I’ve dipped my toes into student society life at the Financial Management Association of Australia, whilst working in the fintech world at 'Unhedged', a recently launched algorithmic trading start-up.   

Whether you’ve just joined the world of tertiary education or if you are lacking motivation, and giving this a skim, here are my top tips to hopefully get you back into the groove.   

Put a 2-minute timer on...  

Newton’s First Law of Motion: an object will not change its motion unless acted on by an unbalanced force.  

You could almost say the physics of productivity say objects in motion, tend to stay in motion. Just get started! 

Put a 2-minute timer on and get reading that lecture slide or starting a practice question. Chances are, once the ball is rolling, you’ll keep it moving.   

Time management  

To stay on track with your studies, writing weekly or daily to-do lists are super helpful.

I use Google Keep, which has features including checkboxes, reminders, and colour coordination. It is key to write a realistic to-do list, so you create strong habits.

It’s a bit like when you press snooze on your morning alarm. Soon enough, if you keep just pressing snooze every time you see your to-do list, it’ll be able to draw your focus back. 

If I’m feeling particularly unmotivated, I set one little goal that I will complete by the end of the day – something on the lines of watching one lecture. Doing something is better than nothing!   

Stay accountable  

University life is a whole new playing field, with flexible classes instead of the normal 9am-3pm in high school.

Getting this balance right is something that comes with time, but in the meantime, it can help to study call with your mates!

Having a study buddy is a good way to stay accountable and on task. I also try and turn my phone off while I work – a good app for this is Flora so that I stay on task.   

Find a good study environment    

My study environment is always changing from my own room, to cafes, to uni, to work. 

I use noise-cancelling headphones to really tune out my surroundings and listen to some non-lyrical music.   

Nothing is worse than having a chair that gives you back pain after 10 minutes.

Try and make sure you have good posture and are able to have your back against the chair, with your feet flat. Alternatively, find a makeshift spot where you can stand and work.