This article will discuss productive habits for a student, since as a student myself, I wish to share some of my best practices. Let’s start by looking at the most productive student.
This student will not just follow a regular, structured schedule like the others in your class but will write down all their planned tasks and keep a comprehensive calendar. Besides, they will spend at least one day per week in the library, where they can avoid most distractions and are better able to do their work in peace.
All students have their specific needs, and there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for effectively managing your class. So, start your class off with a discussion on the importance of putting yourself in your student’s shoes to understand the obstacles and difficulties they face to be successful.
Have students imagine how they would approach the same problem, how they would get their work done, and what tools they would use to reach their goals.
How to help your students
Now that you’ve done this exercise, you can start your lesson planning. Remember, students come to you with a lot of uncertainty, so begin the lesson with an overview and then dive right in.
Here are some specific practices that will help your students be more productive.
Pick a productive time for each class
Use scheduled, uninterrupted time for each class period. Students will feel much more motivated if they have a consistent routine and are given a clear schedule.
You can then continue to keep your class discussions as productive as possible.
Keep a daily to-do list
Ask students to keep a daily to-do list. Have them write down the most important tasks they have to do.
This will help them get off to a great start, get into a habit, and develop confidence in completing their assignments on time.
For example, a student may write down a homework assignment one day, and then the next day, they will write down any additional work that needs to be done for their current assignment. Then they’ll also write down other daily assignments, like lunches and breakfasts, or simply getting something to eat before they run out of time.
On the third day, they will write down “Did anything get done?”. This will encourage the student to record at least one thing each day that gets done.
Create a group hangout
Encourage group work as much as possible. This can help reduce distractions, encourage more interaction, and provide a built-in schedule for your class students.
It also allows you to share activities with your students, such as field trips or after-class homework while allowing them to interact with each other, increasing student engagement.
If you teach at the university level, get in touch with your department or departmental chair. They will likely be familiar with the possibility of having a course called a “Learning Commons.”
This is a space where the majority of students will be studying at the same time, in the same place. You can create assignments in groups, with students assigned specific times to work on them or assign homework or discussion groups of different lengths.
Connect with your faculty friends
Who can we get together for a study session? Meet in person for coffee or a late-night bite to eat.
This is also a good time to put together your class syllabus, share your syllabus with your colleagues, and begin scheduling the course.
By following these simple tips, your students can become successful learners. You will get the added benefit of a happier, more engaged class, where everyone involved can have fun while also completing their assignments on time.
Listen to audiobooks
Read more in the SPSC Dec. 2000: Reader Mail issue. Learn to detach.
The more easily you detach from your activities, the less you will be controlled by your emotions. Remember that it is normal to feel anxious, depressed, or excited about something and to feel the strong emotions that go with these feelings.
But, we also need to detach from these emotions and react to them in the same way that we would react to a stranger’s criticism or shooting pain. When we are detached from the feeling, we can deal with them better and be more successful in our work.
This is called emotional detachment.
Studies show that most people tend to put off their best work until after 5. Furthermore, the study found that more people do better work between 5 and 9 PM than between 9 and 5.
Thus, try to finish your work between these hours. Do not procrastinate!
Procrastination is often motivated by fear, so try to break that pattern and get down to the task at hand. When you are procrastinating, it is easy to convince yourself that you can take care of the task later when you have more time.
But, chances are, you do not have that much time, so it may be better to do it now than to wait and take more time later.