1. Get clear about your goals
Reflect on your last semester and go through what went well and what didn’t work out exactly as planned. From here, you will be able to set clear goals about what you want from this semester.
Be sure to be specific about your goals and even write out a few actionable steps that you will take to ensure you meet your goals.
So, if your goal is to get an A for Marketing 101, your steps could be something like:
- Attend classes 90% of the time
- Make sure to go over the next lecture’s work the night before class
- Make a chapter summary after each chapter is completed in class
- Form a study group to go over possible exam questions
- Start making notes for exams at least 2 weeks before the date
2. Design your environment for success
Design your study space to support your goals. This may mean removing all distractions from your desk and cleaning your space. Maybe you could place your goals on a pin board on your desk or place them somewhere that they are visible.
Another option is to find an app to limit your screen time and get rid of all distractions on your phone. If you have an iPhone you can monitor your screen time through settings, screen time, app limits, however, there are many apps available for both iPhone and Android.
Or maybe you’re excited by a brand-new set of highlighters and pens. You know the kind of environment that is most effective for you, so be sure to tailor your space for ultimate focus.
3. Establish consistency
Every day we have to make so many decisions and if not managed properly this can result in mental fatigue. One way to give your brain a rest is to establish consistency in your life so that you don’t always have to make decisions.
The first and easiest way to start is by establishing consistent times to go to bed and wake up. Studies have shown that having consistent sleep hours is said to improve your sleep and leave you with more energy for the day!
Another area of your life to plan and keep consistent should be your chores and to dos. Reduce the stress of organizing by planning out when each week to grocery shop, do laundry, go to the gym etc. When all of these activities are scheduled in it leaves you with more time to do the things you want to do.
4. Batch your tasks
A great way to save time is to batch your tedious tasks. Instead of spending hours throughout the day checking your emails or cleaning bits here and there, batch these tasks into groups. For example, check and reply to emails at 8am and 1pm for 15 minutes each. This way instead of spending hours replying to emails and checking them throughout the day you can get them all done in one go.
Another example, of where batching will work well, is with cooking. Ever heard of a thing called meal prep? Try and cook in bulk so that you only have to cook once every few days. Pack the food straight into meal sized portions so grabbing your lunch on the go is quick and painless. Instead spending hours thinking about what to eat, buying ingredients multiple times, cooking every day and having to pack your lunch, try do it all in one session. This way you will be able to cut down your cook time substantially and have more time to be productive.
5. Start making use of a planner
Our last tip is to start making use of a planner. The type of planner you use is completely up to you and may depend on your personality. Some people prefer a paper journal or bullet journaling while others may like to make use of a digital planner. For a digital planner we suggest using google calendar to map out your time. If you are looking for a tutorial to see how to get started with google calendar, check out our guide here.