3. Good habits.
Students with good habits achieve the greatest
success. These habits give them the structure
they need to reach their goals, both in the short
and long term.
So a list of 40 good habits has been developed
for students to practice every day.
I assure you that if you develop these habits,
you’ll become a happier, healthier and more
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1. Write down the three to five most important tasks
to accomplish for the day.
Without a written list to help you stay on track, it’s
easy to overlook and put off important tasks.
By writing down your three to five most important
tasks for the day, you’ll focus on the critical tasks, not
just the urgent ones.
2. Update your calendar with key dates and events.
A calendar is a great way to stay on schedule, day
after day, while also planning for the future.
You can use a physical calendar or an online one like
Google Calendar to record test dates, project
submission deadlines, term breaks, etc.
This way, you’ll be on top of things at all times.
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3. Work on your most challenging task during your most
productive time of day.
Tackle your most challenging task when your mind and
body are fresh.
This will ensure that you have the energy to complete the
task most efficiently. It’ll make the rest of your day more
4. Write down at least one thing you’re thankful for.
Are you thankful for your friends? How about your family?
What about your education?
It only takes a couple of minutes to write down something
you’re thankful for.
But this useful habit will help you find long-term success
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5. Perform focused deep breathing for two minutes.
Stress can negatively impact academic performance, but
there’s a quick solution to this.
Deep breathing is scientifically proven to reduce stress and
even increase willpower.
So take just two minutes and perform focused deep
breathing every day.
6. Read your favorite inspirational quote.
For a quick boost of motivation, read your favorite
My personal favorite is this one by Jim Rohn: “Don’t wish it
were easier. Wish you were better.” If you don’t have a
favorite, here’s a list for you to refer to.
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7. Perform a random act of kindness.
You’ll feel better about yourself, as well as life in general,
when you get into the excellent habit of performing a
random act of kindness at least once a day.
It could be something as simple as giving someone a
genuine compliment or giving up your seat on the bus.
8. Get five minutes of sun.
There are many benefits of getting some sun every day.
For example, it improves brain function, enhances sleep
quality, and reduces the risk of certain cancers.
So don’t spend your entire day cooped up inside!
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9. Do something that scares you.
This is the best way to build courage and develop confidence.
Yes, it’s scary to face your fears, so I encourage you to start
List your fears and decide on a tiny action you can take today to
overcome just one of those fears.
10. Spend time with like-minded people whom you want to
As a student, you come in contact with many people throughout
Spend time with like-minded individuals whom you want to learn
These people will change the way you think, while giving you
advice about how to improve your life.
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11. Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up.
It’s easy to find a reason to skip breakfast, but this is a
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and
you should eat it within 30 minutes of rising.
This will give you the energy you need to take on the
12. Drink at least eight glasses of water.
The health benefits of drinking water are tremendous.
Everyone knows they should drink eight glasses of
water a day, but few people actually do this.
Make this a habit and your body will thank you down
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13. Exercise for at least 15 minutes.
You may not have time to hit the gym for an hour or two,
but everyone can find 15 minutes in their day to exercise.
This can be as simple as going for a brisk walk or doing
Soon enough, you’ll find that you’re more energetic, and
that you fall sick less often too.
14. Go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time
It’s hard to be well rested when your sleep schedule is all
over the place.
You might find it hard to go to bed and wake up at exactly
the same time every day, but try to stay within a 30-minute
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15. Get at least eight hours of sleep every night.
Most people need at least eight hours of sleep every night in order to function
So set your schedule to ensure that you’re working toward this goal.
(Learn how getting eight hours of sleep a night helped me to become a better –
and happier – student.)
16. Follow a bedtime routine.
If you lack a bedtime routine, you may find it difficult to wind down and enter
Establish a routine that you can follow, night in and night out. This can be as
Take a shower
Dim the lights
Put on some relaxing music
Read a few pages of your favourit book
Journal for a few minutes
Turn off the lights
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17. Set up your phone so that you receive reminders
for things you have to do.
With a reminder or task app like Todoist, you can turn your
phone into your personal assistant.
Set up your device to remind you of things you have to do,
a meeting you have scheduled with your advisor, or a
phone call you need to make.
18. If you’re trying to change a bad habit, set up a
reward and punishment system.
Bad habits are hard to break. To give yourself an extra
incentive, set up a reward and punishment system.
When you make progress, reward yourself. But when you
take a step back, enforce a punishment. This holds you
accountable, allowing you to change the habit sooner
rather than later.
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19. If you don’t understand something that was taught
in school, clarify your doubts on that same day.
Even the best students don’t understand everything at first.
If you don’t understand a particular concept that your
teacher talked about in class, clarify your doubts that same
day. This good habit will ensure that you keep up with the
20. Create a study plan for any upcoming tests or
Without a study plan, you’ll lack the structure you need to
best prepare for an upcoming test or exam.
Make your plan clear and specific, and add in timelines as
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21. Be at least five minutes early for every
Arriving late for an appointment is never a good idea.
Make it a habit to arrive five minutes early for every
appointment, as this will ease your stress and show
the other person how much you care about the
22. Review your homework list.
There’s nothing worse than finding out you have an
assignment due the next day that you haven’t even
Guard against this by keeping your homework list
current and combining it with reminders on your
phone (see Point #17 above).
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23. Before you start work, make sure you have all the materials and
resources you need.
Organisation is essential to reaching your goals.
Before you start any task, make sure you have everything you need, e.g., notes,
stationery, textbook, calculator. Not only will this keep you organised, it will also
help you avoid unnecessary distractions and interruptions.
24. When memorising information, use mnemonic devices whenever
For example, if you’re trying to memorise the electromagnetic spectrum, you
might use this mnemonic device:
Unique (Ultraviolet) and
Glamorous (Gamma rays)
Such mnemonic devices help you to learn information faster, while aiding in recall
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25. Focus on one task at a time; don’t multitask.
Research shows that multitasking negatively affects
productivity. If you think you’re more productive by
multitasking, you’re just tricking yourself.
So choose one task to work on and stick with it until you’re
done. This habit alone will make you a much better
26. Before you get down to work, remove all
There are many things you can do to avoid
distractions while studying.
Before you begin your study session, remove as many
distractions as possible, e.g., phone, Internet, games,
unnecessary notes on your study table.
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27. Break down a big task into several smaller ones.
A big task, such as a 10-page report, can be intimidating.
But if you break that task down into 10 writing sessions of
one page each, you’ll find it much easier to complete the
Adopt this approach and you’ll gradually overcome your
habit of procrastination.
28. Whenever possible, do your regular homework at
the same time and place every day.
Just as you should establish a sleep routine, you should
also establish a homework routine.
Have a time and place for completing your regular
homework, as this will improve your overall productivity.
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29. Check through your homework after you’ve
As you reach the end of a homework assignment, you’ll
probably begin to think about what you’re going to do
during your break.
But don’t mark the assignment as “complete” until you’ve
checked through it for mistakes.
This little bit of extra effort will pay off in the long run!
30. Take regular breaks – at least one every hour.
Research shows that taking regular breaks improves
attention and productivity.
Taking one break an hour will keep you fresh, allowing you
to work at your peak concentration for a longer period of
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31. Give yourself a small reward after you
complete each major task.
Reward systems don’t just work for young children.
Students benefit from such systems as well, as it
gives you the incentive to work through a task in a
32. Organise your notes and assignments.
Being organised is essential to success, so take just 5
to 10 minutes every day to organise your notes and
When it’s time to prepare for your next test or exam,
you won’t find yourself looking all over the place just
to find the resources you need.
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33. Clear your study table at the end of each day.
When your day comes to an end, clear your study
table so that you’ll have a fresh start the following day.
You don’t want your day to start with a desk full of
clutter, because this will likely make you feel
34. Read for at least 10 minutes a day.
With so many benefits of reading – from reducing the
risk of Alzheimer’s disease to lowering stress levels –
it’s something you should do every day.
I recommend that you include reading as part of your
bedtime routine (see Point #16).
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35. Whenever you face a problem, ask yourself: “What
is one thing I can do right now to make the situation
This is a difficult habit to get into, as many people
instinctively shy away from a problem or try to think past it.
Don’t do this. Instead, find the one thing you can do right
now to make the situation better.
This may not solve your problem immediately, but it will put
you on the road to doing so.
36. Ask for help, if necessary.
This doesn’t mean you should always rely on others for
answers, but there’s nothing wrong with reaching out for
help when you’re stuck.
Furthermore, research shows that asking for advice makes
a good impression on others.
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37. Learn something outside the syllabus.
School has a syllabus, but life doesn’t.
Every day, strive to learn something outside the school syllabus.
I encourage you to read a book, take an online course, or learn a
There are so many resources available on the Internet, so the
information is really just a click away.
38. Spend a few minutes reflecting on the day gone by.
At the end of each day, take the time to look back and reflect on
what happened during the day.
Did you make progress toward your goals? What were your
successes and failures? What good (and not-so-good) decisions
did you make?
This simple habit of reflection will help you to get better, day by
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39. Spend at least 15 minutes talking to your
You probably already know you should do this.
Family is one of the most important things in the
world, so don’t take it for granted.
40. Spend 20 minutes doing something relaxing.
Maybe you enjoy listening to music to relax your mind
and body. Or maybe you enjoy reading.
Whatever you prefer, give yourself 20 minutes a day
to do something relaxing. This will help you to be a
calm, relaxed, and positive person.
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As you review this list of good habits for students to
practise daily, remember that you’re always in a
position to make a change.
It takes 21 days or more to develop a new habit, so
there’s no such thing as overnight success.
But the process will be well worth it.
As you develop these habits, you’ll experience a
profound change. You’ll become a healthier, more
productive, and more successful student.
The best thing?
It doesn’t cost a thing to develop these habits.
So get started today!