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7 Simple Mind Hacks for Students

7 Simple Mind Hacks for Students


Have you ever noticed that sometimes you can't think straight no matter what you do? You feel scattered, stressed and frustrated because you have studying, homework, and projects to do, but you feel like you can't gain any traction to get them done. Here are seven mind hacks that will help get you back on track with your studies:


1. Hunger Check

When was the last time you ate?  If you're feeling hungry, you will definitely have a hard time staying on task. That growling stomach can be a big distraction, not to mention your blood sugar is low and you feel lethargic. Grab a healthy snack and some water to jumpstart your metabolism and power you through your work.


2. Time Check

Is this the optimal time of day for you to be functioning? Most of us know whether we're night owls or early birds. It's important to adjust your schedule to suit your strengths. Tackle tougher tasks when you're most alert and awake in order to harness those peaks of productivity.


3. Sleep Check

Are you tired? Fatigue can slow you down and make even the simplest task take longer because of the slow motion speed you're moving at. A 20-minute power nap can help you feel refreshed. And remember, keeping a regular bedtime and wake time is crucial to healthy sleep hygiene for students of all ages. 


4. Thought Check

Why are my thoughts so loud? Often times other things are filling your head and competing with the task at hand. You start thinking five steps ahead of yourself instead of remaining in the here and now. It's important to try and quiet your mind. Do a brain dump by writing out your list of assignments and upcoming projects or put up post-it note reminders of tests and quizzes. This will free up time and energy to focus on your current projects.


5. Help Check

Do you need support? Sometimes reaching out to a friend or family member can help you feel more grounded and focused. They can also serve as an accountability buddy to check in with to keep you on track with your assignments. Not to mention, having someone act as your cheerleader gives you an added boost of energy.


6. Stress Check

Is there a fire that needs to be put out? Assess whether there are any immediate problems and deal with them appropriately. A friend being stranded on the side of the road is an emergency to be handled ASAP, not enough quarters for laundry is not. Identify your major stressors and deal with them promptly in order to free up your mind and your time for your work.  


7. Rest Check

Do you need a mental health break to recharge your battery? Sometimes you've been focusing on something for so long and so hard that you start to lose concentration. You begin to make silly mistakes or second guess yourself, wasting precious time and valuable effort.  When this starts to happen, take a break and switch gears; engage in a pleasurable activity, talk to a friend or call your mother!


By employing these various mind hacks, you will notice you're getting more projects completed and tasks done.  When you find yourself getting frazzled, feeling overwhelmed, or procrastinating, ask yourself one of these questions to get yourself moving forward again.


Which mind hack will you use to make your school year a success?  


Categories: Productivity


  • I make a conscious effort to match my task at hand to the appropriate energy level required to accomplish it. For example, I tend to write more effectively in the morning than later in the day. I use time blocks for watching webinars, doing research, or processing email. And I'm with Seana for getting a protein snack!
    8/21/2018 5:18:54 PM Reply
    • @Olive Wagar: I tend to have better focus and more energy in the morning as well and that's when I write too! I save cleaning and more monotonous tasks for later in the day when I'm not as sharp.
      8/24/2018 7:32:56 AM Reply
  • Great reminder that we do have control over many of the things that trouble us!
    8/10/2018 8:10:07 AM Reply
  • What a great list! I've always heard that protein is brain food, so if I need to eat when doing brain work, I try to go for nuts or something with protein. I have a funny habit of feeling like I need a nap whenever I have to tackle an unpleasant task. My husband used to get this urge when we headed to the mall. He thought malls should have sleeping spaces for spouses:) Sometimes I actually need the 20 minute nap (which I love and recommend), and other times it is a delaying tactic. Great to identify where the blockage is so you can take action to remove it and get busy!
    8/10/2018 8:07:09 AM Reply
    • @Seana Turner: I'm a huge fan of the 20-min nap. I engage in this whenever I can when my little guy is quiet! And I do agree about the protein snack providing energy fuel. I do nuts, beef jerky or a lunch meat & cheese roll-up.
      8/10/2018 8:46:04 AM Reply

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