How to be More Productive as a High Schooler

by - August 08, 2020

It's that time of year again! Not Christmas... back to school! Lots of homework and long hours sitting listening to teachers, but this year is probably going to be different for all of us because of the pandemic. You might be wondering how you can be more productive and get everything done on time when you don't have a rigid schedule and you have classes online.

How to be More Productive as a High Schooler

Even if you are not a high schooler, you can use these tips to be more productive, especially if you are working at home right now.

And if you are a high schooler who is able to do school in person, then these tips can still be helpful for you. :)

How to be More Productive as a High Schooler

1. Wake up Early

If you are doing school online, then you don't want to get up five minutes before your first class starts. Whenever I sleep in, I feel like I have already wasted part of my day.

It's your choice whether or not you want to use an alarm. If you go to bed early enough, then you can wake up early in the morning without an alarm. But don't press the snooze button on your alarm! To tell you the truth, I have never, not even once, pressed the snooze button on my alarm. Sometimes I do turn it off and just sleep in if I don't need to get up that early. That is fine too if you really need more sleep.

You can't be productive if you are always tired. It just doesn't work that way.

But along with waking up early, you also need to know when you are the most productive. I am the most productive in the morning, so I wake up early and complete my hardest tasks before lunch.

How to be More Productive as a High Schooler

2. Get Dressed + Be Presentable

Sure your classes might be on Zoom and you can turn your video off, but who feels productive in their pajamas?

When you get dressed in the morning, you feel more productive.

If you are going to school in person, and you can never decide what to wear, then decide what you are going to wear the night before or even plan your outfits a week in advance.

3. Plan Ahead

Make a to-do list, or use sticky notes, on a whiteboard. It doesn't matter how you plan, as long as you have a plan.

I use a bullet journal to plan out my day, and I can write down everything I need to do as well as when things are due, etc.

When you do this, it's a lot harder to accidentally miss turning in an assignment or to fall behind on your homework.

4. Don't Multi-Task

Let me tell you, I have tried it. Listening to my teacher on Zoom while working on homework from a different class is not a good idea.

I ended up not really taking in what the teacher was saying, and it took me a lot longer to finish my other assignment because I was always pausing to make sure my teacher wasn't calling on me.

Multi-tasking just takes longer in the end, so don't do it.

5. Have Your Video On During Class

If your class is on Zoom, and your teacher doesn't have a preference for whether you have your video on or not, I would say to leave your video on.

If you have your video off, then you might feel like eating a snack during class, pulling out your phone, or, like me, decide to do homework from a different class.

When you have your video on, then you are more present in the class, even when you can't actually be in an actual classroom, and you are less likely to get distracted.

6. Turn Your Phone Off

If you don't need your phone for school, then turn it off. If you do need it for a calculator, a certain app, etc, then turn off all of the notifications for apps you don't want to be distracted with.

And it is the same for all distractions. Playing music while you do your homework or eating a snack, might be distracting for you, which brings me to my next point.

7. Find a Place Without Distractions to do Your Homework + Classes

If you do your homework at the kitchen table, then you might want food. If you do homework sitting on your bed, then you might want to take a nap. :)

So find a place where you can do your homework that you don't already associate with something that will distract you. If you are in a place with no distractions, and you are still having trouble focusing, then take a break.

How to be More Productive as a High Schooler

8. Don't Procrastinate

You put off doing your homework, and then you forget about it. The morning of your class, you remember and then have to cram to get it done in time before class. Luckily, you woke up early, so you had enough time!

But it would have been better to just do it in the first place, and not procrastinate. So how do you avoid procrastination?

  1. Figure Out Why You are Procrastinating
    1. Is the task really big?
    2. Do you not fully know how to do it or what you need to do?
    3. Is the task going to take a long time to do?
    4. Does the task seem too hard?
  2. Once You Figure Out Why You are Procrastinating, Then You Can Solve the Problem
    1. Break it up and do each section with a short break in between
    2. Ask your teacher or if this happens more than once, take notes during class
    3. Block off enough time so you can do it all at once without interruptions, or if it is easier you can break it up into smaller tasks
    4. You won't know if the task is hard or not until you try it

Ultimately, you just need to start the task. Most of the time, once you start, you will be able to finish it, and then you can go do something fun.

9. Take Breaks

If you are trying to be really productive from morning until night every single minute, it will lead to burn out.

The key is to take short breaks, which don't turn into long breaks. For example, instead of pulling out your phone and opening up your favorite social media app, you can leave your phone on silent and instead walk around for fifteen minutes. This way, you come back feeling refreshed, and you get in a little exercise while you are at it.

10. Take Notes

Taking notes during class will help you learn the information more quickly. Your homework will take less time and you will understand it better.

Then you can use your notes to study for quizzes, and you won't have to go back through your whole textbook trying to decide what the most important things to know are.

11. Be Organized

Easier said than done, I know. Handling homework and assignments, and keeping track of papers, and where you put your history textbook when your class starts in five minutes, can be frustrating.

The solution. Always keep your school supplies in one spot. I have a small bookcase with dividers in it. I have one section for each of my classes and I put everything in its specific section.

Then when I need to find an assignment I did for my English class, I know it is in my section for English.

12. Don't Stay up Late

Everyone has their own idea of what staying up late means, so don't set an unrealistic expectation for yourself. If you stay up until 2 in the morning, don't expect to be able to wake up at 6 and be really productive because you won't be able to do it.

Definitely, do not stay up late doing homework. Instead, go to bed, and then wake up early to do it. This way, you can get it done first thing in the morning when you aren't tired out from doing other things.

And just remember that tomorrow depends on what you do today. If you go to bed late today, you aren't going to be waking up early tomorrow.

How to be More Productive as a High Schooler

How to be More Productive as a High Schooler

Don't we all wish that our homework would take less time to do? Yes, but with these tips, you can hopefully be more productive so you have more time to do fun things as well.

Here is a recap of what the tips are, just in case you want to write them down. :)

  1. Wake up Early
  2. Get Dressed + Be Presentable
  3. Plan Ahead
  4. Don't Multi-Task
  5. Have Your Video on During Class
  6. Turn Your Phone Off
  7. Find a Place Without Distractions to do Your Homework + Classes
  8. Don't Procrastinate
  9. Take Breaks
  10. Take Notes
  11. Be Organized
  12. Don't Stay up Late

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Thank you for reading this post! I would love to chat in the comments, which tip did you find the most helpful?
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How to be More Productive as a High Schooler

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