It’s the first week of classes and you are feeling GOOD. Like really, really good. You’ve made it a personal goal to actually eat breakfast before your 9 am recitations, and you’ve decided that for once you’re going to actually show face at all your lectures this semester. No, wait. Shoot for the stars. You’re going to be five minutes early to all your lectures this semester. This campus is your oyster. The opportunities are endless. This year is going to be different, dammit.
So let’s capitalize on those good vibes before midterm szn hits and all hell breaks loose. It isn’t difficult to make small changes to ensure that you maintain some semblance of productivity throughout the year.
Let’s start with something you probably haven’t actively thought about since middle school: your school supplies. Instead of picking up a storebrand spiral notebook from CVS ten minutes before your class, get yourself a notebook that’ll take the edge off of having to handwrite notes in that one Arts and Letters class that won’t let you open up your laptop. Fill these journals with class notes, daily to-do lists or even schedule out your day hour by hour if that’ll help you feel a little calmer about getting your shit done.
Speaking of scheduling, if written out agendas aren’t your thing, repeat after us: Google Calendar is my friend. Google Calendar is my friend. Google Calendar is my friend. Download the app. Throw your class schedule on their and all your club events. Your new friend can even help you fit goals into your schedule.
As for all the time you’re not in class and are trying to get things done? First things first, get a good study playlist. Street’s got you covered with our new Essential Study Playlist but if you’re looking to put your own spin on your work tunes, create your own playlist or consider making a collaborative playlist with a friend where you can combine forces to create a great study soundtrack.
For the gung-ho no distraction studier Self Control is the way to go. Turn on Self Control to block out any distracting websites for a set amount of time while you get work done. But be warned, Self Control has actually zero chill. Disabling the app before the timer expires is no easy feat so if you’re looking for something a little more lenient, try Strict Workflow (don’t let the name scare you), a similar tool offered as a Chrome extension. Strict Workflow follows a 25/5 working model, meaning it’ll block a personalized list of websites for 25 minutes and then give you a 5 minute break to quickly take care of all of your urgent Facebook stalking needs.
Do you want to feel like an overachiever and keep using that five minute study break productively? Try Calm.com for a quick guided meditation to help you refocus your thoughts, or download Headspace if you’re looking for a more long term commitment to some serious zen. All in all, we know that getting a new notebook and finding a meditation app isn’t going to solve all your problems. But sometimes, it’s the little things that make getting your life together a little easier.