Being a college student can be incredibly stressful because it is the last step toward becoming an adult, responsible individual, and having a career, which means that your academic performance and every choice you make as a student will affect your future. When you add a demanding curriculum to that, it turns out that the only thing you should do is study. But, being in college should be a more complete experience, and meeting new people or watching movies with your friends all night is just as important as passing all of your classes with good grades.
You can have both, and the key to it lies within good time management. In order to become both productive and to have enough time to socialize, check out our list of 8 ways which can dramatically improve your academic performance.
Come up With a Strategy
You don’t actually have as much time as you think you have, which is why you should come up with a monthly, weekly, daily, or even an hourly schedule to make the most of your time. Set aside some time in advance for your homework assignments and projects, and break them up into stages and assign dates for each one. My Study Life is really helpful in that aspect. We also recommend useful resources such as MindGenius, which is an effective mind mapping tool, Koofers, which helps you learn with flashcards, study guides and notes.
Don’t Give Into Procrastination
One of the biggest enemies of good academic performance is procrastination. Not only are you wasting your time, but you are also forgetting what you have learned and heard in class in the first place, which will make it harder for you later on. Whenever you have an assignment you can leave for tomorrow, do it on the same day.
Have a Continuous Studying Formula
Instead of waiting days or weeks to start studying for your exams, and then risk forgetting important bits of information and not having enough time to prepare yourself, try and study every single day, even if it is for just an hour. Perfect your note-taking techniques in class and go over your notes regularly, while the lessons are still fresh in your mind. The main task is to understand your studying material, but not just to read all the paragraphs on the topic without its comprehension. Make sure to read, recite and review the topic to keep that information in your mind for the long term. That way, you won’t have to cram all night just days before the exam.
Make Use of Dead Time
All those minutes spent waiting in between classes, riding the bus, or taking a walk home can add up to quite a lot, and the worst part is, you are not being productive during those intervals. However, you can be smart about it and use them more wisely. For example, you can listen to audiobooks during your drive or walk home, go over the lessons in between two classes, and even capture recordings of your lectures and listen to them when you have minutes to spare.
Create Your Studying Space
When studying, do it at your desk, which you will keep neat and tidy. Keep all of your textbooks and study materials organized and get rid of all the unnecessary distractions, such as your phone, tablet, or computer. If you need to use your computer, make sure to use apps like Self Control, which will block access to distracting social media sites.
Take into Account Your Errands
Most students only focus on their classes, exams, studying, and their social life when creating a schedule, but only a few of them take into account the time it takes them to do their errands. Regardless of how busy you are, you will still need to cook, clean, do your laundry, go shopping and do dozens of other tasks that will eat up your time. However, you can save some of it by going shopping only once or twice a week, cleaning on Sunday and keeping it tidy during the week, and cooking your meals for the whole week.
Get Rid Of Your Bad Habits
The trouble with bad habits is that they’re so easy to develop, and so hard to get rid off. And when it comes to good habits, it’s quite the opposite. How many times have you started to exercise, eat better, and sleep more? Not only do your bad habits harm you, but also take away your precious studying time and energy. So, the next time you catch yourself taking dozens of selfies and posting them on Instagram, think about how much time you have wasted.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Now, after all this planning and studying, you should have some fun, as well. Go out with your friends and see a movie every once in a while, or check out some of the parties on campus, because those are the moments you will remember one day. Just make sure not to turn it into a daily ritual. Stick to your schedule and make room in it for relaxing and having fun.
With these 8 tips, you will be able to make your studying process more efficient and set aside enough time for yourself. In case you have any other methods that increased your academic performance which has worked for you, share them with us!
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