1. Ask a friend to change your passwords to your social media networks of choice. Determine which ones suck the most time from your productivity and eliminate them for a semester. It’ll be rough at first, but once you get over the first month, you’ll begin to wonder how you ever accomplished anything while you were plugged in.
2. Join a gym. Even if you’re putting off an assignment to spend an hour on the treadmill or elliptical, you’ll feel more refreshed afterwards. Bring a textbook or your iPad with you for some light reading if you’re not planning to work out with too much intensity. You’d be surprised how much you can read undisturbed in an hour on the treadmill.
3. Take a trip or two during your last year. I managed to make it to Washington, D.C., New Orleans, La. and Pigeon Forage, Tenn. during this academic year. By planning a few short trips (extended weekends will work pending your profs. don’t mind you skipping), you’ll have something to motivate you to work hard through the week to finish assignments early.
4. Create a buddy system with fellow juniors and seniors in your major. I’ve never been one for study groups, but it definitely helps you stay on task if you’re in the library with a friend who’s working on the same essay at the same time. Even if it pulls you away a little bit, you’ll be more relaxed if you’re working with a peer.
5. Get some sleep. I’ve said this in the past, and I’ll say it again—if you’re planning to be up late working on an assignment, consider calling it a night early and setting an alarm for a few hours sooner than usual. Your brain will function better when you’re well-rested than in the wee hours of the morning. There’s nothing wrong with putting an assignment off to the last minute—we all do it, but just make sure you give yourself enough time to get the whole thing done while keeping quality in mind.