Productivity Tips for Better College Writing
- Have an “office.”
- Write in the morning.
- Write for 45 minutes to an hour at a time, no more than three hours per day when possible.
Although students are often in a time crunch and must write whenever there’s an opportunity, if it is possible, no more than three writing sessions should be scheduled in a day, and each session should only be up to an hour long. Between sessions, a break should be taken—outside of the “office”—so that the student can return to writing with fresh energy.
- Plan ahead to minimize distraction.
- Stay organized.
Most students, of course, don’t have offices. In this case, office should be more of a concept than a traditional office environment. Having a space where one regularly writes can help with productivity, as it helps the student form a consistent habit of focusing on writing whenever they are in that environment. It could be a favorite corner in the library, a particular quiet café, or even an atmosphere created by clearing one’s desk and turning on a special lamp or classical song in the background in one’s dorm room.
Many seasoned writers have noted that concentration and productivity in writing are significantly improved in the morning. As a result, if it is at all possible, students should schedule their writing sessions before lunch time.
To minimize distractions, keep things related to physical comfort in mind. Have a comfortable chair to sit in; be sure there will be enough light for working, eat prior to writing and plan the meal afterward for a reasonable time, have a prepared snack handy, as well as water, soda, juice, or other beverages to hydrate with. If writing in one’s room, place a do not disturb sign on the door. Cell phones should be out of sight and out of mind. Inform friends that might typically visit or call during that time that you will not be available.
The entire process of creating an academic assignment will be more streamlined and efficient if the student remains organized from the very beginning. Each assignment should have its own physical and digital files, arranged in the necessary categories, and each should have a timeline with daily and weekly goals to be accomplished. Sources and references should be saved in the proper formats from the beginning of the research process, as that will save time during the final writing.