5 ways to be a productive student


https://perzonseo.com (Creative Commons)

BACK TO THE BASICS: Time management can be hard to obtain for students due to procrastination alongside with our school work, especially during COVID-19.

Helia Dehghanzadeh, Writing Apprentice

Whether it’s online classes or the approaching AP testing season, it can be difficult to focus on school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some helpful tips to help you keep a positive mindset for school and to reach your full potential.

1. Make short-term and long-term goals.  In order to turn your dreams into reality, stick to realistic goals while keeping your future and career plans in mind. Write down your goals on a piece of paper and tape it in front of your workstation or wherever you look at the most. Thinking too much about grand ideas for the future can be overwhelming, so focus on small steps in the present and set simple short-term goals for yourself. For example, if you have a bad grade in math, your goal shouldn’t be raising your grade by two letters; instead, your goal could be to “Get a B on the next math test.” By focusing on achieving that smaller goal, you will be able to take steps toward achieving your larger goal in a more manageable way.

2. Plan out your day. Time management is one of the most important skills in life, as even the most complex jobs can be broken down into simple tasks. Have a small notebook or planner next to you at all times, and start laying out the upcoming day the night before or in the morning when everything is fresh in your mind. Break down your day into time periods of when you will begin and end each task, whether it’s going through each class in the school day or allocating time for extracurriculars or relaxation. After a couple of weeks, your brain will naturally get used to time management and you will no longer need to write down your plans in such a meticulous manner. By organizing your thoughts, you’ll feel much happier at the end of each day knowing that you used your time productively!

3. Relax. As students, many of us constantly feel pressured to get good grades or get into our dream college. We have to learn how to prevent that anxiety from taking over us and just breathe. Take a walk outside and enjoy nature for at least fifteen minutes a day or if you’d prefer to meditate, there are plenty of videos on YouTube with relaxing music and instructions. By taking time to relax, you will be able to return to your task and finish it with ease. 

4. Sleep on time. Study, study and study is all that many students do from morning until midnight, but what about sleep? Sleep should be your best friend. Students should sleep at least eight to nine hours a day so that they can have a fresh mind coming to school or signing into Zoom. Studying after midnight is not nearly as useful as studying productively throughout the day, as your brain will be more likely to forget information because you are tired and stressed. Instead, try to manage your time wisely and spend the night recharging your brain. Even if you find that you can’t always sleep eight to nine hours a day, make sure to take a short 20-minute nap in the afternoon if you really need it.

5. Eat healthy. Junk food, chips, burritos and fries are delicious food choices, but simply are not sustainable for your body in the long run. Your body needs its nutrients in order to think properly with a positive mindset. By eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and drinking enough water everyday, you will see the changes in your attitude and performance in your school work.