Find Your Groove: Productivity Tips and Tools for Study Success

Coming back from what is a long holiday, it’s hard to blame oneself for getting distracted. With so much going on around us and so many commitments to juggle, here are some top tips to help you regain focus and master the art (or science?) of getting your work done on time, every time. 

By Harry Sun, Library Newsletter Editor

Phones Off 

It’s tough, but if you really want to get in the zone and finish that essay or prepare for that vacation scheme interview, it’s best to keep all of your devices on silent. For those of us using Apple devices, Do Not Disturb mode syncs throughout your devices, making it extra easy to resist the temptation to respond to snapchat messages from friends. For those of us on Android or other devices, Focus mode is available, or you might like to use other apps, such as Forest, which allows you to plant trees while you work. How cool is that? 

A light box with black writing saying 'do not disturb'
Image Credit: Nothing Ahead

Get in Your Zone! 

For some, silence is golden. For others, you can’t stand working in absolute silence. Either way, the Library manages study spaces for your exact needs. Use the colourful and prominently placed banners to find your zone within the library and work the way you want

Use the ‘Pomodoro’ technique 

We all know that rewarding ourselves will motivate us to keep going. Be it after a hard workout at the gym, or after a gruesome essay-writing session, we all love a treat. This nifty trick motivates you to work by segmenting time into small chunks of 25 minutes. After your first chunk of work time is up, you get a five-minute break, which is further extended into 10 minutes after every hour of work. Getting work done at university is not a sprint but a marathon. Pace yourself, and more importantly, reward yourself for the hard work done

(Note that the Study Happy team runs focused writing events Write Here, Write Now and Switch On and Work, that make good use of the Pomodoro technique to manage your time). 

Study with others (or not!) 

When it comes to studying, it really is all about you. Some people find studying in a group to be more enjoyable, and can hold each other accountable. For others like myself, studying with others often slowly morphs into a social session that ultimately ends with us getting food and drinks at Pret and making plans for the pub. Either way, find your style – if working in groups is your way to go, find people who will help you focus, not lead you to the pub! 

Three young people sat around a table with books and one person sat on a windowsill behind.
Image Credit: cottonbro

Find a tool to help you 

If you struggle to be productive, it’s worth knowing that there are tech tools out there that can help you. The Library website can link you to Productivity Tools to help you with everything from mind mapping, to note-taking and referencing. 

Now it’s your turn! Tell us how you find your balance and get into the zone. Share your own tips in the comments section below. You can also tweet us @warwicklibrary or email us at

Header Image: Startup Stock Photos

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