MOTIVATION | Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
So let me assume you start your classes by 8am everyday and end by 5pm or 6pm at most. After lectures, you are tired and stressed both physically and mentally and the only thing you really want to do is to sleep or rest.
But then, you have an evening program by 7pm that you cannot ‘not’ attend, you remember you have an assignment you must submit by 9am the next day and then, there’s this particular course you have to read because the lecturer always surprises everyone with an impromptu test.
Worse, you have an 8am class the next day and it is that lecturer who doesn’t allow anyone to enter the class one minute after 8 because he is just an extra-disciplined man.
More worse, you only have few hours to do it all before the next day.
Does that describe you?
Because, to be honest, that totally describes me at the moment.
That’s why today, I’ll be sharing with you tips on how to be productive after a very busy day at school. I’m not perfect at this at all but I’m sure these little tips can make a little difference in your life just like they have in my own life.
So, let’s get to it right away:
• plan before hand
• study immediately you get home
• get off social media
• do something you love
• take care of yourself
• be realistic
• PLAN BEFORE HAND:
I believe that every student should have a time table of the courses offered per day in an entire week because it is a great tool for planning ahead.
For example, if I know my classes are going to span from 8am till around 7pm, I make sure I wake up extra early to cook something wholesome like rice and beans, I make sure I fetch water back into the room once I finish bathing and I make sure to wash the plates before hand so that after the stress of the lectures, I wouldn’t have to worry about cooking or doing my chores, I can just get straight into studying or more important stuff.
On days when my classes end by 10 or 11am, I know I can eat cereals in the morning and then come back home to cook a more wholesome meal, fetch water and generally, do my chores.
That’s the logic I employ.
This has saved me lot of time and stress.
You need to be proactive. On those days you’re having hectic non-stop lectures, make sure to eat a wholesome meal in the morning and get some minor tasks done so that once you get back home, you’ll just have to worry about what to study and nothing else.
• STUDY IMMEDIATELY YOU GET HOME:
I know you’re tired and your mind tells you to take a nap, or just relax on your bed for 30 minutes.
However, if we’ll be honest, we all know that 30 minutes of a nap can lead to 8 hours of unwanted sleep and when we wake up, we’re feeling all guilty and extra tired.
The funny thing though is that we spend 25 minutes out of the 30 minutes scrolling through social media, chatting and wasting time because our mind deceives us that we’re resting by doing so.
You’re tired already, so don’t let your mind deceive you to go take a rest because we all know what happens after.
What I do after all the classes for the day is to actually plan what I’ll study once I get back to my room.
And once I get back, I say a ‘hi’ to my room mates, change my clothes into something comfortable, unload my school bag and get to work immediately. If there’s a need to rest at all, I don’t take more than 10 minutes, I set the timer and once it rings, I get into studying.
This works well for me because I’m not the kind of person to sleep and wake up later. I prefer to do all I can do the night before and then wake up a little earlier than 5am to complete the task.
If you’re like me, don’t relax ‘small’, get into studying immediately. Once you’ve completed task 1 and you can confidently tick it off your to-do list, you can then take a break to eat something or stretch your body.
• GET OFF SOCIAL MEDIA:
Social media is a big distraction tool for me. As much as I try to surround myself with inspiration, I lose track of time and just keep scrolling through people’s feeds and stories mindlessly… and before I know it, 25 minutes of break becomes 1 hour and 1 hour transforms into 3 hours.
When I want to do serious deep work, I either put my phone on airplane mode or give it to my room mate to keep from me.
Once I’m 80% done with my work, I can then pick up my phone to check what’s going on online and post a story or feed.
If you really want to be prouductive after a stressful day at school, don’t relax your brian by scrolling through Instagram feeds or WhatsApp status updates.
Get off social media.
Sometimes, I would switch off my phone on my way home before I even reach my room.
• DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE:
So you have disciplined yourself enough to study 3 hours without checking your phone… You need a break. Social media is still not the best option. I prefer to take out 30 minutes to an hour cooking something for dinner or creating content for my blog.
For you, it might be something totally different. You might love to watch a new episode of a series/drama you love so much or just chat with your roommates.
For me, it is watching a YouTube video, writing a new blog post, editing a picture I took during the day or having nice healthy conversations with people online and offline. Just do anything that revamps and refurbishes you.
• TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF:
The most important form of self-care for me is eating and watching a YouTube video or an Asian drama. I don’t know if you can relate but my God! I feel so replenished after a good meal and a good Asian drama. For you, it might be taking a cold shower or journaling. Just do what works for you but always always remember to eat well and sleep well.
And dear fellow student, sleep is not your enemy. Sleep is your friend and you should embrace it with open hands. I try to sleep enough hours every night regardless of a test or exam. I prefer to wake up early to complete a task than force myself past 12AM. Students with good performance and balanced lifestyle sleep well.
Also, take time to eat well. I don’t know about you but eating breakfast before I leave my room for my 8AM classes is non-negotiable. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I don’t doze off in class… Lol!
I eat for at least three times in a day and in between, you’ll find me snacking or munching on cereals.
If you’re always feeling stressed and tired, it’s probably because you have been eating out, drinking soda, feeding on junks or not drinking enough water.
The brain needs constant supply of nutrients and it depends totally on you to supply it.
Take this from me – self care is super important.
• BE REALISTIC:
Guys, there are days I arrive from lectures and just go to bed straight away. I listen to my body. I know when I must study and I know when I should close the books and just get into bed.
It’s important to know when to go to bed and when to keep working. It’s important to identify when you’re just being lazy and when you’re really really really tired.
It’s important to know when to force yourself to stay awake and when to give in to your body’s need for sleep.
Don’t try to copy anyone. Just listen to your body. It’s super important.
It’s so unrealsitic for me to end my classes by 7pm and expect to study 6 hours after. It would be so ridiculous if after studying 3 hours, I doze off and then wake up feeling guilty. It doesn’t just add up.
Try to be so realistic with your goals.
Be realistic and nobody, nobody should define that for you.
You don’t have to feel guilty for feeling too tired to work. There are days you will have to call yourself to the conference table and say, ‘whether or not I feel like it, I must study!’
But if you don’t have a test tomorrow or in the next 1 week and you’re genuinely tired, you can give yourself permission to rest and sleep guilt free. You can always wake up early to complete the task.
Take it easy on yourself.
Success is the sum of consistent small efforts.
So guys, that’s how to stay productive after school.
How do you stay productive after school?
Do you prefer to sleep and wake up at midnight to study? Or like me, you can’t just be awake by 1am?
Feel free to leave a comment.
Thank you for reading 🧡