Productivity Tips for College and Grad Students

I have already talked about how to get started in college and decide between going to college, going to community college first, or going to a four-year college. And now I’m going to give you productivity tips. That helped me when I was in college and what I am telling my kids to do. They started school next week, and I hope that everything goes well, but it’s all up to them at the end of the day. So I’ve done my part. After that, as I said in the first video, all I can do is just advise them. So let’s get started talking about some of the productivity tips that helped me when I was doing my undergrad and my MBA program.

And what I’m telling my kids will hopefully help them when they start college. So this is not in any particular order is what came to mind. When I was shutting down the tips that I had.

Digital or Paper Planner

The first productivity tip is to get a planner. It can be digital or paper. Planners are helpful because you can just go ahead, jot down your assignments, jot down special dates, and never go wrong. One thing that I do is I use a paper planner to plan my week, and then I transfer that over to a digital one. I believe I got mine on Amazon or Target and got special stickers to decorate it. Then, I brainstorm what I’m planning to do that week. Afterward, I transfer them over to Trello for the workflow for these YouTube videos and as well as for my true crime channel. I also use Google Tasks and Google Reminders for anything that I have to remember to do. I also use the calendar events for those special dates.

Think about what works for you. Some people prefer paper, some digital, and some prefer a mix of both. Whatever planner you get, get it. You’re able to plan ahead and know what’s coming up when you’re doing that weekly review.

Create a Weekly Schedule

And with that, create a weekly schedule. What I mean by that is your weeks are always going to change. So they’re never going to be the same usually, but some events will always remain the same. For example, your classes. Usually, those times will not change. So you will want to block that in your planner. The other thing as well is if you have a time that you’re planning to study, block that as well. Like any time for your part-time job, that will help you because you’ll be able to see the gaps and see where you can fit in.

If there are additional study times that you need to have, or if you need to meet with certain people, you’ll know the free time that you have. So definitely think about your weekly schedule and plan it out. One thing I do recommend is also scheduling a regular focus or relaxation time. One thing about being productive is the only way that you can be productive is de-stressing and relaxing your mind. So make sure that you do block time every day to do that, but definitely create that weekly schedule.


Use timers to understand where your time is going. I use a mix of my TimeFlip, which I have a video about.
I also use this regular timer that I use with the Pomodoro Timer. There are also others like Toggl and Harvest. You can look, and you can go, oh crap. I spent too much time on this or too much time on that. Consider using a timer and also a time-tracking tool to see where your time is going.

If you feel like you never have enough time, but then you’re wondering why that is, that will help you understand where your time is going. You can make adjustments.

Web and App Blocking Tools

I recommend that if you are someone who loves to scroll on social media, I’m not going to lie. I get on TikTok, and I start seeing all those funny videos. Consider getting a tool that will block those distractions. If you can, you can also do it physically. If you’re upstairs, leave your phone downstairs. If not, there are some great tools that you can use on their website, blocking apps. For example, there are Google Chrome extensions or phone apps like Forest. You are then able to focus on getting your work done.

Understand Your Learning Style

Another productivity tip is to understand your learning style. You can find online a bunch of quizzes that will help you know your learning style. You have to know what type of learner you are. Knowing that and having an effective note-taking system and record the sessions, you can be uber productive and successful in your classes.

Join or Create a Study Group

The other thing too is to create a study group. It is so easy now to engage with your classmates. So if there’s a class that is really hard for you, and it’s really something that is not naturally gifted in, then consider creating a study group. I bet that one, two, or even more people will want to join it because they’re all in the same boat. Especially in the first two years of college, everybody has to take general classes. So you will take a class that’s not your favorite class. And suppose you have other people who are feeling the same way. In that case, you all can work together to succeed in that class and get those A’s and B’s, but definitely create a study group that helped me in my MBA. Oh my God. We used to have study groups. And man, if I didn’t have those study groups, I probably would not have done as well as I did. And with the study group, it makes me think about people just on Twitter today; someone posted, what’s the best advice your mother ever gave you? The best advice my mom ever gave me is you want to surround yourself with people who push you to be a better person. And that is so true in college. You don’t want to hang out with the person who just loves to party and is someone who’s been in college for like 10 years. You want to be with the person who has huge dreams and goals and wants to achieve them. Those are the people you want to be around.


And my last productivity tip is willpower. There are going to be times that you have to study. I recommend breaking down those long assignments like essays or studying for a 200 question exam and two small chunks. And that’s throughout your life. You always want to break large things into small chunks, and they’ll put those dates in your planner. There’ll be time. So there’ll be people. There’ll be like, Hey, do you want to go drinking? Do you want to go party? Do you want to go to the movies? And if you see in your planner that this is the time you have to study for, let’s say an hour or whatever, write a page of that 20-page essay.

You have to have the willpower to say no. And yes, especially when you’re young, you think you’re missing out. Don’t think you’re missing out in four years. When you get your college degree, you probably won’t even remember that time that you didn’t go out. Or if you do, you’re going to be thinking, thank God I did not go out that one day, because now here I am. So is my last piece of advice is to get that willpower to say no. When there are some fun things that people are throwing out you to do, and you have to focus on an assignment or anything having to do with school, learn to say no, and yes, you’ll feel like you’re missing out. Still, I’m telling you years down the line, you won’t even remember. Or even when you get that a in that assignment that you said no to that fun thing. And you see that a that will just make you realize that you made the best decision. So that is my last piece of advice. So I hope that that was helpful. Let me know what other productivity tips you have. I would love to know. And for those starting college next week, or starting college soon, or if you have already started, I wish you all the luck in the world, believe me. It will be worth it, especially if it’s something that you really, really want to do. So everybody has a good day, a good weekend. And I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.

I discuss ten productivity tips to help you succeed in college, whether you're a undergrad or a grad. Let me know what productivity tips helped you in college.  These can also be applied for studying for certification as well.
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