less efficiently, focusing will be more difficult and you won’t have the right energy. So be sure to put your health as your first priority.