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How to be productive at university

How to be productive at university

By Ciara McGinley

Being productive at university is hard at the best of times. But, when you’ve had 4 months of summer holidays it’s even harder to get back into the swing of things.

Here are some ways you can nip procrastination in the bud and stay productive at uni.

Stay Focused

We’ve all been there, when a quick look at Facebook turns into a 2-hour stalking session. You might have figured out when that girl you played netball with in Year 10 moved to America, but you’ll still be left with a blank word document.

Productive at university

Give social media a break for a few hours and use Stay Focused to lock yourself out of the websites that distract you most. Now you’ve got no choice but to hit your word count before you miss all the laughs in the group chat.

Make a timetable

When you’re juggling four modules, a part-time job and a social life you’ve got to be organised so you don’t miss out on any nights out (the FOMO at uni is real).

I bet you’ve had more than enough talks from your teachers in secondary school about making a revision timetable and although you probably didn’t make one then, it’s a good idea to make one now.


So, block out your mornings off for assignments, your evenings for required reading and then the rest of the night is all yours. There are lots of timetable templates online so you can print one out, fill it in, stick it above your desk and promise yourself a pint at the pub at 8pm when you’ve written 100 more words.


Hand-writing your notes in lectures can be a difficult task, especially if your lecture talks a mile a minute. Typing up your notes on Evernote is the easiest way to note-take and will save you so much time. You can download the app to your phone/tablet or log in on the website and sync your notes to 2 of your devices.

Never again will you spend an hour looking for that piece of paper with that really important figure on it that you shoved into your bag at the end of your last lecture. You can’t kid yourself with Evernote, all you have to do is log on, get the information you need from your notes and actually get on with writing your essay.


Having the Evernote app on your phone also means you can access your notes anywhere at any time. It’s unlikely you’ll fancy scrolling through your History notes when you’re with your pals, but if you’ve got a big exam coming up and are bored on the bus you can have a quick look at your notes while you wait.


Grammarly is an online grammar and spell check website that will save you loads of time when it comes to editing your work. Set up a basic account for free, copy and paste your work into the online editor and it will flag up any errors. You can also download the free browser extension for Chrome and Safari that will pick up any mistakes in your writing anywhere online. Bonus: No more Twitter typos – yay!


Make flashcards

Whether you use an app or make some old school paper cards, flashcards are one of the best ways to memorise facts for exams. Learning from an A4 page of notes can be really difficult so writing only the important information on flashcards will speed up the process and help you memorise things a lot quicker. Get creative, colour code your cards and ask a pal to go through them with you, to make sure you really know your stuff.


Holly Smith Editor