Seven productivity hacks for study success in 2017

Student studying the shared living area at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

Small adjustments on how you attack your studies can make quite a difference to your grades. These productivity hacks are aimed at boosting your marks this session, with as little effort as possible.

  1. Tune into your prime time. Are you are morning person and crash in the afternoon? Or do you work best late into the night when you’re alert? Work out when you have the most energy and leave that time for the hard tasks like writing essays or reading complex reports.
  2. Get rid of distractions. Leave your phone in the other room. Work in the library or use one of the on campus study spaces. Find a place where you can work undisturbed.
  3. Create a monthly schedule. Block out lectures, work shifts and your leisure days. Then look at what’s left and book in 2 hours of prime time to study each week. Low energy periods are great times to exercise, socialise, take some down time or try out some self-care strategies.
  4. Overestimate your assessments by 20 per cent. This will give you room to breathe in case you get sick, you’ve had an emergency or your computer crashes at the 11th hour.
  5. Book in a maxi day each month. This is a great hack when you’re juggling study and family or work (or both). Commit to one big day a month where you can really get on top of a big task. It will amp up your progress and save you from that dragging feeling that comes with doing uni work every weekend.
  6. Set an intention. Before each two hour study block, take five minutes to set out what you want to achieve during the study session. Do you need to write 500 words, read four articles or just make notes?
  7. Work in focused pulses. Get a cheap kitchen timer (or if you’re disciplined use your phone) and figure out what works for you. In a two hour session you could do four 25 minute work sessions with five minute breaks in between or two 50 minute sessions with a 15 minute reset in the middle.

By Kim Nelson