Five tips to prevent burnout and promote thriving this semester

By Farah Bassyouni Feb 4, 2022
Drawing by Liam Killian


Drawing by Liam Killian

Entering the second month of the semester, I always find that my productivity starts to dip. My perfect attendance usually drops off, and I fall behind on classwork. This semester I am determined to stay productive. With my new mantra of focusing on being a better student for the whole semester, I’ve come up with a few tips to stay on track. 

  • Create daily to-do lists. Every night before I go to bed, I pull out my iPad and create a list of everything I have to do the next day. My favorite app that I use for almost everything has been GoodNotes. This has really helped me stay on top of my classes and extracurriculars. I used to forget what assignments I had to do, but since I’ve started making daily lists, I have been able to complete all of my assignments. 
  • Take effective, planned breaks. This has been incredibly helpful over the past few weeks. When I am doing school work and decide I need to take a break, I fill that time with a productive activity. I go to the gym, do extracurricular activities, write for The Argus or work on anything else I have to get done for the day. This has helped me stay in a productive mindset so I can start on my schoolwork as soon as I finish my break. Every break obviously does not have to be productive but purposeful breaks are important. According to Cornell Health, purposeful breaks allow you to refresh your brain and body which will overall increase your energy and productivity. 
  • Have someone hold you accountable. In the past, I have kept my schedule and my workload to myself. This semester, I have started updating my roommate on what I have to do, and when. According to the U.S Career Institute truly promotes having an accountability partner. They also encourage your accountability partner being someone who is going through the same situations as you. My roommate is a full-time student with a job, and is involved in many extracurriculars so it has worked out really well. This has helped me on numerous occasions when an assignment slips my mind. Now, my roommate checks in and asks me how I am doing in different classes almost daily. I am also helping her in the same way, so it’s been beneficial for both of us. 
  • Quit multitasking. This one has been a process for me. I am always trying to do more than one thing at a time. I recently realized that when I multitask, things take me twice as long to complete, and they’re never as accurate as I’d like them to be. According to Bridgeview, scientifically our brains are not wired to multitask. Switching between high intensity tasks like school work, results in missing important details. Even right now, as I am writing this article, I have jumped around and been multitasking. To no one’s surprise, this has taken me a very long time. 
  • Prioritize and think ahead. With school, extracurriculars, maintaining your mental and physical health and having a social life, there is so much to think about every day. I know I struggle with having an end goal, but no idea how to get there. I tend to get overwhelmed with difficult tasks or things I have never done. More specifically, the entire internship process stresses me out, so I normally push that to the bottom of my list. Recently, I have prioritized my internship search to make sure that I’m not avoiding the tasks that stress me out the most.


While I still might not be the most productive student, there are many things I can do to improve my schoolwork. I am hoping to see my stress levels decrease and my grades rise this semester by implementing these tips to be more productive.

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