The Top 5 Productivity Tips For Students by

The Top 5 Productivity Tips for Students

5 Productivity Tips for Students
Pho­to cred­it- To Sea or Not to See

Time man­age­ment can be tough at any age. But, how do we get our kids to start estab­lish­ing good pro­duc­tiv­i­ty habits? The good news is pro­duc­tiv­i­ty is a habit that can be cul­ti­vat­ed in in our chil­dren.

Keep read­ing for the top 5 pro­duc­tiv­i­ty tips for stu­dents. This is prac­ti­cal advice from a teacher (and a par­ent) on how to moti­vate your kids to man­age their time and get more done!

In my class­es, one of the biggest pro­duc­tiv­i­ty obsta­cles I see stu­dents face is poor time man­age­ment. And as a par­ent, I strug­gle know­ing what tools will most effec­tive­ly help my kids to reach their full poten­tial. When I taught Advance­ment Via Indi­vid­ual Deter­mi­na­tion, I found the top tools for encour­ag­ing intrin­sic moti­va­tion. In oth­er words, these tools will make kids want to improve with­out promis­es or threats.

With any­thing, it takes con­sis­tent prac­tice over time to estab­lish new habits.  Usu­al­ly 30 days is all that’s need­ed to make good habits stick! Below, you will find my top 5 pro­duc­tiv­i­ty tips.

1. Schedule tasks

Plan­ners are an invalu­able tool for keep­ing stu­dents on task. Using what­ev­er cal­en­dar track­ing sys­tem suits them, stu­dents must write down all of their expect­ed tasks, includ­ing extra-cur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ties. It helps to have them mark “NH or No Home­work” so they won’t won­der if they just for­got to write it down. Remind your kids to allot study time as well. Sched­ul­ing tasks will also help them when pack­ing their back­packs. They men­tal­ly (or man­u­al­ly) check­off their  assignments/ sup­plies as they are repacked before school.

Be a “pro­duc­tiv­i­ty super­star”- Have stu­dents check off or high­light (my favorite!!!) assign­ments in their plan­ners as they are com­plet­ed so they can quick­ly “at a glance” see what needs to car­ry over to the next day. This strat­e­gy of high­light­ing sched­uled tasks as they are com­plet­ed is not only a pro­duc­tiv­i­ty boost, but also a con­fi­dence boost as stu­dents can visu­al­ly track what they’ve accom­plished.

2. Set Deadlines

This strat­e­gy part­ners with the one above. Have stu­dents set dead­lines “pri­or to” the actu­al­ly due dates. For exam­ple, a paper due by Fri­day could have a com­ple­tion date of Wednes­day or Thurs­day. 

So many times, things that “come up” or games that run late inter­fere with stu­dents’ abil­i­ty to turn in assign­ments in a time­ly man­ner. If they put a cush­ion in the sched­ule, emer­gen­cies won’t wreck their GPAs. In addi­tion to teach­ing good habits like respon­si­bil­i­ty, stu­dents won’t have to choose between school­work and an impromp­tu fam­i­ly event (or play­ing sports).

3. Map out Tasks

 In high school, stu­dents will be assigned projects, research papers, etc. that have an extend­ed dead­line, last­ing a week to the entire mark­ing peri­od! Often, stu­dents lack­ing good time man­age­ment skills will find them­selves in a com­mon predica­ment. The dead­line is fast approach­ing and no work has been done. 

One of my favorite pro­duc­tiv­i­ty strate­gies is to break the project into a list of tasks (includ­ing buying/gathering sup­plies, order­ing books, con­duct­ing research, etc.); next, each task is assigned a due date. Treat each dai­ly task on your list as an indi­vid­ual assign­ment. Make sure to stick to it, as if you are being grad­ed on these sec­tions, rather than the project as a whole.

*If it is a group project, assign each mem­ber a task and agree on the due dates. Hold each oth­er account­able.

Be a “pro­duc­tiv­i­ty super­star!”

High­light tasks as they are accom­plished once you have set your due dates. 

4. Make Time to Review

Cram­ming for a test, while a suc­cess­ful short-term strat­e­gy for some, is not an appro­pri­ate strat­e­gy for retain­ing long-term infor­ma­tion. A more effec­tive strat­e­gy involves invest­ing a few min­utes each night per sub­ject review­ing your notes using the pro­ce­dure below.

Remem­ber, notes that aren’t stud­ied won’t help you! How­ev­er, you will great­ly increase your reten­tion rate if you just spend 5–10 min­utes per night review­ing each sub­ject area. This pro­ce­dure is an adap­ta­tion of the Cor­nell Note tak­ing process.

My favorite (most effective) strategy for reviewing notes:

Day 1- Look at your notes and high­light key terms. Col­or-cod­ing works well (e.g. vocab­u­lary words in one col­or, impor­tant names in anoth­er).

Day 2- Mark pos­si­ble test ques­tions. As you become famil­iar with your teacher’s style, try to pre­dict the type of ques­tions he/she will ask. For exam­ple, do dates, vocab­u­lary words, process­es, etc. show up fre­quent­ly on tests? These areas should be marked based on what each teacher requires.

Day 3- Cre­ate ques­tions. Cre­at­ing study ques­tions an impor­tant skill, espe­cial­ly if you can write ques­tions for chunks of infor­ma­tion (high­er lev­el ques­tions). I rec­om­mend that stu­dents try to cre­ate a sum­ma­ry state­ment for each heading/subheading of infor­ma­tion and con­vert it into a ques­tion. This method of ques­tion­ing elic­its “big idea” answers where stu­dents are engaged in mak­ing con­nec­tions rather than just study­ing.

Day 4- Write a sum­ma­ry. Writ­ing a suc­cinct sum­ma­ry that incor­po­rates answers for the ques­tions you’ve cre­at­ed shows that you can explain the main idea of your notes. The sum­ma­ry should not be a re-cre­ation of your notes, but rather a one or two sen­tence response explain­ing the main idea of each chunk of infor­ma­tion on each page of notes.

Day 5- Quiz your­self. Using the ques­tions you’ve cre­at­ed, either quiz your­self or have a friend or fam­i­ly mem­ber quiz you. Your answers should include any key infor­ma­tion you’ve not­ed on the oth­er days for each chunk of infor­ma­tion. Make sure you ask for feed­back about any impar­tial or unclear answers. Did you for­get to men­tion high­light­ed infor­ma­tion, for exam­ple?

5. Incorporate Fun into Your Schedule

Remem­ber, bal­ance is the key to devel­op­ing a long-term pro­duc­tiv­i­ty plan. Make sure to log fun into your sched­ule.


Let’s con­tin­ue the con­ver­sa­tion. Tell me what you think about these strate­gies. What are your favorite pro­duc­tiv­i­ty tips?

Don’t for­get to share if you found this con­tent help­ful! 

Balance is the key to developing a long-term productivity plan!

Want to see the high school course sched­ule I have cre­at­ed for my girls who will be home­schooled dur­ing our trip around the world? Click here!



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