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How To Be Productive As a Student
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How To Be Productive As a Student

Written by Sam | June 7, 2018

Have a to-do list

The best way to keep our minds on track and not losing track is to have a clear and concise to-do list. By doing this we focus our efforts on a single task. Once that task is completed we can then cross it off and start the next one. You can order your tasks in order, starting with the most difficult. Remember to be flexible with your to-do list as things do pop up which you do need to get done! But by having one, it’s a good place to start and you can always refer back to it. You will also get great pleasure from crossing off items on that list and even better one once it is complete!!

Try not to write everything down on the list, if you make it too long, then it can start to stress you because you end up thinking, how am I going to fit all that in a day?! So keep it, concise and to the point!

5-minute rule

This is a simple one, if the task will take less than 5 minutes to complete, do it. By doing it, it then saves you having to deal with it later, when it could be a lot more serious and time consuming.

Concentrate on one item

We can be very efficient and productive when focussing on one thing, not 10. Imagine spinning plates, we have to do it in life, but imagine trying to spin 10 as well as you could spin 1. Apply the same theory to your work. When working on a project or assignment, concentrate on it for that period. Give it your all and you will be surprised at how much you can get done!


Give yourself a routine, by doing this you know what time everything needs to be done. If you wake up at the same point every day and block out chunks of the day for certain aspects, such as 8-10 am, assignments. This way you know what’s coming up, you know how long it will last and that you can’t skip it. If you let yourself slip out of that routine, it’s a slippery slope to climb back up. You will also find that by creating this routing and blocking out your day allows you to get in the right frame of mind for it! This isn’t a way for you to turn yourself into a robot, but by planning you know that it will get done. You will stop saying I will do that tomorrow when that tomorrow is deadline day and pure panic has set in!

Be efficient, not busy

I read this in a book called the 4 hour work week, by Tim Ferris, and this quote will stay with me forever. It’s so true. So the quote is, ‘be efficient, not busy’. By being efficient we are making progress, we are getting things done in less time, we are making decisions and sticking to it. Where as, if we are busy, we are complaining that we are busy, usually rushing round, trying to make a cup of tea, while read a book, make dinner and be on Skype at the same time. That is busy, but is it efficient, are you getting one thing on your list done well, or are you getting lots of things done averagely well? Create your To Do list, prioritise and focus!

Turn your phone off

This one is super easy, for the time you are doing your task and need to concentrate. Turn your phone off! that way you rid yourself of nearly all distractions. You won’t be inclined to check, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or see how many people have liked a post, etc. You will focus on the task at hand, plus you can even use it as a motivator to get work done. The faster you get to your goal, the sooner you can have your phone back. As you will see in our blog about, efficient revision. This is a great thing to do!

Finally, set goals

You may have heard this before, however, if you set clear goals, you are far more likely to achieve them. there are many different ways to do this, but the one that is most popular is the SMART goals

  • Specific – focus on a certain aspect you want to achieve. I.e 700 words by 9pm
  • Measurable – as above use target points that can be measured for performance. If not how do we measure ourselves?
  • Achievable – Make sure they are achievable, e.g climb everest in a day. If they aren’t this will de-motivate you.
  • Realistic – Similar to the above, make suer that the goals can be achieved and are dynamic, so move with the flow.
  • Timely – Give a realistic time scale, too long and you will leave it to the last minute, too short and it can become unrealistic as above!

It’s tricky however, if you can get these points in to your life then it’s a start! We appreciate that there are lots of tips on how to be productive. These are the ones which have worked for us!

The State of Flow

Flow is a psychological state where you can get a lot of work done as you are fully concentrated on the task at hand. You are motivated and you lose track of time in this state, you will go in and out of this state many times throughout the day and not even know it. An example will be, when you were driving, did you ever ‘forget’ your journey, you were in the flow state, you were autonomous. See here what you need to get into that state regularly by reading our Flow Article!

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