How To Be Productive In College (12 Simple Strategies)

When going to college, you have so much to look forward to; making friends, partying all night long, but the main reason you’re there, (or should be there ha) is to study and get an education. 

But how to be productive in college?.

From making a plan to managing your time effectively, to organizing your space, all the way to ensuring you are comfy whilst in studying, our list of how to be productive in college (12 simple strategies) are sure to help you as you navigate the college experience.

Read on to find out the rest of the 12 strategies.

Taughtup Pinterest PinBeing productive when you are at college is not easy. We all know the lure of parties, going out with friends, and sleeping in – so when do you get your work done? How can you maximize your productivity to ensure that your college days are worthwhile, and you still get excellent marks? Let’s look at how to be productive in college (12 simple strategies).

Our top productivity tips include good planning, making a productive study space, time management, group studying, and getting your chores out of the way.

Tip 1: Make A Plan

A group of people planning around a table
Photo by fauxels from Pexels

You do not want to constantly try to work out what you have to do to stay on top of your work and meet your deadlines. You should always have a plan for what you’re going to do in a day, so you don’t waste valuable minutes figuring out what to focus on and how to move forward.

It would help if you wrote a plan the evening before, or even a plan for the whole week. Decide what subjects you need to work on and make a list to know you aren’t neglecting anything. Your productivity will be heavily dependent on your ability to plan ahead, so this is one of the best answers to being productive in college (12 simple strategies).

Related: Top 5 Exam Prep Tips

Tip 2: Prioritize

You should work out which subjects are the most important to you and work out which you find the hardest. You should make a little note for complex subjects and always build these into your study plan first.

Related: 6 Ways to Prioritize Your Life in College

It’s too easy to say to yourself that you’ll start with something you enjoy and move onto the more difficult subjects once you’ve “warmed up.” More often than not, this strategy results in people getting bored or restless before it’s time to move onto the complex subjects or finding that they have run out of motivation.

It is best to start with the complex subjects and get those done before the easy ones unless they are particularly unimportant ones. Otherwise, they are at risk of being ignored.

Tip 3: Manage Your Time

Next on our list of how to be productive in college (12 simple strategies) is time management. You know yourself better than anyone – what time of day is your best working time? What time of day are you groggy, restless, bored, or disinterested?

You should organize your plan so that you work when you’re at your best. You don’t need to be super focused during a party – so get your work done when you’re feeling good and not groggy or sleepy.

Tip 4: Take A Break

For the fourth tip on how to be productive in college (12 simple strategies), taking a break is critical. That might sound like a cop-out, but you are not going to maximize your productivity by sitting at your desk and staring blankly at your notes for hours on end. Your mind will switch off.

Breaks need to be managed and used as a tool for studying, not an excuse to wander off and do something else. Set a timer for your breaks and stick to it.

Tip 5: Find A Productive Study Space

A boy in a dark room studying for an exam
Photo by Nicolò Canu on Unsplash

Next on the list, you need to make sure you have a perfect space to study in. You cannot effectively study and learn if you’re working in a busy, chaotic, or distracting environment. Many people find that music helps them concentrate, but you shouldn’t decide to work in a communal kitchen or living room.

Related: How to Create a Great Study Space (With Examples)

If you have people coming up to talk to you every fifteen minutes, you won’t get any work done! It’s a much better idea to either find a quiet spot in the library or study in your room. You can take breaks elsewhere but study somewhere quiet.

Tip 6: Organize Your Space

For another of our how to be productive in college (12 simple strategies) ideas, remember to set your space up so that it’s conducive for working. Your desk should have all the bare essentials in terms of stationery and your textbooks, but you should also make sure that you have anything else you may need.

Sit down with a bottle of water nearby, your phone in do not disturb mode, your computer if necessary, and any extra material that you need for your subject. This will save you from getting up again just as you’re getting into the routine.

Tip 7: Study With Friends

This is a tip to be used with caution, but it is often a good idea to pencil in a handful of study sessions with friends. Choose friends who you know are responsible so that the group will have a chance of succeeding, and set up some planned topics in advance, so you know what you’re doing.

Studying with friends is a great way to make a session more fun but still productive. Get your friends to choose a topic to go over with you and help each other out.

Please don’t use this strategy in isolation because you probably won’t get as much done during a group study session but do make use of it!

Tip 8: Set Deadlines

An alarm clock showing an upcoming deadline
Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

Strategy eight on our list on how to be productive in college (12 simple strategies) is setting deadlines. Your teachers aren’t the only ones who can make good use of deadlines. Set them for yourself, too. Whenever you have a real deadline, set yourself a false one a few days before. This can really help if you’re prone to procrastination.

You have to take self-imposed deadlines seriously for this to work. Try this by setting yourself consequences if you fail to meet a deadline or rewarding yourself when you succeed.

It may also help to set deadlines for revision and other work, even if your tutors haven’t imposed any deadline. Try to tell yourself that you will do X by Friday, and then you can go out for the weekend. If you haven’t done X, don’t go out.

You will soon find that the lure of having fun is enough to get you to sit down and study during the week, and you’ll have more fun without the guilt of papers waiting for you.

Tip 9: Group Up Errands

Errands can take an enormous amount of time if you let them. If you have to trek to the store one day, the optician the next, the pharmacist the next, and the shoe store the day after that, you’ll find you hardly get anything done.

Instead of letting travel time and errands get in the way of your valuable studying hours, try to group errands.

Keep a little list handy and write down all the non-urgent errands you have. Wait until there are a good few on the list before tackling them or join them up with a grocery shop if that’s practical.

Tip 10: Be Comfortable

Next on how to be productive in college (12 simple strategies), make studying comfy. Make it as fun as you can. Try to inspire yourself with any extra reading that you need to do, or challenge yourself to memorize a certain number of facts per hour.

Make your studying space cozy and pleasant to sit in. Mood lighting, a soft blanket, and a nice drink can go a long way toward making studying pleasant, and the more pleasurable it is, the easier it will be to study!

Tip 11: Focus

A man focusing on the task ahead
Photo by Bahaa A. Shawqi from Pexels

Another suggestion for being productive in college is to focus on one thing at once. It might feel super productive to bounce from one book to the next and then onto the next, but you aren’t doing your brain any favors.

Instead, slow down and focus. Spend a good amount of time on a subject before moving to the next, even if it’s a tough slog. It’s better to get it done than to bounce about and find you have nothing to show for hours of work.

Tip 12: Do Your Chores

Sometimes, you just can’t focus, and while it may not sound like it belongs on a list of how to be productive in college (12 simple strategies), doing your chores can be a good alternative. If you’ve got laundry waiting, dishes to do, or floors to scrub, these may help you to step away from the books while still being productive.

You don’t always have to be reading to be doing something worthwhile. Chores are a necessary part of life, and if you’re finding it impossible to study, do something more active but less brain-intensive and blast through a few chores instead.

Final Thoughts

So, hopefully, this article on how to be productive in college (12 simple strategies) has helped you get to grips with some great productivity ideas that will see you racing through your classwork, essays, and chores so that you can also have fun.

Remember, the more productive you are in an hour, the fewer hours you need to spend on a task, so don’t waste time on your phone or playing games when you should be studying. Save that for when you’re done, and you can truly relax!

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