By Rebecca Graffam, Toppel Peer Advisor



While scrolling through lists of “Life Hacks” on Twitter the other day, a thought occurred to me: wouldn’t it be great if instead of reading all these life-facilitating tricks, I actually got up and increased my productivity?  Crazy notion, right?  While I was thinking more in-depth about my situation, it dawned upon me that I have a crazy amount of responsibilities, time commitments, and all around hard work coming up this semester.  Coming back to school from a long break can be tough, but luckily I have a few tips that just might help you hit the ground running to get ahead in both your academic and professional life.

  • The black hole called “Netflix.”  Do not waste your weekends lying in bed watching Netflix.  It’s bad enough that you aren’t hitting the gym or doing laundry, but sitting in your room and getting absolutely no work done?  We have all been there, and there is no need to dwell in the past, but it’s time to move forward.  Allocate time for work and time for play (yes, Netflix falls under the “play” category).
  • Seek help when needed.  Don’t wait until the week of a big test to start learning the material you were taught a month ago.  Start studying early and go to tutoring or your teacher’s office hours if you don’t understand the material.  You don’t want to be that student who comes around the professor’s office hours the day before a test.
  • To-do list? Check.  When you are overwhelmed and do not know where to start, a to-do list is the first step to success.  Start your days off with your list and cross things off as they get accomplished. 
  • Divide and conquer.  Split your work into 30-minute sections and take 5-minute breaks in between the study sessions.  When there is a set amount of time to accomplish a task, it is easier to work hard and not become distracted. 
  • Create ambitious and realistic goals.  Don’t go into the semester with unrealistic expectations for yourself, but at the same time don’t be afraid to reach for the stars.  Setting goals will make you more satisfied and create the feeling of accomplishment.  Goals should be personal, professional, and have a deadline to ensure productivity.

Now, I know that this is a lot to digest after being back to school for just two weeks, but we will be thanking ourselves around finals time when we have already read that textbook, perfected that paper, and made those flashcards for things learned two months ago.