Four Ways to Increase Productivity and Organization for College Students

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Bella Emanuel
A graphic with geometrical shapes and the blog title ‘Four Ways to Increase Productivity and Organization for College Students’.

During the first few weeks of my freshman year at Miami University, I was overwhelmed with how I would balance my schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and new friendships. Creating a balanced schedule at college can often be tricky. I quickly adapted to life here at Miami and implemented four strategies that helped me stay productive and organized: using a planner, making my bed every morning, creating a master syllabus, and prioritizing my mental and physical health.

Planning Each Week

At the beginning of each school year, I buy a new planner to start fresh. When the semester begins, I plan my week each Sunday evening. This allows me to plan out what assignments I will complete each day of the week. This helps me avoid procrastination and allows me to get my assignments done early. I also include group meetings, social events, or any other work that needs to be accomplished that week. Using a planner each week allows me to balance all my work and activities in an organized fashion.

Making My Bed

Each morning, the first thing that I do is make my bed. I started doing this after reading Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven. It helps me start my day both productively and in an organized manner. Making my bed makes me feel put together and ready to take on the day. Completing a task right when I wake up allows me to check a task off my list and makes me feel accomplished.

Creating a Master Syllabus

During the first week of each semester I create a master syllabus that includes all my assignments for each class for the whole semester. I go through each syllabus and pull out the assignment names, dates, and times that each assignment is due. Next, I enter them into a spreadsheet and color-code them by class. The final step is to order the data by the due date. This allows me to recognize what assignments are due each week and allows me to write them down in my planner. This is a way to keep track of all of my assignments and see which weeks have a heavier course load. Having all my assignments in one place creates good habits of turning work in on time and increases my productivity.

A screenshot of Bella’s Master Syllabus show assignments and due dates in an Excel spreadsheet.

Prioritizing My Mental and Physical Health

Prioritizing both my mental and physical health is something that I have put great emphasis on when learning how to navigate college, all the work, and all the sickness. It is important to realize that no one is perfect and sometimes students may put their health on the back burner. Getting sick in your dorm the first year is inevitable. The three things that I try to do to prioritize my health is journaling, working out, and drinking plenty of water. These things make me feel better and overall increase my productivity.

I urge you to try one of these four strategies over the course of the semester. These little things can make a big difference when it comes to staying organized and having an efficient semester. Who wouldn’t want to be more productive and organized?

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