8 Proven Techniques to Be a Calm and Productive Student at All Times

College Student

If you are a student now, there is no need to tell you how stressful college life is. There are lots of responsibilities, expectations to meet, and assignments to complete. And the change of the routine is quite huge, which can also lead to additional stress.

Of course, some of the academic matters can be delegated. But when it comes to time management, social life, part-time job, and other things – students are pretty much on their own.

According to APA statistics, 30% of students seek counseling during college mostly because of anxiety, stress, depression, family or relationship issues, or academic performance.

So how can one avoid such complications and stay productive and calm while at college? Well, several things can help.

Lifestyle Choices

It all starts with physical well-being. The state of the body impacts cognitive performance and mood; that’s why it is essential to make healthy choices when it comes to everyday life.

Eat Healthily

It might sound boring, but it is scientifically proven that a healthy diet increases academic performance. Nutrition is crucial for all bodily functions, including the brain. It needs proper nutrition, rich in vitamins, and necessary minerals.

Try to stay away from highly-processed and sugary foods. It is easier to control the intake of food when you cook at home. And it is also much more budget-friendly. Eat more vegetables, nuts, grains, and meat. Change sugary snacks to apple or banana.

Get Enough Sleep

Students are known for sleep deprivation. But it is extremely harmful to your body and brain to be lacking sleep. It reduces cognitive abilities and makes you less receptive to new information. Pulling allnighters is counter-productive and influences mood as well. Sleep deprivation might result in severe health issues, so try to get enough sleep every day.


It is another widely researched topic. Recent studies show that regular physical exercises increase academic performance at all levels, starting from primary school and up to university. Physical activity boosts metabolism and makes the body stronger. It also increases memory, helps to keep the focus, and develops executive functions.

The evidence specifically shows the importance of exercise for reading and mathematics. Better attention and memory help students perform better.

Study Effectively

The next set of techniques will be about time management, effective study process, and productivity.

Set Goals

Specific goals are much easier to achieve than abstract ones. That’s why the first organizational tip is to always have a goal. Set the big ones for a year or five years, set medium ones for a semester, and smaller for a week or two.

It is also incredibly helpful to have a to-do list for every day. It actually helps to be more productive. Not to mention that such a list will keep you focused on what is important.


Another important factor in time management is setting deadlines. Of course, you have due dates for assignments, but it is also helpful for all other tasks. Set deadlines for each step of the study process, like research, planning, writing, and proofreading. Plan ahead your extracurricular activities and errands.


You can only do a certain number of tasks in a day. That’s why when planning goals and writing a to-do list you need to prioritize them. Start with what is necessary to finish today; it is usually the most complex assignment.

Always focus on the most important tasks. There are two main reasons why it is vital. The first one is that your head will be fresh and you’ll be more productive. The second one is that as soon as you are done with it, you’ll feel less stressed and more motivated to do other things.

Do Not Multitask

For a long time, it was believed that multitasking is an amazing technique. But, nowadays, many studies show that it is counter-productive and even harmful to the brain.

The best way to achieve something is by monotasking; it is the most efficient of effective study techniques. Divide huge assignments into manageable smaller steps and do one at a time.

Do not try to complete everything simultaneously – you’ll waste a lot of time, lose focus, and feel tired faster.

Stress Relief

It is impossible to eliminate all stress in life. Stress can be good, but if you feel overwhelmed, try several relaxing techniques, such as:

  • Meditation;
  • Breathing;
  • Walk outside;
  • Listen to favorite music;
  • Talk to a friend;
  • Read a book.

In Summary

Being calm and productive is all about founding balance and managing time. It is important to stay healthy as it impacts mental state and cognitive abilities tremendously. But it is also essential to learn how to manage time and tasks, set clear goals, and achieve them.

Article edited and fact checked by our editorial team


  • Committee on Physical Activity and Physical Education in the School Environment; Food and Nutrition Board; Institute of Medicine; Kohl HW III, Cook HD, editors. Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2013 Oct 30. 4, Physical Activity, Fitness, and Physical Education: Effects on Academic Performance.
  • Cid FM, Muñoz HD. Physical exercise and academic performance. MOJ Sports Med. 2017;1(4):90-92. DOI: 10.15406/mojsm.2017.01.00021
  • Burrows TL, Whatnall MC, Patterson AJ, Hutchesson MJ. Associations between Dietary Intake and Academic Achievement in College Students: A Systematic Review. Healthcare (Basel). 2017 Sep 25;5(4):60. doi: 10.3390/healthcare5040060. PMID: 28946663; PMCID: PMC5746694.