Being More Productive

Tips for students to increase their productivity while working on homework and other tasks.


Mind Tools

An example of a planner.

Allister McLeod, Editor of Student Opinion

After a long day at school, all most people want to do is relax and unwind. Unfortunately, almost everyone has some amount of homework to do. While homework can take a huge amount of time, there are lots of ways for people to get it done quicker and be much more productive while doing so.

One of the best ways to increase productivity is to make a to-do list, according to Mind Tools. This list should contain all of your assignments, when they’re due, how important they are, and how much time you think they will take to complete. Using this list, students can quickly see what they have to do, and when they need to have it done. By listing a task’s importance and length, it’s much easier to plan for that task, and build an effective schedule. While a to-do list allows people to plan out when they are going to do things, sticking to that plan is a whole other problem. Many people will wait until the last minute to work on something, so it’s important to learn how to avoid procrastination. Mind Tools suggests doing tasks as soon as they are known about, especially if they are disliked tasks that people won’t want to work on later. Even if students aren’t up to working on a big project, they can rearrange their schedule to still get some work done. Doing some less important work done is better than not doing any.

Along with planning and sticking to a schedule, people can increase productivity by changing the workspace around them. One way to do this is by changing the temperature of the room you’re in. According to a study by the University of Southern California, many people are at their most productive state of mind when in a room around 71.6°, though the temperature can range from 65° to 75° depending on the person. The temperature someone chooses shouldn’t be so cold that people feel uncomfortable, but cool enough to keep them awake. Students should also pay attention to the light level of their workspace, since a too dark environment makes it harder to stay focused.

A final way students can increase productivity is by taking breaks from doing work and rewarding themselves. The University of Chicago states that taking short breaks actually increases productivity by allowing students short amounts of rest to reset their minds. During these breaks, students can grab a snack, look at social media, or talk with their friends, as long as they make sure to get back to work soon. Students can also set a reward for themselves for once they’re done with their work, to encourage them to keep moving forward.

It may not be easy to get through mountains of homework, but increasing productivity can help to make it faster and less stressful. While paying attention to their workspace, making a to-do list, avoiding procrastination, and rewarding themselves are some of the best ways for students to increase productivity, you can easily find more in depth strategies online. However you do your homework, though, make sure you are doing it productively in a way that works for you.