Back to uni, back to productivity

Lyndsey Ward shares her tips for settling back into a productive routine after months away from university.

Lyndsey Ward
15th September 2020

After months away from university, the thought of starting and maintaining a steady, productive routine can seem daunting. With remote teaching and more flexible timetables, productivity may seem really achievable for some. However, for others, staying motivated and keeping on top of university work may prove a challenge. Hopefully this article will help you feel more prepared and at ease, and will remind you that everyone is in the same boat!

Something crucial for maintaining a productive routine is striking a good balance between studying and having your own time to wind down. It's really important not to over work and demotivate yourself, but it's equally important to keep on top of your studies. This is not only to reduce your stress, but to also put yourself in the best position to achieve your full potential. Therefore, you have to use your time wisely to find the right balance.

Image: Free-Photos, Pixabay

Speaking of striking a good balance between studying and free time, I think having things to look forward to is really important. If you have lots of work to do but nothing to look forward to, staying motivated can prove tricky. Even if it's just small things that you plan to do once you've finished your work or task, such as buying yourself a coffee, making yourself your favourite meal, or watching your favourite film; having something to look forward to can really make staying productive more manageable. For bigger university deadlines or tasks, you may want to equally plan multiple or bigger things/events to look forward to afterwards. I've found that having these things to work towards really helps me stay motivated and productive.

Having something to look forward to can really make staying productive more manageable

Additionally, in order to fall back in to a productive routine, setting yourself achievable, realistic goals is so important. For example, recapping a certain amount of lecture content in an afternoon, or writing a certain (realistic) amount of words for an essay in a day. It's okay if you don't always achieve these small goals, but having clear, realistic aims to work towards can make productivity far more obtainable.

Furthermore, adding some sort of structure to your day is really helpful. It may sound boring, but consistently waking up and going to sleep at regular times really does make a difference. Getting enough sleep whilst not waking up too late means you can make the most of your time, and it also makes it easier for you to stick to a productive routine. On top of this, getting good quality sleep can really make or break you productivity. This can be achieved by reducing your screen time before sleeping, which is something I think many of us struggle with. However, even if it's just twenty minutes before you go to bed, doing something without a screen can make a huge difference. Whether it's putting on a relaxing playlist, listening to an audio or reading a book, meditating; anything that relaxes you and gets you off your devices right before you sleep is great.

Getting good quality sleep can really make or break you productivity

A couple of extra tips to help you stay productive include making playlists for when you're working (if you don't get distracted by music), having a tidy and organised work space and getting some exercise (a walk counts!) to clear your mind.

With these things in mind, I hope that falling back into a productive university routine seems a lot less daunting. You've got this!

Featured image: Wokandapix, Pixabay

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