Being a student certainly does have its benefits, but it can sometimes be quite exhausting as well. With so many exams, projects, and deadlines hanging over your head, finding the motivation to study can often be difficult. Sometimes, you might even start thinking that smart students must have been born that way and that you’ll never be able to show your true potential. However, the truth is that the main things differentiating good students from the average ones are discipline, focus, and organization.
So, if you’d like to learn how to become more productive and achieve better results, here are six suggestions that should help you.
Table of Contents
#1. Socialize with the right people
You’ve probably heard of the famous quote: “Show me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are”. Your friends are a reflection of who you are because they are your choice. They can also affect you and your behavior since people tend to pick up the habits of their closest friends and family members. With all that in mind, if you want to become more productive, try to make friends with other productive students in your class. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should abandon your old friends, but try to spend more time with people who share your academic goals, since they are more likely to understand you and motivate you.
When seeking out new friends, there are multiple avenues a person can go down. They can attend social gatherings and strike up a conversation with someone or multiple people, for example.There may be parties, sporting events, special lectures, and more going on at your school, and if a person has an interest in these areas, they could find like-minded people at this event. If you want to be assured that these students will be productive, however, you may want to consider starting up a study group instead. Although they may only start off as study friends, they could become much more than this over time. If you don’t want to start a group yourself, ask if it is possible to join someone else’s study group. Joining clubs is another possible route you could take. If you can find friends that are just as passionate about doing well in school as you are and are willing to put in the hours to do this, you can keep yourself motivated.
When you’ve found the right group of people that will be able to keep you productive, you will want to secure these friendships, so here are some top tips to do this:
- Be yourself – never pretend to be anything but yourself. If people don’t accept you for who you are, then they are very good friends.
- Get to know them – Ask them about their interests, family, friends, but dive deeper and find out their dreams and goals and what motivated them.
- Be genuine – If you overthinkabout each thing you say to friends because of fear or concern about what others will think, you are not utilizing this friendship as it should be. Instead, you should act how you would want to be treated yourself and be genuine in your actions. Being a warm, friendly individual with respect for others goes a long way.
#2. Get rid of distractions
The biggest time killer during studying is your own bad habits. We all like to reward ourselves for our hard work by “just checking the Facebook for a minute”, and there’s nothing wrong in doing that from time to time. However, when you start rewarding yourself in a way that you spend more time enjoying that reward than actually earning it, you know that you’re doing something wrong. This bad habit needs to go away, so the next time you sit down to study, get rid of all the distractions, and reward yourself only by doing things that don’t occupy your mind.
If you find the easiest distraction is your phone and social media apps, put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode or lock it away in a draw. If you don’t want to go as far as this, just turn off notifications.
#3. Be engaged in the lectures
The first step in creating quality notes from which you’ll later be able to study efficiently is being engaged in the lectures. No matter how boring they might sometimes be, they are still essential if you want to get a good grade. Even your attendance alone can benefit you, let alone actual activity; the professor might remember your face during the oral exam and reward you for your effort.
Part of staying engaged in your lectures is picking the right college course in the first place. For instance, if you are studying for a business-related degree but have no passion for the subject or have big aspirations to start your own business, you will find it harder to keep motivated. When you lack motivation and engagement in lectures, the thought of skipping lectures becomes more desirable. In your mission to become a productive student, you want to be certain that nothing is going to be making the task harder. Therefore, you must ensure you will remain engaged with your lectures throughout your entire course. Part of this involves picking the right course in the first place. Think about your interest and where your passions lie. For example, do you love to care for people? Perhaps you always love to do things for others and ensure they are taking care of themselves. Signs like this indicate you would excel in a healthcare career, like nursing. If you can think about what it is that you love and find a course that enables you to channel all of these skills, feelings, and passions, you will find it is a lot easier to become and then stay a productive student simply because you love the subject.
However, don’t be frustrated if you don’t know what you want to do right now. There are options available to you. You could use the credits that you have earned so far and transfer them to another course. Alternatively, you could continue the current degree you are taking and when you graduate, seek out a university that will accept those who hold degrees in non-related subjects. So if you are one of those students that discovers they do have a passion for nursing, for instance, you could apply to take the Wilkes ABSN. This Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) enables you to use your bachelor’s degree and transition into the field of nursing in a year. You will earn a foundational knowledge of nursing, developing your skills and understanding of caring for patients of all backgrounds. Although you might not have anticipated another year at university and could be worried about the cost of living on another campus, the good news is that course like the Wilkes ABSN is online-based. Therefore, you could choose to return home to study or live somewhere a lot cheaper that enables you to focus on your studies rather than your finances.
You won’t need to concern yourself with whether you will remain productive while studying an online course, as you can take all the tips from this article and apply them just the same. In fact, you may even find it easier to remain productive as you can study at your own pace and make extremely detailed notes.
#4. Have good notes
Speaking of notes, something can always come up, and you might need to miss a lecture or two, but you still need to have good notes for studying. In those cases, you need to know where you can find them. Luckily, there are many great online studying platforms. Australian students, for example, can find great notes on Thinkswap, so perhaps you can find something similar as well. You may find that it is easier to write up notes on a laptop compared to by hand.Or, you can always ask one of your newly gained friends for notes.
If you formed a study group, you could all meet up and cross-compare notes. You may find that you missed some important sections or information that another student noted and vice versa. Discussing the notes aloud could help you retain the information, especially if you all present your notes to the group. You could view this as a mini-lecture in some ways.
If you do really struggle with taking notes, always make sure to do shorthand. You will never be able to cite the professor or speaker word for word, so don’t attempt it.
#5. Consider your learning style
Each of us has a different preferred style of studying; some of us like to walk around, move our hands, or read things aloud, while some prefer to sit quietly and organize their notes by rewriting them. So, take into consideration your own style, and adjust your learning habits accordingly. This way, it’ll be easier for you to memorize all the important things, and once you get the hang of it, it’ll help you use your time more efficiently as well.
There are four main learning styles:
You may find that a combination of visual learning techniques with reading and writing is the best way you can retain the information. You may find that it is easier to learn when you speak out loud or listen. Group discussions may help to cement the information. If you don’t know what learning style that best helps you, then don’t worry. This may come from experience. Over time, you will be able to do a trial and errorexperiment to see if a certain learning style helps you do better and remain productive. If you get easily distracted when listening to lectures, you may be better off using kinaesthetic learning styles where you take a hands-on approach. Learning something, in theory, is one way to make yourself familiar with the subject, butapplying it in real life or in the classroom with a model can help you retain the information.
If you don’t want to wait to find out, then you can ask yourself some questions or take an online quiz. Some common questions that you can ask yourself are:
- Do you prefer to listen, analyze pictures, or handle physical objects?
- Do you remember things by saying them out loud, watching someone do a demonstration, or by experiencing it yourself?
- Do you remember someone’s face, name, or hug?
- When you see the word dog, do you picture it, say it to yourself, or think about it?
There are plenty of online quizzes out there with many more questions like this that will determine what type of learner you are. Once you find this out and start studying using the best techniques, you should find your productivity soars.
#6. Work in short blocks of time
Many students have a problem maintaining their focus for a long time, depending on the topic that they are working on. After all, it’s safe to say that you won’t be interested in every single subject, but all of them will require you to be focused while studying. So, in order to maintain your concentration, don’t try to work for three hours at once; split your studying into 30- or 45-minute blocks, and take 10-minute breaks between them. This way, you’ll be able to freshen up, and you won’t struggle as much.
In these breaks, make sure to completely forget about studying for a while. You could catch up with friends, play some games, or tidy your room. Whatever you do, taking the break enables your mind to let all the information you just learned sink in properly. When you return, you can see how much information has gone in by testing yourself.
College years can be stressful, but they can also be enjoyable if you manage to organize well and fulfill all your student responsibilities. Not to mention that they can also improve your chances of professional success after college, which is why you should do your best to be as productive and hardworking as you can be.