Distractions. Every student runs into them.
In an environment like a college campus, you can walk ten feet and discover a new distraction.
You probably run into assortments of events, clubs, and invitations that all demand your time.
But what about your studies? And what about your personal projects? Perhaps you need time to spend on perfecting your business too?
Staying productive is essential to your success in college, and your success compared to your competition. If you want to be the student that gets noticed, you have to maximize your output each and every day.
Below, let’s find ten ways you can maximize your productivity as a student.
Before we talk about the tech tools and apps that can help you better manage your time and energy, let’s go over some ways to hack your life in a way that boosts productivity,
There are lots of ways to keep yourself on task and grinding when you are at school.
Remind yourself why you are here to begin with.
Did you enroll to slack off and mess around all the time? Or did you get yourself in a top University to learn more than you’ve ever learned before?
What is your point of being in the situation you are in? What do you need to do in order to reach the goal you set out for?
As a student, it is easy to lose track of your overarching goal. By keeping yourself in check, you will find yourself prioritizing what’s important. This is the first key to valuing your most productive hours.
Observe your daily routine. Increase your productivity.
Are you getting up every day excited to learn? Are you constantly trying to fit “just another small project” in your work schedule? If you love what you’re learning, this is a great sign. If not, find a way to enjoy it.
Sometimes, all it takes is observing your life from another angle to appreciate what you are doing.
Build your healthy habits by focusing on activities that lead to personal empowerment.
For the times that you do take a pause on productivity, you should be doing something that makes you feel happy, or motivated to be a better person. I love this article by entrepreneur that explains it best.
If you didn’t know already, exercise is the entrepreneur’s hidden secret to rising over their competition.
Exercise has constantly been proven over and over again to be one of the healthiest activities you can partake in.
Not only will it make you look better, your mental health and physical well-being will improve. A lot.
Ideally, you should be taking breaks while you work so you can keep a clear mind and avoid brain fog. During these breaks, you should absolutely try exercising.
Afterwards, you might feel tired for a period of time but your focus and attention will be reset once you get back to your work area.
Ideal for maximum productivity.
Aside from making changes in your lifestyle to create a healthy and productive routine, there are also plenty of online tools meant to help boost productivity.
Let’s take a look at some of the different kinds of products at our disposal.
Firstly, there are a lot of platforms that can help you manage your time and workload in one space. This software is typically reserved for a business client who needs to assign tasks to employees and make sprints for keeping track of their activities.
However, they can be used just as well for students. In fact, since most students don’t know about the existence of these tools, it could be an easy way to gain an edge over them in productivity.
The app I recommend for managing all your assignments, tasks, and projects is ClickUp.
ClickUp is a software that lets you see and coordinate all your tasks in a simple to read interface. It is available to use online as a website or in app form (for free).
Personally, I like it because it is easy to learn and use right away. Then, you have a place to store all your notes, homework due dates, assignments, and projects.
It’s perfectly easy to manage and visualize so you don’t forget your due dates.
Being able to see and organize your work like this is great for productivity because you can have the page open while you work on your actual projects. This way, you always have a reminder of what you need to do.
It’s also a great way of seeing all the work you’ve done already.
Also, if you are working on team projects, ClickUp is ideal for keeping your assignments and team members closely organized in one spot.
If you want to get started using ClickUp now, here is a simple tutorial that only utilizes the free features.
First, click on the link and enter your email to sign up.
You will be asked a series of questions so ClickUp can better understand your use cases and how they can optimize the platform for you.
Once you find yourself at the dashboard, I would recommend creating a brand new space (unless you got started with your own space already).
On the left, find the icon for “SPACES”. Click this and click “Add New”.
This will open a pop-up. Click on “Templates”.
On the next screen, I would recommend selecting “Beginner” under Levels. Then, a great template to start with is the “Simple To Dos”.
Complete the steps required to make your to do template. You will be brought back to the dashboard.
I like seeing my to do list in this board format so it is easier to visualize what I have to do-everything is aligned in a column.
To see this, just click on the board option at the top of the screen.
And there you have it!
We created a simple to do list that can save you from missing your assignments and keep you productive for days to come.
Feel free to explore all the other tools that ClickUp offers as they all serve to maximize your productivity.
Next, let’s look at tools that you can integrate with the apps you use already.
The best option for keeping track of your plans and due dates on a calendar is Google Calendar.
It is available for all devices, free, and you should honestly be using it already.
I love Google Calendar because I can keep track of my work meetings, my due dates, as well as my personal plans. All in one place! And it looks great too.
If you aren’t a fan of Google Calendar, another option is iStudiez Pro.
iStudiez Pro is an app available on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows, and Android.
It is a dedicated calendar app that gives you a slightly different UI design to organize your tasks.
It is actually designed specifically with students in mind, so your tasks can be organized by school subjects and assignment details.
I like iStudiez Pro because it gives you an overall view of your month as well as the as the week or day up close. This is a feature I wish Google Calendar had.
So what about apps that help you organize your notes?
For taking notes, my favorite app to use is EverNote.
Why? EverNote is easily the best all-around tool for note-taking, organizing, and exporting.
Let’s go over some of the different functionalities of EverNote.
First of all, EverNote has a clean, responsive notepad for writing on your tablet with a stylus.
This is ideal for taking notes during lecture, discussions, or meetings for work.
If you don’t have a tablet, you might want to consider a few things.
I’m going to be honest, having an iPad for taking notes is far superior to taking notes on your physical notebook.
If you go to any prestigious university’s lecture hall today, you will only see students using tablets and computers. The day of the paper notepad is all but gone.
Another plus of using EverNote is how easy it is to take a picture of a lecture board and upload it to your computer or tablet for annotating and viewing.
This makes it much easier to save your teacher’s notes without needing to copy down everything word for word. Another option is downloading the lecture directly from your school’s learning management system and uploading the file to EverNote, where you can annotate.
For those of you who prefer typing your notes, you can take advantage of pre-made templates that can be nicely filled and saved into your notes drive.
If you are planning on using only your tablet to take notes, the best option by far is Notability.
Notability is a bestselling digital notes app that nearly every student uses nowadays. For more information on it, Business Insider created a great review you should check out.
The Pomodoro Technique is a timing strategy devised by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980’s.
It essentially splits your work time into intervals of 25 minutes separated by short breaks.
Research has proven that 25 minutes is the perfect amount of time for one to stay focused, productive, and urgent without getting distracted.
Intervals are called pomodoros (Italian for tomato) because Cirillo used a tomato-shaped timer to stay productive in college.
Luckily for us, we don’t have to use a tomato to stay on top of our time.
This free chrome-add on called Just Focus is a great little plugin that lets you set a 25 minute timer at any point.
From there, all distracting websites become blocked and you are sent to enter the work flow zone.
Last but not least, I recommend downloading Grammarly, a free online writing assistant tool.
By adding Grammarly as a chrome-add on, you can have a little spell checker that is constantly following you around as you type.
Don’t worry, it isn’t as annoying as it sounds.
In fact, it’s actually really useful.
Sometimes, an error that you would have easily skimmed over will be instantly found by the Grammarly bot.
Personally, I have been saved many times by Grammarly’s assistance.
In addition to spell check, Grammarly can automatically adjust your emails, texts, essays, and content in a way that is most readable to your audience.
So instead of wasting your time rewriting every one of your sentences, I would highly recommending adding Grammarly to your chrome add-on list if you haven’t already.
Scratch that, I have one more final recommendation.
In order to stay productive, you should know how each second in your day is used.
Is it being used well? Are you spending most of your time either outdoors getting fresh air or indoors grinding? Or is the time spent stalking people on social media and mindlessly watching videos on TikTok…
Regardless, you can find out exactly how your hours are being used with RescueTime.
RescueTime is an app that tracks your time spent on all sorts of activities so you can maximize your productivity.
By simply downloading their software, you can see exactly how all your time is spent.
This information is invaluable when it comes to analyzing your productivity. After all, you can’t optimize your productivity if you don’t know where your time is going.
For this reason, I credit RescueTime for saving me hours of wasted time just because I didn’t realize how long I was off-task for.
Basically, the point of this article was to tell you that… Productivity is important.
In fact, it’s so important that it could be the deciding factor between you and another person getting that dream job.
It could be the differentiating factor for who gets a 7 figure salary straight out of college and who gets a piece of paper.
Luckily, it is definitely possible to optimize your life with the changes I covered in this article.
Here’s a shortened list of the tools I laid out:
1. ClickUp – Project Managing Tool to See All Your Work in One Place
2. Google Calendar – Manage your Daily Tasks in a Familiar Way
3. iStudiez Pro – Alternative to Google Calendar with a Better UI Design
4. EverNote – Best All Around Note Taking App for Integrations with Typing and Computer Apps
5. Notability – Easily the Best Tablet Note Taking Device Available
6. Just Focus – Timer App that Uses Pomodoro Technique to Maximize Work Sessions
7. Grammarly – Automatic Writing Checker Aid
8. RescueTime – See Exactly How Your Time is Spent to Optimize Productivity.
So are you going to hack your productivity? Let me know in the comments.