College is an exciting time filled with opportunity, but it also brings an almost overwhelming number of challenges to productivity. Making your own food, working with roommates, passing classes, and often working a part-time job result in plummeting productivity for many students.
You can save yourself time and stress by applying these ideas to your own college life.
#1 Make healthy and fast meals
Pressed for time and away from home, many college students turn to the campus cafeteria for easy, quick meals. Unfortunately, eating out not only strains many students’ budgets but also hurts productivity. Putting extra effort into eating healthily will actually improve both your concentration and your memory. By applying time-saving food hacks, you can eat healthily without sacrificing your time.
#2 Exercise regularly
When a journalist asked Richard Branson, a highly successful businessman, what single top habit he most recommended to aspiring entrepreneurs, he recommended exercise. Much like healthy eating (they compliment each other), regular exercise will help improve brain performance. You don’t necessarily need to join a sports team; simply doing a few pushups, situps, and other basic exercises will achieve significant productivity improvement.
#3 Create a morning routine
If you’re like me, you probably don’t feel like getting up in the morning. Rather than setting three different alarm clocks or disabling the snooze button, you can use a morning routine to make waking up easier and actually accomplish something before your first class. You’ll want to create your own personal morning routine, but you can get some ideas from famous people.
#4 Schedule your assignments
You know that recurring nightmare where you walk into class and suddenly realize that you completely forgot an exam? And remember the relief when you jolt awake and realize it was just a dream?
To keep that nightmare from becoming a reality, you may want to create a calendar (digital or paper) to track upcoming assignments. Not only will this keep you from missing a test, but it will also give you extra brainpower to focus on learning. Until you write something down, it continues to float around your subconscious, but recording it somewhere else lets you use that brainpower for something else.
#5 Create to-do lists
Much in the same way that a schedule will keep you on task with your classes, a to-do list will help you remember all the less time-sensitive items. Keep a list (again digital or paper) of everything you might want to do in the near future. When something new comes to mind, don’t waste time thinking about it, but just add it to the list. Then, once a day (normally in the evening) you can look over the list and prioritize the tasks you actually want to accomplish. This will help you remember everything you want to do, and it will also help you focus on the most important activities.
#6 Find and create your best study environment
Do you study best in the library, at a coffee shop, or somewhere else entirely? Everyone works best in different environments, so you will want to experiment until you find your optimal setup. Once you do, look for ways to study in that perfect environment as often as possible.
#7 Make friends with similar goals
A wise man once said that we become the average of the five people we are around most. When you are in college, you will have the opportunity to befriend any of the thousands of other students on your campus. To maximize your productivity (and happiness), look for students who share similar goals to your own. This could mean finding others with the same major, or it might just mean finding other students who are dedicated to excellence. Invest in these people.