Tips on how to be productive as a student


As a student, life throws at you more distractions than you can count. Every day, we are faced with countless interruptions that make it hard for us to succeed academically. Whether that may be friends wanting to make plans, responsibilities outside of school, or distractions such as your phone, TV, or video games, here are some tips and tricks that can keep you focused on what you need to get done, so you have the time to do what you want. 

The number one thing you’ll need to be productive is time management skills. As the year progresses on, you will likely get more and more work assigned to you, and at times it will feel overwhelming. You will need to create a balance between your work, and your personal life, which at times can be very hard. A few strategies you can try to use to manage your time nd to help you stay productive are:  


Create a daily to-do list

Creating a list is one of the more popular ways to effectively manage your time; and can give you increased accountability to accomplish your goals of the day. It can also help you remember everything that you have to do in the day, and you can add things you need to remember to it as the day progresses. It is especially important to do, because as the day goes on, we often run into distractions and other work that could cause us to forget what we need to do. It will likely make the most sense to create the list the previous day before you go to bed, and then add anything you remember as you wake up in the morning. 


Get the right amount of sleep

We’re sure you’ve heard it a million times before, but good sleep is one of the most important things you require in order to have a productive day of school or work. Although it’s easy to plan to get enough sleep, actually following through with a sleep schedule is usually not as easy as it seems. One idea to hold yourself accountable for this is to let everyone you would normally hang out with know you are following a strict sleep schedule on school nights. Of course, falling asleep is not always that easy, but turning you phone off an hour or so before bed can help. The importance of getting the right amount cannot be stressed enough.  


Set Deadlines

Setting deadlines is very important, especially when dealing with things like longer term projects or studying for exams. There is nothing more stressful than waiting until the last day or few hours to start working on an assignment. As a result, you will not be sure if you’ll have enough time to finish it. Setting deadlines goes hand in hand with prioritization, which mean picking the order and importance of tasks you must finish. Make sure that urgent and important tasks are placed as a top priority, while anything non-urgent or not as important come next. Finally, any tasks that are not important and not too urgent should be eliminated as much as possible. This prioritization strategy is often referred to as the Eisenhower matrix strategy. You can check it out a bit more here


Pick a smart work location

Where you work can often be just as important as what it is you’re working on. An effective work space can be different for everyone, but there are a couple rules that apply to the majority of people. Firstly, try to pick a space where you are less likely to run into people you know. Especially at schools, common areas where your friends are may be spaces you should generally try to avoid, unless they are studying with you of course (if you work better in groups). The other main rule would to be to pick a quiet workspace. This might be in your bedroom or dorm room, maybe a study room at the University, or even the library. A few of our favourite study spaces on campus can be found in HH, the QNC, the upstairs of the SLC, and the quiet areas in E7. If you are unable to find a quiet space, or aren’t on campus, try to listen to music or white noise, or invest in a pair of noise cancelling headphones. Remember, these aren’t solid rules, and you ultimately need to decide what works best for you.  


Avoid multitasking if possible

Being focused on your work is great; but being focused on too much work at the same time is often overwhelming, often to the point that you might not end up being productive after all. When you find small quick tasks, if may be tempting to drop what you are working on, and do them quickly, but in doing this you lose your momentum and often delay more important things, leading to further procrastination. We suggest that if you find things like this, you add them to your to do list, and then continue with whatever task you were previously working on. Of course, the best way to not multitask is to be strict at following your to do list. 



There is no one strategy for productivity that works best for everyone, as we are all have unique studying habits and abilities we gained while growing up. Although this may be true, we hope that through trying out a number of these ideas to be more productive, you can pick a few that work well for you and practice them consistently. We want you to be successful and productive, but don’t forget to take breaks for your mental health, and make sure to save time for fun as well. No matter what program you’re in, if you manage your time effectively, you can have lots of time for socializing, events, and maintaining great relationships. This is certainly a lot of information, but hopefully by reading this article you’ve picked up at least a few ideas for habits that will help throughout your school experience! 

Happy studying Warriors!