There are plenty of stereotypes surrounding top students. Most people think that they’re hardcore readers, while some assume that they spend hours studying. But in reality, good grades rely more on healthy study habits than anything else. After all, true academic success is maintaining optimum performance without compromising other aspects of life. Overly dedicating oneself to studies at the expense of mental health, for example, is unhealthy.
Luckily, being a student in the digital age has its perks. Various applications can help you build the necessary study habits that can set you up for success at university. This back-to-school season, make sure you have the following: a calendar, a to-do list, and a notetaking system of choice. Here’s how they can help you excel this coming school year.
Stay on track with a calendar
Managing time is the key to work-life balance, or in this case, school-life balance. But you can’t do that effectively if you don’t know where your time is being spent in the first place. It will only feel as if you’re mindlessly navigating the semester, unaware of where you are and where you’re headed.
An organized calendar will help you visualize how much time school takes from you every day. Be it by classes, meetings, or extra-curricular activities. You can begin by mapping out your class hours first of all. List down important details alongside them as well, such as your teachers’ full names, contact details, and consultation hours. That way, you know exactly when your classes end, and you’re always aware of when you can consult your instructors for any concerns.
With your schedule readily available to you at all times, you can get a better grasp of where you can squeeze in assignments and other school projects. This will help not only with planning tasks ahead, but also with identifying how much leeway you have for personal endeavors on a daily basis.
Make it a study habit to log tasks
With multiple subjects to deal with at once, it’s easy to lose track of all the tasks you need to accomplish. That’s where to-do lists come in. A 2011 study found that planning tasks ahead helps with finding the motivation to accomplish them. The authors even add that it may also “free cognitive resources for other pursuits.”
To-do lists help concretize these plans. The mere awareness of deadlines can reduce your anxiety in the sense that you can laze around guilt-free, knowing that you have nothing due until the next week or so. You can start by listing down all your existing tasks, and add them to your to-do list the moment your teachers give more.
Do your best to avoid thinking that you could just add the tasks later on. Because as previously mentioned, it’s easy to lose track. One stressful moment and you could have already forgotten that a new task was mentioned in the middle of the discussion.
Ideally, you should integrate your to-do list with your digital calendar of choice. Todoist, for example, can be paired with Google Calendar. By putting them together, you can see both your class schedule and deadlines on a single page.
Take notes for personal reference
The common perspective is that you should take notes for reviewing purposes. While that is indeed its primary use case, it is often overlooked that the mere act of taking notes helps you retain information. This is because you can’t take notes without actively listening. Therefore, being able to organize and note down what you’re listening to is a good sign that you’re learning.
It’s also much easier to work through tasks with readily available information. Answering assignments or writing essays, for example, become less taxing on the brain with the help of detailed notes. And instructions become clearer with the aid of supplementary documentation.
Schedule-related notes work well with your prioritization, too. If you manage to note down that there will be a quiz in two weeks, you’ll be able to plan your review days ahead of time.
Free up more time with healthy study habits
Build habits around these three tools and you’re sure to have more time for things that actually make you happy. With your calendar and to-do list combo, you’ll know exactly how much time is invested in classes and tasks. And with well-organized notes, the said tasks take less time to accomplish.
With all these combined, you will be able to create your own productivity system and modify it based on what works best for you. Remember that there is no one way to use these tools. And that the only goal is to make them work for you instead of against you. Try to figure out how you can integrate these study habits into your daily life and you’ll definitely see improvements in your academic performance.
But if you’re struggling to stay awake during study sessions, a quick caffeine boost with any of these coffee capsules could help! It’s also best that you aren’t hungry during classes so as to not lose focus, so you can check out which of these snacks are to your liking. Good luck with the upcoming school year!