Six Habits of Highly Effective Students

Published on: August 15, 2021

Certain habits come easily to some students, while others may find it more of a struggle. The good news is that it is possible to develop good habits with a bit of work and effort. It is common for students to believe that the same amount of effort that got them through high school will suffice for college or university, which is not the case. Instead of becoming discouraged if your efforts are not paying off, it is better to work smarter and develop these six habits of highly effective students.

  1. Eliminate Distractions

Studying is essential, but it is a waste of time to try and do so while you are distracted. Not only will it cause you to lose focus, but it will also make your study session much more inefficient than it could have been. Successful students know that the best way to get the most out of a study session is to eliminate all distractions around them. The most obvious culprits are usually television, your phone, or the internet. Studies have shown that multitasking can have a significant impact on academic performance ( Find out what causes the most distractions for you while trying to student and then come up with solutions for avoiding these distractions. Another thing to keep in mind is that not everyone is the same. For some students, background noise can be a big distraction, while others cannot concentrate if it is too quiet. The key to studying efficiently is to find a place where you won't be disturbed and where you are able to avoid distractions that can cause you to lose focus.

  1. Stick To A Schedule

Once you have determined the best place to study without distractions, you need to figure out what time works the best for you. Successful students know that the key to studying efficiently is a consistent routine. By creating a schedule and then sticking to it, you ensure that studying becomes a regular part of your routine. Knowing when you will be studying can take a lot of mental and emotional pressure off you and allows you to be more productive during the studying session. While unexpected events can disrupt your schedule, getting back to your regular routine as quickly as possible is vital. Student life can be chaotic, but having a schedule will mean one less thing to worry or stress about.

  1. Get Enough Sleep And Exercise

Sleep is crucial, but all too often, students sacrifice sleep in favor of studying all night or watching television. Research has shown that getting enough sleep improves not only your memory but also your motor tasks ( Poor academic performance can often be traced back to a lack of adequate nighttime sleep. Studies have also determined that lack of sleep can also lead to increased mental health problems amongst students. It is common for students to try and "make up" for lack of sleep during the week by sleeping later on weekends, but this can also be detrimental as it disrupts your routine. Try to avoid caffeine at night, stick to a regular sleeping schedule and condition yourself only to use your bed for sleeping, not studying, reading, or using your phone. Exercise is equally important to keep yourself physically and mentally fit.

  1. Maintain A Positive Mindset

It is easy to get caught up in a negative mindset, especially if you believe that academic success is tied to inborn talent instead of hard work. Students who fall into this trap often think that they are naturally bad at a subject and unable to change it. Even successful students can suffer from anxiety and doubt themselves, but instead of giving in to the negativity, they work hard on maintaining a positive mindset. Receiving a bad grade can be particularly devastating and make you question your abilities and choices. However, instead of wallowing in failure, it is better to try and understand where you went wrong and what you can do to improve in the future. Research has shown that there is a relationship between positive thinking and stress. It has also been found that positive thinking can reduce stress and improve your health.

  1. Be Goal-Oriented

Successful students don't necessarily study more than other students, but they are definitely more goal-oriented. Having a specific goal in mind when studying is a lot more efficient than simply studying without direction. First, determine your overall academic goal and then ensure that when you are studying, you are doing so in a way that supports this goal. Another habit that efficient students cultivate very early is to tackle the most difficult tasks first. As tempting as it may be to get the easy stuff out of the way first, doing so will make tackling the more challenging work much harder. You can significantly improve your efficiency by first taking on the things that require the most effort and mental energy. In turn, it will then also be easier to complete the rest of your work. Putting off the more complicated work is a form of procrastination, which in turn leads to additional stress.

  1. Manage Your Time Properly

Good time management is one of the most valuable skills that efficient students can have. Being able to manage your time correctly directly influences how easy it is to accomplish your goals. While everyone has the same 24 hours a day at their disposal, students with good time management habits are able to make use of theirs more efficiently. In addition, efficient students know how to plan ahead and create a proper balance. Managing your time correctly is especially important when it comes to online learning, where it is easier to fall behind if you are not careful. Fortunately, there are plenty of great apps available for free to help students manage their time properly.


These six habits are by no means the only ones that help efficient students succeed, but they are some of the most important. By incorporating them into your life, you will become a better student and find that they are also an essential set of transferable life skills that will help you in the workplace.

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