Being productive can often be a challenge at university, especially if you’re not in the mood and are lacking motivation. However, there are times when being productive is a must, especially if you have deadlines looming or exams just around the corner.
In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the best tips for being productive at university and how you can make better use of your studying time.
Get a good night’s sleep
It should never be understated how important sleep is for a focused mentality, and poor quality or a lack of sleep can have a detrimental impact on productivity. The Sleep Foundation recommends that adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night, so any less than this amount is likely to result in tiredness, which can lead to a lack of productivity.
Practise effective time management
Effective time management can allow you to organise your tasks more efficiently, which has been proven to result in more productivity. If you allocate sufficient time for each task you need to complete and have a schedule of when everything needs to be completed, you are likely to be more productive as you have tangible goals to work towards.
Make a concise to-do list
Ideally, you don’t want an endless list of tasks you need to get done, as this is likely to be overwhelming and can actually make your productivity worse. The best plan is to make a short list of tasks that are more easily manageable. Picking the few tasks that are the most important and focusing on them can lead to a more productive working or studying session.
Focus on one task at a time
Once you have established your to-do list, it’s more productive to focus on one task at a time before moving on to the next one. If you try to take on too much at once, you’re more likely to get overwhelmed or confused, which is rarely good for productivity. Focusing all your efforts on one particular bit of work is the right way to go, so you can tick off one task at a time.
Make studying enjoyable
Your studying environment doesn’t have to be you sitting at a desk facing a blank wall with nothing going on. In fact, making your environment an enjoyable place to be can increase your productivity. Some effective ways of doing this include listening to music, as certain types of music have been proven to boost productivity and are known for being excellent ‘study’ music.
Whereas some people prefer to study or work alone, others can be more productive whilst studying as part of a group. Providing you can keep yourself from being distracted around other people, give studying in groups a try, as you are able to share and receive ideas with each other for a more enjoyable and mutually beneficial studying session!
Block out all distractions
Some people are more easily distracted than others, but distractions of any sort can easily disrupt productivity. The best way of avoiding distractions is to block them out, if you know you are distracted by your phone, then put it away and out of reach. Some people work better with music, but if you are distracted by noise, it’s better to turn all music off and set up in a quiet study area.
Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is always important, and even more so when you are trying to concentrate on your studies or a particular task! Drinking plenty of water will help to prevent you from feeling tired and help you to keep focused on the task at hand. Staying hydrated also helps to prevent you from feeling fatigued and can help prevent the onset of headaches, both of which are extremely detrimental when you are trying to be productive.
Take well-timed breaks
Taking breaks whilst studying is beneficial for being productive, but it’s essential that you time your breaks correctly for optimum productivity. It can be tempting to do a bit of work for 10 minutes, then sit on your phone for 15, but this is of course not the best use of your time.
Everyone can concentrate for different lengths of time, but one commonly used technique for breaks is the Pomodoro Technique, which involves breaking your work up into 25-minute sections before taking a 5-minute break. This has been proven to be an effective method for maximising productivity, so it’s worth trying if you are struggling to be productive.
Hopefully, some of these tips can help you to be more productive when it comes to studying, but there are plenty of other things you can try to improve your concentration.