Productivity Tips for College Freshmen and Beyond

So you’re starting college soon, or maybe you’ve already started. It’s daunting and simultaneously super exciting! Now how do you juggle your new life while maintaining good grades and still manage to get a lot done? It’s easier than you’d think once you get the right mindset and you begin to solidify some good habits. Here are some things I did to make the dean’s list my first semester:

  1. Don’t let yourself make bad habits!

You’re in a new environment, and that means you’ve got a clean slate! You could jump on youtube immediately after finding yourself bored for the first time, or keep Netflix running in the background of everything you do, but that’s only going to hurt you in the long run. Take the things that you know will distract you, and keep them away from you. The day you move out will turn your life upside down. Life is just so different, there’s no reason to bring the negative aspects of your old life back! Look forward, not backwards!

2. Look forward to things

Attitude is everything. If you look at your work as a burden, you’re more more likely to procrastinate, have a dreadful time actually doing it, and to avoid it altogether. It might sound a little odd, but you can fool yourself into enjoying certain things. Look at the bright side of whatever the task is. Homework can be enjoyable if you look forward to learning. Choose classes you’re interested in, do what you love. Being passionate about what you do makes your quality of work and attentiveness skyrocket!

3. Just do it.

No reference intended in that. I mean it. Don’t waste your time thinking about what you have to do. Just tackle it so you don’t have time to dread it. If you do things right away, you also won’t have to worry about it later on. There’s no worries of getting it done on time or of missing out on fun with friends later on because you’ll be working on a project. Just go for it!

4. Make lists

This sounds like it’s menial or it might not help much, but honestly, it changes lives. Not only will you feel super adult-sy and sophisticated, but you will get SO MUCH done. You’re only human, and nobody can expect you to remember everything you’re supposed to do off the top of your head. You take notes in your classes, why not take notes for life? If you’re not sure how to go about it, follow my example:

  • Divide a paper into fourths
  • In the first quadrant, make a list of things you HAVE to get done before X time. I prefer to make daily lists, so my lists function as tasks I must finish before I go to bed.
  • In the second, write what you can do. This includes working ahead, fun activities, or other opportunities.
  • In the third, make a schedule so you don’t forget anything. I write out the time of each activity, what the activity is, then draw either short lines or long lines to shoe free time. The length determines how much free time I have.
  • Lastly, make a list of upcoming deadlines and events so you can plan accordingly

Lists are amazing. You can optimize your productivity, and get more done is less time because you plan ahead for it. Also, you’re less likely to forget things at home because you have a list telling you exactly what’s to come. It makes everything better!

5. Treat yo self!

Give yourself something to look forward to. If you go for a run, let yourself get that triple shot frappuccino! If you get everything done early, let yourself binge Netflix for a bit. Balance your day out. Have some fun, it will recharge you for the next day, and keep you sane through your perilous adventures.


Get out there and get stuff done! You’ve got this!






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