Getting a great qualification in a subject you love and redefining your social life are two of the most valuable things that university offers students today. But in order to make the very best of your time, you will need to become productive, and that involves creating a productive work environment. Whether you are in your first year and just beginning to explore the fringes of your subject, or are in your final year and looking at the last few months of study before finishing your educational career, learning a few key skills about how to be productive will help you immensely.
The worst feeling in the world is checking how much work you’ve done in the last 6 hours and realising you’ve jumped from one distraction to another without having produced anything meaningful. The best place to start is to identify what distracts you – whether it’s music, flashing lights, a messy desk, or an inconsiderate flatmate who never ceases to leave you alone to your studies. Once these have been identified, make sure they’re dealt with. You’ll be thankful once your work is finished!
Tidy Your Space
I know students aren’t renowned for their tidiness, so here’s your chance to prove the nay-sayers wrong by have the most organised desk in all the land. Take the last week’s worth of tea and coffee mugs to the dishwasher, bin the rubbish, dust your shelves, make your bed, align your picture frames; you’ll feel like you’ve tidied your mind afterwards and will find yourself in the perfect zone to do some really productive work. (Don’t simply sort your physical world, your laptop can always do with a good sorting. Put those icons in a folder!)
A good workout will clear your mind and prepare you for a good study session. Whether first thing in the morning or in the evening, or a choice between an all out sport or a walk around campus, this will provide energy for your mind to produce its greatest works. It can be really difficult to make this a habit, but long term you will reap the benefits.
Music can be a great way to get into what you are doing! Some people need silence, but for others, there is great rhythmic potential out there that is perfectly aligned with your mind’s resonance frequency. Build yourself a playlist of your favourite songs to work to, whether classical music, R&B or soundtracks from epic movies like “Last of the Mohicans.” There is inspiration in music, but there are times when earplugs work best for the moment, depending on the project.
Get Off your Phone, Skype, Twitter & Facebook!
There is very little chance that using social media tools are a key component of you studies, so switch them off! If you struggle to turn away from the incessant notifications, just imagine your lecturer standing over you checking your work, you wouldn’t want to be on Facebook then would you?
Coffee and tea are a great way to stimulate the mind and get the body moving. They are also good ways to stay hydrated and concentrate on the work at hand. But beware the consequences of too much caffeine – some of which include heart problems, preventing a good night’s sleep and causing your insides all manner of difficulties! Stay away from energy drinks and stick to water.
Good Attitude = Good to go!
You are strong, committed, and able! A good attitude can get you through a multitude of challenges in life. Setting up a productive environment may now seem like a near impossible task, but I promise that creating these good habits are just as easy as creating bad ones- it is just a matter of a little self discipline.
How do you create a productive environment to work in?