Prepping Yourself for Productivity: Back to School Edition

With back to school approaching so soon, there is still time to get yourself ready for those early mornings and study nights. It is actually scary how fast the summer ended and while there is still a global pandemic and the school year is remaining virtual for many schools, it doesn’t mean you have to stick to the same routine you did before with waking up early, signing in, and going back to sleep which is what I used to do. I came to the realization recently that I wanted to put behind all of my anxiety for the upcoming school year and really put a lot of effort and energy into putting my mental health first, while being organized, accomplishing my goals, focusing on my career and my future, and more.

I want all of us to have a great school year and in this post you will find 5 tips from benefits of waking up early, finding new spots to work and study, creating a better routine for yourself, how to accomplish your goals, and more. I really want this to be a phenomenal year for everyone because we can do it. It is hard to focus on so many things during the school year while trying to balance a social life with your friends or giving yourself days to relax. Although I had a great senior year in high school and I am now going to be a college freshman at FIT, I want continue this positivity and motivation. If you enjoyed any of these tips and you’re looking forward for the new school year, leave a comment!

1. Fixing Your Sleep Schedule + Create a Routine

There are so many benefits to waking up early and getting a head start to your day. Whether it’s getting that morning coffee ready, doing some yoga with friends, or preparing your work for the day, it is something that needs to be seen in a more positive light instead of dreading to wake up early. But how can you? Here are some reasons why waking up early is good for the mind and the soul:

  • You are more productive
  • Your scores on tests and exams are higher
  • You have more positivity, are happier, and enjoy life more
  • You have less stress and start on a good note in the morning
  • No one else is awake and the world is quiet
  • You give yourself more time to do what you love

Recently, I have wanted to start going to sleep early so that I can prepare myself for when I have to start waking up early for school and I am really looking forward to doing this. I already created and established a routine for myself.

Creating a routine and sticking to it is one of the best things you can do for yourself because it is proven that our bodies get used to waking up early after 3 days. Yes! Only 3 days it takes to getting you used to this routine. Here are some ways you can create a new routine:

  • Figure out what you want to be in your routine and things you want to accomplish
  • Buy a journal and write down your goals for the day
    • They can be big or small, but you will accomplish them!
  • Create a sample week of what your routine would be
    • Create small goals for the week and then build it up as the weeks go
  • If there is something you want to do everyday, make sure it is consistent
    • If you want to start journaling in the morning or going on a run, make sure you are doing these at the same time or around the same time every day
  • Prepare yourself the night before so you don’t have to scramble in the morning
    • Getting your clothes, books, backpack or purse, or having the house cleaned up is a great way to have less things to do in the morning and is easier for you
  • Reward yourself everyday with something small
    • It can be an episode of your favorite show, or your favorite snack for all the hard work you’ve been doing
  • Make it fun and don’t be too hard on yourself
    • If you like being organized, get some fun pens or colorful supplies. If you are working out, get your favorite workout set to do your exercise. Play some fun music and make a morning playlist to get started.
  • Make sure you plan different parts of your day
    • Separate your day by Morning, Afternoon, and Evening so that it is a less cluttered list. This will also help you complete everything in a better manner

2. Buying School Supplies + Be Organized

Purchasing notebooks, planners, stickers, and more are one of the many fun things to buy when it comes to getting ready for school besides your outfits. Some of the essentials that are necessary when it comes to what you need to prepare your bag:

  • Notebooks / Journals / Planners / Paper
  • Pens / Highlighters / Pencils
  • Stickers / Post Its
  • Binders / Folders
  • Calculator
  • Paper clips / Staper / Lead
  • USB Drive
  • Hand Sanitizer / Hand Lotion

Here are some items that may not be necessary, but you should invest in. You can also carry these in your emergency kit for anything:

  • Umbrella
  • Portable phone charger
  • Mug or bottle for coffee / water
  • Headphones / Earbuds
  • Laptop bag
  • Pain Reliever / Allergy Medicine / Cough Drops / Tissues / Eye drops
  • Tampons / Pads / Cramp Medicine
  • Nail filer (you never know if your nail will break)
  • Hoodie / Sweatshirt

Hopefully these can cover any emergencies you may encounter or will be useful to when it comes to buying your supplies. You can also have a lot of fun with your supplies and get some cool colors and make it to your style. School doesn’t have to be boring unless you make it boring.

Being prepared ahead of time and printing out your syllabus as well as anything else your school has sent you via email will help you be very organized as well so you don’t have to scramble through hundreds of emails to find one.

Organization is also something that can be hard for some people but Pinterest is one of my favorite ways to find tips and printables for my binder. There are probably millions of printables for any type of thing you are looking and all you need to do is add them into your binder and you are set.

3. Set Goals + Accomplish Them

Setting goals is so important not just for school but anything in life because when you set your mind to something and believe in yourself so much that you can accomplish it, it will happen. If you just live your life everyday with no goals, then life just becomes really boring and you almost have nothing to look forward to doing.

When you create goals, not only does it motivate you to work harder, but smarter. You will think everyday about your goal, where you want to be, a lifestyle you want, purchases you want to make for yourself, maybe moving out of your parents house and more. It is so important to dream big no matter what and to always believe in yourself.

But how can you accomplish these goals if you have a really hard time following through and finding motivation?

  • Make a vision board with your future goals
  • Make a 5 year goal of everything you want to accomplish, upgraded version of yourself, etc..
  • Dedicate yourself to breaking down big goals into small tasks that will lead to the big
  • Act as if you are already living the life you want and you will find yourself there soon
  • Believe in yourself and find a mentor to look up to if you have trouble with yourself

4. Take Breaks + Find New Places To Work

Working in the same spot everyday can actually be bad for you because you may seem to lose motivation in that spot after a while. I can confirm this is true because there is a spot in my living room where I do work there everyday for months and then I found myself getting less and less motivated everyday after a while.

Every now and then, I switch to my couch, front porch, yard, desk, mom’s room, and more. It is so important to move around and switch rather than to stay in one spot. You can also work for an hour in one spot, then move to another if that helps too.

Despite moving around and getting a lot of work done. Taking breaks for your mind and yourself is just as important. You’re supposed to work for 75 to 90 minutes, then taking a 15 minute break. According to Robert Pitzen, senior lecturer at MIT says.

“Working for 75 to 90 minutes takes advantage of the brain’s two modes: learning or focusing and consolidation, says Pozen. “When people do a task and then take a break for 15 minutes they help their brain consolidate information and retain it better.” (Source:

Make sure you are working hard and smart, but giving yourself breaks you deserve whether it’s getting some coffee, making a little snack, taking a Twitter break, going outside for a short walk, listening to music, drawing, pinning on Pinterest, and more! Just give yourself time off and then back to being a boss and getting your tasks done!

5. Staying Positive + Mental health

Out of all of the tips here, this is the most important one which is staying positive and focusing on your mental health. I am proud to say that the person I was last year compared to how I am now mentally is so amazing. I still have some of my overthinking, and anxious tendencies just like anyone else, but I have controlled my stress, sensitivity, and anxiety so much better.

So how did I do this? This can range differently for everyone but I started to focus a lot on manifestation, law of attraction, and focusing a lot of time to God and myself. Journaling, scripting, and praying are some of my favorite things to do because I really get to be at peace with myself and just let go of all of the not important things in life that shouldn’t stress me out as much as they do.

Mental health always comes before everything for everyone and making it a priority will put you in such a higher position with yourself. You may find yourself leaving toxic situations, friendships, relationships, and more. At the end of the day, you will always come first and you deserve to live the best life.

For those who don’t believe as much in the manifestation or law of attraction process, then something I recommend for finding more peace within yourself is waking up early, doing some meditation, going for a walk, listening to your morning playlist, and just getting in a happy mood every morning.

Don’t go on your phone right away. Sit in bed and take time to reflect on how you’re going to have the best day ever and no one or no thing will ruin it. Be grateful for small things in life you may take for granted and just enjoy the morning sun, light, and air. Life is really beautiful and short, so we need to take in as much of it as possible and just be happy.

Thank you so much for reading! 

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Author: Pamela Valdez

Content Writer Intern for She's SINGLE Magazine, Social Media Marketing Intern, and PR Editorial Intern for Access by NKC. Pursuing fashion industry and will be an upcoming undergraduate at FIT.

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