10 go-to productivity tips

10 go to productivity tips - college 101 - simply 20 seconds

Hi Lovelies!

Welcome back to Simply 20 Seconds. There has been a little switch in the post planning this month so I have College 101 post for you know instead of the first monday of the month! Yay studying!

Staying productive and motivated during school and classes can be hard. You just want to get home and sleep, watch a show or listen to some music. But no, Most of the time you have revision to do, practicum prep, paper to write. So here are some tips to stay on top of your world!

1 Create a Cycle

Having a regular sleeping pattern improves not only sleep but your activity during the day as well. When your body has consistency, it will ‘know’ when you have to use more or less energy. This way you are more awake and ready to get productive.

I get up every day between 6.30-7AM, even on weekends and go to bed around 11PM (not always on weekends). Because of this I have no problems getting up in the morning, and I fall asleep quite quick. And I really feel more energetic

My complete morning routine will be up soon!

2 Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water (1,5 to 2 liters) per day, reduces headaches and increases energy. It transports nutrients through the body. Also your brain is like 70% water… Seems logical to keep it that way!

Drinking water also boost your immune system! So it keeps you extra healthy in the winter. And it improves your mood.

In my experience I only really started to notice the effects of drinking the recommended amount of water when I quiet drinking soda. It’s been only 2 month since I stopped and I don’t even like drinking it anymore.

Let’s move on with the real work now!

3 Unclutter your desk

A clean and uncluttered workspace will not only organize your desk but also your mind. You’ll have less distraction, which means more focus on your work.

Also put your phone out of sight. And if that doesn’t work, install a cold turkey block app on your phone.

4 Prioritize

If you have a planner where you write in your assignments and task that great! And if you have room to write daily to do-lists in them, even better! If you don’t, get yourself a cheap notebook of a piece of paper and write out all the things you have to do today.

If you have bigger tasks, break them down in smaller pieces. When that’s done prioritize them.
1) Is it important and urgent? Do it first!
2) Is it important and not urgent? Plan it in for another day.
3) Is it urgent but not that important? Do it today, after step 1
4) It’s not urgent and not important? Delete it.

5 Keep your list by your side

After you made your list of the day, keep in within reach. You can’t predict how a day will go, and you can’t completely predict how a task will go. When something changed in you list, adapt it immediately. When Something has to be added, Add it within your priority list.

I keep a small notebook with my to do’s for school, my blog and my other projects. I prioritize them project per project and evaluate what I should be working on that day. So that I have everything done in time. But time management is for another time.

10 go to productivity tips - college 101 - simply 20 seconds

6 Take breaks

This is probably everybody’s favorite and you’ve probably heard of the pomodoro method. I don’t find this a very effective method, and I found that a lot of my friends would not recommend this. If you don’t know the pomodoro method, it goes like this: After 25 minutes of studying/working, you take a 5 minute break.

In my own experience I noticed that I spend more time calculating how many minutes I have to do instead of actually working. Also when I do actually use the time to study, and I’m really ‘into it’, the alarm goes off and its time for a break.

So I recommend to find your own rhythm of study periods. For example I study in 2 hour block. With a 10 minute break in the middle and a half hour break between 2 hour blocks. You have to find your own flow in this.

7 Be busy!

Productivity doesn’t stop in breaks. don’t get out your flow. Don’t go scrolling on Facebook or Instagram. Do something, make yourself some tea and walk around the house. Write in your journal, make some doodles. Go for an actual outside walk. Read a book. Anything, it doesn’t matter, as long as it isn’t something mindless. You’ll feel like you have accomplished more (and you actually have) and you breaks don’t ‘accidentally’ stretch out to 2 hours of numbing pointless scrolling.

In my 10 minute breaks I usually go downstairs and get something to eat and refill my water. In my half hour breaks I read, work on a blog post, or other project. just be carefull to watch the time. So that your projects don’t take over!

8 Soundtracks

A lot of people like to work with some background music and I agree. It can get so boring within the silence. But lyrics and talking disrupts your concentration, if you notice or not. It’s been proven that listening to soundtracks or non-lyrical music stimulates the brain and doesn’t distract your focus.

The logic behind this, is that soundtracks are not made to attract your attention, they support the movie or series, but it doesn’t distract you from what’s happening on the screen.

If you are a DC fan I recommend Blake Neely. He wrote the soundtracks of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and Riverdale. I also love all the Harry Potter soundtracks. Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland and Now You See Me.

9 Don’t multi-task

I know we life in a time where everything has to be don’t at the same time. But this works counter-active. It’s better to have your whole attention to 1 task than to decide it in 2 or more. It will take you longer and you will probably have poorer results. multitasking doesn’t always mean working on 2 projects at the same time. It means doing 2 unrelated things at the same time.

It’s harder than you might initially thing. Try to have breakfast, just breakfast. So no checking your phone. You’ll see it’s not that easy, now imagine how much harder it will be to do school work without checking your messages.

10 Find your productive hours

Productivity, creativity and motivation are something personal. I can’t tell you when you should best work on your tasks and assignments. You have to discover that yourself. do you feel more focused in the morning? Start your important tasks in the morning (yes, even before school). Same goes for evening or afternoon.

(side note: don’t make it too late. Sleep is more important that people think. 7-8 hours sleep a day, use them! you’ll feel much better)

I am a morning person so I get up earlier than I ‘should’. I wrote about this in my morning routine as well, click to check that out! After school  get my afternoon slump and I just get really tired. Yet I don’t go to Facebook. I just work on a fun project to relax my mind and an hour or so later I start revising.

It’s really all about getting to know your body and how your energy is spread over the day. It’s not because method A works for you friend that it will work for you. people are different, also if it comes to productivity!

And that’s it really! I hope it helped you out a little. If it did let me know!

Do you have any other productivity tips that help you? Let us know in the comments!

Curious to the last College 101 post? check it out here
More in to books or music? Read my latest book review here and check out my October Playlist!





  1. I’m not in college anymore but oh, these apply so much! Especially the clutter on my desk – I’m never as productive as when I’ve got a clean slate to work with, so to speak!
    I still struggle with structured breaks, though, and have to work on that…

    1. I find breaks the hardest too. I still haven’t found the perfect balance yet. But I’m getting there 😉

      1. I actually found that decluttering/cleaning works as a break for me. I get the reward of a nice living space, a bit of movement and don’t have to think. 🙂

  2. I need to print this list and hang it everywhere in my condo! I’m a non-traditional full time student and prioritizing is a difficult thing for me. Not to mention, I’m quite the procrastinator too! Thanks for sharing such valuable information!

    1. Me too! I have an 8am till 5pm schedule almost every day. It hard to make efficient use of the hours you have left!

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