Students today are busy. Really busy.
They have homework to do, projects to complete, extra classes to attend, and other responsibilities to fulfill.
It’s no wonder that most students are sleep-deprived, and find it almost impossible to lead a balanced life.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
In this article, I’ll share with you the 10 principles I used to become a top student who slept eight hours a night. (I’ve since completed my formal education.)
In case you’re curious, here are some of my academic achievements:
- I got 9 A1s for the GCE O-Levels.
- I got 4 As and 2 “Special” Paper distinctions for the GCE A-Levels.
- I received a full academic scholarship to study at Duke University in the USA.
- I did a double major at Duke and graduated summa cum laude (First Class Honors). My GPA was 3.98/4.0.
- I was inducted into three academic honor societies at Duke.
Just to be clear, I don’t think these achievements make me some super-impressive person.
Neither do I think that the main aim of education is to become a top student.
But through the process of becoming a better student, you’ll learn to be more organized, focused, disciplined, and meticulous.
These are skills and traits that will prove beneficial throughout your life.
Students who continually feel overwhelmed are those who spend most of their time on urgent tasks. These are usually the same students who are sleep-deprived!
To be an effective student, you must focus on important tasks before they become urgent.
The 10 principles outlined in this article will help you to do just that.
By applying the 10 principles, I guarantee you’ll get better grades, be less stressed, and have more time for things outside of school – including sleep!
Sounds good, right?
Let’s get started.
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Principle #1: Stick to a routine.
You should definitely make room in your life for spontaneity. But without some kind of structure or routine, you won’t be able to achieve maximal productivity.
Creating a weekly routine is one of the most important steps to becoming a top student who has a balanced life.
Follow these steps to create a weekly routine that works for you:
(a) Take out your calendar. (I use Google Calendar, but a hard copy calendar works, too.)
(b) Create events in your calendar for all of your fixed, recurring commitments, e.g., school, music classes, extracurriculars, family events, religious activities.
(c) Looking at the remaining slots in your calendar, set aside time each day for homework and studying.
(d) Set aside time each day for leisure, relaxation, going out with friends, and so on.
At this point, your calendar will be filled with “fixed” appointments that will guide you as to how to spend your time.
Of course, these appointments may change once in a while. But by following what your calendar says you ought to be doing, you’ll have established a solid routine. [Read more…]