Ways to Increase Productivity

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As the school year continues in earnest, many of us may find ourselves struggling to keep up with workloads and stay productive, especially after online school for the last year and a half. So here are five tips to help you boost your productivity and keep accomplishing great things!

1. Write It Down

No, you will not ‘remember it.’ Write every task you have to do down somewhere, like a calendar or daily list, and check it often so you don’t forget anything!

2. Habits and Patience

Start creating productive daily habits for yourself. This way, you won’t have to consciously think about doing tasks- your brain will go on autopilot and get things done. For example, you could get into the habit of studying for two hours every day after school by setting a timer while studying for at least one month. Stay patient- habits take time to develop, but they’re great tools to keep you productive!

3. Take Care of Yourself

You can only be productive if your body is physically equipped to work. Eat well, hydrate all day, and get the recommended amount of sleep every night. This will do wonders for helping you feel more ready to tackle the day!

4. Inspire Yourself

Be cautious about what you choose to fill your mind with. Take some time off from your phone and hang out with your friends, read a book, or go for a walk. This will help recharge you and inspire you to get work done!

5. Reward Yourself

Don’t be too harsh on yourself! Make sure to give yourself a little reward, or mental pat on the back, after each successful day. This will help you keep your momentum going throughout the year!

-Vaidehi B.

Ways to Avoid Procrastination

As the school year ramps up, many of us are still trying to get back into the school ‘zone’- and figure out how to kick bad procrastination habits that may have formed over the last year and a half of quarantine. Below are five ways to avoid procrastinating during the school year!

1. Get Organized

If you don’t have set goals or an idea of what you want to accomplish every day, it’s easy to forget things and procrastinate things until the last minute. Invest in a planner or a calendar to track all your assignments and extracurriculars- it will provide a strong framework to work with.

2. Eliminate Distractions

Procrastination happens mostly when we have easy distractions in front of us. Make sure you have a quiet, set place where you work, and put away your phone and other devices while studying. This will help you get everything you need to do done.

3. Set Goals

Many of us procrastinate when the work ahead of us seems overwhelming. By breaking the work into sizeable chunks and setting a measurable goal for yourself, you can make your work more manageable and eliminate procrastination.

4. Positive Reinforcement

Make sure to keep rewarding yourself for completing your goals or tasks. Even something as simple as “after this assignment, I’ll take a five-minute break” can help reward you and create a positive feedback loop.

5. HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE!

None of the above tips will work unless you hold yourself accountable! It’s easy to find excuses to go on your phone, check texts, or take an extra-long break, but you have to catch yourself before these thoughts take hold. An easy rule to avoid this is- start working or doing your task no more than 5 seconds after the thought pops into your head. Any more than that gives your brain time to come up with excuses.

-Vaidehi B.

Preparing for school?

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The much dreaded back to school season has finally arrived. Although it is a disappointing time for most, the best way to enter the new school year is to be prepared. By setting yourself up for success before the school year starts, your future self will be thanking you once the workload begins to pile up. 

One tip I would recommend is to get a daily planner before the school year starts. One of the hardest parts of being a student is keeping track of assignments, test days, and extracurriculars all at once. Finding yourself a planner that works before the school year starts will help boost your efficiency and time management. I would recommend looking on amazon to find cheap and durable planners. They have a wide variety of options where you can even choose which month the planner starts and ends on.

Although this tip seems simple it is important. Most students neglect to check if there is ever summer homework and it always comes back to bite them in the butt. So, before school starts make sure to check your high school’s website to ensure you have all the summer work you need to do. This way the first tests on the summer information will not cause your grade to drop as soon as school starts. 

Another tip I would recommend is refreshing up on your previous year’s math concepts. One of the most difficult parts of returning to school with math is carrying over the skills you learned. Unlike other subjects, math tacks on the cumulative information that you have been learning since middle school. Going to Khan Academy or simply watching review videos on YouTube will help tremendously in starting the school year off strong and with a high grade.

For those taking AP classes, another huge tip I would recommend is buying test prep books at the beginning of the school year, along with reading the basics of the class which is available on the college board website. AP classes throw so much information at you all at once. Having a very simple basic understanding of what you are going to learn will help. Also with review books, you can make sure you understand each concept as you learn it by trying the practice questions.

Although these tips are simple and seem quite basic or unnecessary, they will be very beneficial once you begin receiving 2 assignments for each of your 7 classes. These small changes and advancements will put you ahead and will helps you receive that strong starting grade that is crucial in determining how you will success in a class. 

–Lilly G.

Staying Focused During Summer

Making sure to stay focused and on task is hard during the school year, but it can be especially hard over the summer. With little to no daily structure to keep us in check, we often fall into the pattern of waking up late, doing little with our days, going to bed late, and repeat. I find myself falling into this routine every summer, then finding it hard to bounce back when the school year starts again. So I’m setting goals for myself this summer and I urge you to do the same. 

One of the big things that I think helps is to make sure that the routine we keep during the school year stays around the same during the summer. Sure, waking up at 4:45 A.M. is unreasonable to ask of anyone, but maybe being awake by 8:30 A.M. is more manageable. By getting up at the same time every day, we are training our bodies to make sure that we have a schedule for the day. The same goes for going to bed. Try to go to bed at 11 P.M. rather than 1:30 A.M. With a solid schedule in place, you might find yourself with more free time than you thought. This then creates not only more time to do any summer school or reading that needs to be done, but also more time for hanging out with friends. 

Also making sure our brains stay engaged is important. Making sure that we are doing little things to stay on top of our learning, such as finding a book or topic that interests us and learning more about it, can help us as we go into the next school year. I have found in years past, and this year with summer starting out, that I am able to ease back into the school year much better with a routine and something to keep my brain focused during this break. So in between sleeping in more than usual and hanging out with friends, make sure to take the time to create your own routine and keep engaged. 

-Danielle B.

Fall Life Hack: Back to Time Management Habits

As a high school student, I know how hard it is to stay on top of your work, keep up your grades, and juggle multiple extra curricular activities. Sometimes, it seems like there just isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything that needs to get done. Key word: seems. Albeit difficult, time management is possible for everyone, regardless of your number of weighted classes or extracurricular activities. Here are a few tips to get you started on your path to a more organized and relaxed life.

To begin, take some time every Monday to schedule out your week. Know that any major assignments that you have are going to take up a considerable amount of time, and also count on minor assignments adding up to become time consuming tasks. Then, display your schedule in a planner or in another prominent place. I have a few whiteboard stickers on the wall above my desk to help me stay organized, but you can use whatever system works for you.

As your week goes on, try not to procrastinate assignments, big or small. Sometimes, this is impossible. Whenever you can, do homework that isn’t due the next day. Remember that in a world where homework is continuously assigned, you can’t always count on being physically able to do a project in a single night, especially if other teachers assign homework to you on that specific day. Also, remember that all of those small assignments add up! Try not to let them get the best of you.

Finally, reward yourself! Being a student is hard work, and if you study a lot like me, you still deserve to feel like a teenager. Take time after school to unwind, even if this just involves eating a snack or browsing your social media for ten minutes. This seems like it would be counterproductive, but if you let yourself take a break, you will be more productive when you go back to work.

I will admit that my word on this subject is by no means final, these are just a few habits that help me keep myself in check. Procrastinating never leads to less stress, it just compounds the stress you feel at a given time to a later date. With finals edging closer, staying on top of your work becomes even more important! To all of my fellow students, good luck, and I hope that this article helps you feel a little bit more in control of your school life.

-Mirabella S.