10 College Life Hacks for Improving Productivity in 7 Days

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By: Marie Fincher

July 30, 2015

Do you feel as if you simply aren’t accomplishing what you need to each day? Are constantly late, running behind on assignments, or staying up all night to get anything done? If so, you might have a productivity problem. This can impact your grades, social life, and home life. Fortunately, there is a wide array of tools, apps, and even personal habits that you can adopt to improve your productivity. As a matter of fact, if you implement  even a few the productivity life hacks below, you should see great improvement within 7 days.

  • Spend a few Hours During the Weekend Cooking and Preparing Food for the Week

This isn’t complicated, and it doesn’t take a long time to accomplish. Make some hard boiled eggs. Find a muffin recipe that you like. Make smoothies and freeze them in individual servings. Keep deli meats and cheeses around for quick sandwiches. Stock up on fruit that you can eat out of hand, trail mix, nuts, and string cheese. The point is to make sure that you can grab what you need out of the kitchen in the morning and hit the road.

  • Bypass Google and use SCIRP.ORG

If you are doing scientific research, google can be full of dead ends. Even if you limit your search to Google Scholar, you’ll frequently run into premium sources, scanned in and hard to read documents, and lots of search results that aren’t relevant to your research. SCIRP is different. You can read peer reviewed resources on a wide variety of topics, all for free. If you are taking a science heavy course load, you could save hours each week.

  • Get Alarmy

If oversleeping puts you behind the eight ball for the rest of the day, Alarmy might be your saving grace. Alarmy is just what its name indicates. It is a downloadable alarm app for your Apple device. It is loud. It is obnoxious. It refuses to shut up. Your options for turning off Alarmy? Get up and take a picture of a designated room, or shake your phone a predetermined number of times.

  • Use Mint to Track Your Financials

Don’t waste time each week going over your financials trying to determine where you’ve spent your money, what you owe on each credit card, or when your next cell phone payment is coming out of your checking account.

  • Plan some Downtime During the Day

If you are wearing yourself thin, all day long without taking any kind of a break, by the time evening rolls around, you are going to lose motivation and concentration. The best way to accomplish this is by making a habit of taking a lunch every day, even if it is only for fifteen minutes.

  • Identify your Up Time and take Advantage of it

Are you lethargic in the morning, but full of energy between ten and midnight? Use that to your advantage. Arrange your classes so that you can sleep in the morning, or at the very least so that you aren’t forcing yourself to pay attention in your most difficult class. When that burst of energy hits at ten, do something productive. There’s no rule that says you can’t clean your apartment, organize your notes, or get some homework done during that time.

  • Don’t let the Internet Become your Enemy

As a college student, you do a lot of work online. That’s a convenient thing, but there are pitfalls. It’s way too easy to stop working on your assignment while you’re on the internet to check Facebook, look at your emails, reblog funny things on Tumblr, or do whatever it is that you do on the internet for fun. If the temptation to play around on the internet is too great, there are many apps and software packages that you can use to block specific websites during certain hours of the day.

  • Spend at Least one Hour each Week Sorting and Purging

If you stay on top of organization, you are less likely lose things. You are also less likely to spend hours cleaning and organizing if everything has a place. It is also important to purge things on a regular basis. If you aren’t using it, and it isn’t sentimental, it should be thrown out or donated.

  • Use Audio Books for Your Reading Assignments Whenever Possible

This will allow you to ‘read’ while you are cleaning, working out, or taking care of other tasks. Even if you cannot find your school reading assignments in audio form, you should consider using audio books for your recreational reading also. Either way, your efficiency will increase.

  • Get some Sleep

You cannot be productive if you are exhausted. Burning the midnight oil is sometimes a necessity, but it should never be habit. Make sure that getting proper rest is a priority.

Marie Fincher

While being committed to a number of charitable causes, like volunteering at special events or giving free art lessons to children, Marie doesn’t forget her vocation – writing. She can write about almost anything but has focused on time management, motivation, academic and business writing.