Little changes you can make to become more productive during exams

Or ‘How to show you’re not a lazy millennial’

Ah, 2017, a new year, and potentially a new you. But only those with a plan in place will stick to those resolutions beyond January. If one was to become more productive/less lazy/ make the most of uni more, then lucky you, because here is a helpful guide on how to become more like that medic you know who manages to attend every lecture whilst going out four times a week, captaining the lacrosse team, and learning to speak Mandarin.

Get out of bed

Benjamin Franklin once said “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”. Some other person once said “You can sleep when you’re dead”. The two statements are not incompatible. Spend less time in bed (or, should I say, less time in bed alone).

…but not until the end of my extremely productive day

Draw up a weekly schedule

Being ridiculously spontaneous is one of the joys of uni, yet if you have no structure whatsoever, you are not going to get a lot done. Telling yourself you are going to start using the gym is unlikely to work unless you have cells labelled ‘gym’ in a lovely Excel spreadsheet:

Yes, I do a module called Talking Horses…

Take on more

At university, you may understandably be stressed, unhappy, lonely, exhausted, angry. The one thing you should not be is bored.

So, whether it means joining a society, getting a part-time job, or volunteering, you should fill your dead time with activities. If nothing else, it means you get to add more pretty colours to that spreadsheet.

Don’t take on too much

Eh? Yep. Taking on too much will make you stressed and tired, with the likely result that you seek comfort in your old bad habits of three hour naps and skipping full days of lectures, causing you to degenerate into the lazy bastard you were before you read this guide.


So you bought the sports membership? Yeah course, absolute no-brainer. All your mates were getting it, and it would have been great value for money…if you actually went to the gym or played a sport. So start running, cycling, walking, lifting, or squatting your way to success.

It makes you feel good, I promise

Eat right

Not seeing results? Probably due to that pesto pasta followed by Lidl chocolate spread on toast diet. Eat right, and you feel more energetic.

Go to lectures

£9000. Enough said.

Get rid of time-drainers

When you’re on your deathbed (looking forward to all that sleep you’ve deprived yourself of), you won’t be thinking “I really regret not completing Colour Switch” or “I wish I’d spent longer on that Notts County career mode”. Live life in the real world, not in front of a screen.

Good riddance

Say yes to every invite

It’s the eternal question without a definitive answer: do I go out, or do I stay in? And usually, whichever choice you make is always the wrong one.

Solution: get rid of the choice. Always say “fuck it, go on then”. You only live once, and you only go to uni once.

Made the right choice

Find your pursuits

Pursuits are activities you enjoy that involve setting and achieving goals. Be they creative (writing a book), physical (getting shredded), or cultural (learning a language), the prospect of making further progress in your pursuits will help you get out of bed in the morning – those of you who found step 1 difficult, take note.

So there you have it, you are now on the way to becoming a productive, energetic student who lives their university life to the full. Carpe Diem, Carpe Noctum, and Carpe Spreadsheet.