Going into my fourth semester at university, one would sort of expect I had things figured out… at least somewhat. And that’s true to a certain extent – I’ve made it through three exam seasons just fine, found some nice study music… but what am I even doing? How should I go about finding a productive routine?
So in the spirit of this academic confusion, I thought I’d share some things that have helped me increase (or at least made me feel like I have increased) my productivity – as well as some things I want to give a try this semester.
Tried and true
- Sleep schedule
The best thing to probably ever happen to me in terms of productivity was figuring out a sleep schedule. We all know getting enough sleep is important – but I definitely underestimated how much of a “I totally have my life together”-feel a sleep schedule would provide. Who knew there was a point to getting up at 7:30 am every day?? Having a regular sleep schedule somehow makes me feel more awake both in the morning and the evening – so I technically have all the time in the world to get work done + plenty of free time – a win-win!
Also, I find it nicer to just happen to be awake for lectures – no matter how early – rather than wake up for lectures and hurry through the morning.
- Studying on-campus in between lectures
Back in first year, I used to run back and forth between campus and home. Big waste of time! I’ve found that I can get a bulk of reading/studying done just sitting around at Teviot in between lectures. That way, I won’t end up feeling guilty for not working on anything when I do get home. Plus, I find those one to two hour breaks between lectures ideal: enough time to start and finish some task, but short enough to maintain focus and not draw things out unnecessarily long.
- Weekend study day (with plenty of breaks)
Another thing I’ve tried out this year is to hit the library for a “study day” on the weekend (split up by plenty of breaks of course – there’s no point in staring at a page for hours if you can’t focus). Really, it’s just setting aside an entire day for catching up, getting tutorial exercises done, etc. – I find knowing I have some extra time makes the workload appear less daunting. Plus, if you study with a friend you also get in some socialising 😊
Things to give a go
- Finding a hobby
One major goal for this semester is to break my Netflix-binge-watching-habit and replace it with some hobby to balance out the studying. I am assuming that if I found something fun to do with more of a natural endpoint I wouldn’t be “wasting” as much time. Maybe I should try playing chess, or something? Go for walks? We’ll see.
- Getting chores out of the way first thing
One of my friends swears by getting your chores out of the way early in the morning, scheduling appointments before lectures start, etc. Basically: getting anything you need to do done early, so it won’t distract you during the day. That’s definitely something I want to give a go too.
Aaaaand that’s it from me. As always – all highly subjective, and do what works for you!