Students of Color Perspectives: Tips for Productivity

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Hi there! I’m Laura Muñoz, a Freshman from Miami. I’m your Students of Color Perspectives blogger and I’ll write about what it means to be a proud (First-Gen, Feminist) Cubanita here at Brown (the best school on Earth).

If you are a student at Brown, chances are you have a tendency to sign up for one too many clubs, or want to volunteer for every organization you hear about, or seriously love participating in sports. And that is amazing– it is part of what makes our campus so vibrant and lively every single day.

And of course since we are at Brown we have over 400 student organizations and dozens of clubs, so odds are you will want to be involved in a few at some point. Clubs and sports are excellent ways to meet people outside of your unit your freshman year, bond with people who share similar interests, and get your mind off of academics for a little while (which is always much needed!).

But there will come a point in the year when things start to pile up in all directions. You will have papers, exams, club meetings and activities, sporting events, and internship applications (confession: just making this list stressed me out). And when your to-do list is growing exponentially it can be very easy to feel stressed out and to want to sacrifice your sleep. So many students sleep fewer than six hours a night in an effort to complete all their work.

I urge you not to give sacrifice your precious hours of sleep! This is central to self-care and is crucial to ensure your mental and physical health. If you find that you’re not sleeping as much as you should (8 hours is ideal) I have some tips to maximize your productivity throughout the day so you can hit the pillow earlier:

  1. Wake up early (even if you don’t have class) to begin your work
  2. Make a list of tasks you want to accomplish that day
  3. Throughout the day, check your list and stay on track!
  4. Shut off your phone when working
  5. Take 5-10 minute breaks every 1-2 hours so your brain can refresh
  6. Watch funny videos or read something enjoyable right before bed so your brain can wind down and you fall asleep right away

Obviously, different things work for different people and some students prefer to go to sleep very late and wake up later in the day. This advice can be something to consider if you find that you are always extremely exhausted. Everyone has their own style and figuring yours out is key!

If you have any questions, comments, or just want to chat, please feel free to email me at laura_munoz@brown.edu. (Seriously, do. I love talking about Brown. I’m obsessed with this place.) Gracias!

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