You’re sitting at your desk, books laid out, laptop open, a mug of tea at the ready. The stage is set, you’re full of bright ideas and good intentions. Almost instantly, the self-inflicted study session sends your brain desperately searching for anything else to occupy itself with, instead of the subject at hand. You tell yourself you have more than enough time, and there’s no need to start just yet. Giving the kitchen a good scrub suddenly becomes very appealing…

We all know it doesn’t help to procrastinate like this, and yet so many of us do it. So, what is the secret to being productive? Find a way to get tasks done and you’ll have more free time to do things you love.

Here’s a 7-item productivity toolkit to get you back on track!

1. Get organised

At the start of every week, write down exactly what’s coming up that week. Part-time work, university assignments, exercise, social events, calls home. Get it all out of your head and write it all down onto a planner. This will make your life a lot less stressful and disorganised, which will help you feel much more in control.

Getting into routines – such as deciding what you want to wear in advance or planning the meals that you’re going to eat for the rest of the week – will keep your mind from wondering what you’re going to have for dinner as well as save a little bit of time too!

2. Set achievable goals

Set yourself achievable goals by breaking down bigger tasks into bite sized tasks. This way you’ll get the sense of progression every day, you’ll be surprised how much this will motivate you!

Bonus tip: it’s best to face the difficult projects first. Don’t leave anything you’ve been struggling with until last. Get the biggest and most challenging thing on your list out of the way first.

3. Daily to-do lists

There’s nothing better than physically ticking off tasks from a to-do lists when doing uni work (okay, apart from closing ALL OF THOSE tabs after finishing an essay). Much like setting achievable goals, keep your to-do list short. Pick a couple of the most important tasks and really focus on getting those done.

4. Sort out your workspace

Ever sat down to study and had the urge to start cleaning your workspace? A cluttered desk can often lead to a cluttered mind. Clean your workspace to make sure it’s somewhere you’re happy to work from!

5. Take breaks

There’s only so long you can concentrate and really absorb what you’re working on before losing focus. Make sure you take regular breaks and take some time to relax your brain. Need some inspiration on how to relax during your study break? We’ve got you covered: here’s 10 Easy Ways to Relax as a Student.

6. Have a digital detox

Phones, computers, tablets, game consoles – they’re all filled with apps and games that are designed to distract you. Do the unthinkable and try to avoid your devices completely. Either put your phone on airplane mode or in a drawer on the other side of the room. Or go cold-turkey by going to the library to study and leave your phone at home. Instagram will still be there when you get back, pinky promise.

7. Keep fit

From eating a proper breakfast and drinking plenty of water, to doing regular exercise –making sure you are fit and healthy will make a noticeable difference to your energy levels, which in turn will help you to feel more productive. Here’s how you can stay fit in University.

When it’s all said and done, switch off from uni work and go enjoy yourself. How would you spend an extra 15 minutes today?