Successful student: Time management and motivation

Jocelyn Mobley, Features Editor

We’ve all been there. We sit down, coffee in hand, with our best intentions for productivity. Then “somehow” we manage to get nothing done. Here are five tips to diminish distractions and improve productivity.

Make a schedule and stick to it.
Get a planner and map out your week. Schedule time for work, class, homework, studying, commuting, extracurriculars, food, cleaning and sleep-down to the hour. Once you have a schedule, set alarms on your phone to keep you on track.

Make studying a habit.
A ball in motion stays in motion. After a long day at school or work, the only thing you may want to do is crawl in bed, but resist the urge and focus. With time, studying after a long day will be second nature and no longer difficult. Keep a book next to your bed at night and read for fifteen minutes before bed or bring it to work and read during your break.

Create a study space.
Grab a hot cup of coffee or tea, light a candle and put on some comfy clothes. Make it enjoyable so you want to be there.

Gather everything you need before you sit down to study, so you’re not constantly getting up to get necessary study items. Turn off your phone or put it on airplane mode to diminish distractions. Set a timer for every 30 minutes to stand and stretch. Do a few yoga poses to get your blood flowing.

Make “you time.”
Get outside and exercise, take a hot bath or meditate. Take some time to relax and decompress.

According to a 2016 study in The New York Times, chronic stress can impair healthy brain development and the ability to learn. Transcendental meditation—a stress-reducing technique that involves thinking of mantra can reduce stress and its manifestation.”

This type of meditation can help you raise your productivity levels by alleviating stress. If you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of late assignments and upcoming tests, take a few minutes to practice this technique to put nerves at ease.

Change your scenery.
If all else fails, change your scenery. Leave the house and go to a coffee shop, bookstore or school library. Motivation is contagious. Sit next to someone who is busily working away; you may find it easier to focus by tapping into their energy.