Essay Writing: 19 Tips to Boost Your Productivity

It’s a pretty safe bet that writing essays is not one of your favorite pastimes, but instead a daunting task can fall on your head and ruin your plans for the entire weekend. No picnic with friends. No dancing in a club. Only the loneliness of a library and your fingers slowly squeezing some chunky text from the keyboard.
The good news is that you can keep up and rediscover your weekend and social life in general. Using the following 19 science-backed tips, you can be on your way to completing all your written homework in just one evening:

  1. Clutter your desk. A shocking tip, isn’t it? It’s not what your mom told you. People strive for order. Nobody wants to waste time looking for lost information and items. Yet a 2015 research study from the University of Groningen has brought surprising findings. The scholars from Netherlands found out that people working in disordered environments try to reaffirm the sense of order by setting clear and well-defined goals, and end up reaching them faster.
  2. Use multiple monitors. According to Microsoft, using more than one screen can boost your performance by from 9% to 50%. If possible, use different devices. For instance, you can use your tablet for research and a laptop for essay writing.
  3. Use a standing desk (at least from time to time). A study conducted by Business Insider in 2013 revealed a 10% productivity boost, higher energy levels and better concentration resulted from using a standing instead of a sitting desk.
  4. Pomodoro technique. Alternate work and rest for maximum productivity. Developed in the late 1980s, this tactic implies dividing work flow into short sessions, usually 25 minutes long, followed by short breaks (5-10 minutes). These intervals are called ‘pomodoros,’ Italian for ‘tomatoes.’ Francesco Cirillo, the author of this method, used a kitchen timer shaped as tomato for self-control.
  5. Drink plenty of water. In a study by the University of East London School of Psychology, participants drank 3 cups of clear water before taking a test, in which they had to press a button when they saw an object on the screen. The response reaction in this group was at least 14% faster than in participants from a control group who didn’t drink anything. Fresh water is essential for writing an essay that rocks.

Young woman lying yellow cloth

  1. Laugh. A recent study at Loma Linda University in Southern California has shown that laughing or simply experiencing humor improves brain function by reducing stress hormones. So a reasonable amount of funny videos on Youtube (up to 15 minutes) can help.
  2. Take breaks with someone. A small talk during a break will guarantee a 15% performance boost. Isn’t this a perfect reason to call your friends?
  3. Block distractions. Texts and social media can wait. If you need help killing distractions, hordes of specialized apps are there for you (Anti-Social, Freedom LeechBlock to name just a few).
  4. Stop checking your email. The unpredictable nature of arriving messages can make checking email addicting. However, your life will be far easier if you make it a rule to check email 2-3 times a day, and never to check it before doing something important in the morning.
  5. Sync your data. Dropbox, Google Drive, Tresorit and many others will allow you to access your docs from anywhere. No more lost essays! No more dogs eating your homework!
  6. Kill your inner perfectionist. Attempts to make your writing perfect take too much time. Indeed, a recent study has revealed that there’s no need to be a top student in college to succeed in life.
  7. Spend 5-10 minutes on an inspirational read. A stirring quote from a famous person can keep you going. “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done” (Bruce Lee).
  8. Make wise use of your will power. Its supply is limited. With the numerous temptations of the modern world, your will power is often overstressed. Avoid sticking to a low calorie diet and studying for finals at the same time.

Woman sleeping soft comfortable sofa

  1. Get enough sleep. Numerous studies have demonstrated that sufficient sleep (no less than 7 hours) is extremely important for academic success, which includes writing essays that rock.
  2. Do aerobics. According to a 2014 study at the University of Illinois, along with other health benefits, regular aerobic exercise is good for your relational memory.
  3. Learn to touch type. This can help you type 50 to 100% more quickly.
  4. Study with some background noise. Surprisingly, science has now proved that some background noise actually boosts creativity and productivity. If your room is too quiet, apps like Coffitivity or Simplynoise can help to fill the space.
  5. Don’t try to be unnaturally optimistic. It’s always better to be yourself. A recent study has found that relaxing and hoping for the best works only for optimists. Pessimists, on the contrary, can boost their performance by 30% when they think of the worst possible outcomes. So, what is the worst that could happen if you fail to complete a passable essay?
  6. Stop doing everything yourself. Delegating responsibilities is the key to success. You’re not alone, and getting help with essay writing can be easier than you think.

With these mini-habits, essay writing can be made easy. Study smarter and enjoy your skyrocketing productivity.

Irene Fenswick
Irene Fenswick

Irene Fenswick is a freelance writer and blogger with a Master's degree in English Literature. She has been working as an academic advisor for undergraduate students for five years and she is willing to share her knowledge about writing. Irene has 15+ years of expertise in solving academic-related issues.

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Comments (2)

Thena
May 10th, 2016 - 6:09 am

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Irene Fenswick
Irene Fenswick
June 25th, 2016 - 11:10 pm

Hi Thena,

It’s kind of you to take the time and leave this comment. I hope our materials are helpful to you and your friends!

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