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Study Hacks You Haven’t Heard of Before

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

If there is one thing that will keep you clear-headed whilst studying, it is productivity hacks. Working smarter, not harder, is a sure-fire way to keep the dreaded burnout at bay and to get you the grades that you have been stressing over all year.

If you have read endless articles about the ‘best ways to increase your productivity’, chances are you are sick of hearing about to-do lists and the Pomodoro technique. Though they can be super helpful, sometimes you just want something fresh to keep you motivated (and awake) - so we thought we would give you some lesser-known productivity hacks, ideal for stressed-out students everywhere.

It is worth bearing in mind, however, that though these hacks will help you to a certain extent, you cannot just rely on shoes and Mario Kart (no context spoiler alert) to get you through exams. Get the basics (sleep, nutrition etc.) sorted before you start adding these to your routine.

Anyway, enough of the introduction, here are some study and productivity hacks we bet you haven’t heard of before.

Put Your Shoes On

You might have heard of ‘getting dressed as if you are leaving the house even if you are working from home’, but let’s be honest, no one wants to change out of their comfy pyjamas. To combat this problem, we have an easier version of this hack for you - put your shoes on. This look might not win you any trophies at The Fashion Awards, but it can increase your productivity.

Research has found that dressing up for work can improve your performance, and if it works for the 9-5, it can work for your study sessions too! The idea behind this, is that even if you are not changing what/how you study, you will subconsciously feel more prepared to do the work. By getting ready (even a little bit) you are shifting your mind into productivity mode. Plus, if your shoes are dirty, it will stop you from climbing back into bed. So grab your trainers and get going!

Record A Time Lapse Of You Studying

You do not have to be a StudyTuber making 8-hour-long ‘study with me’ videos to film yourself while you work. In fact, just recording those 45 minutes of revision you do each afternoon can be enough to increase your productivity. Recording yourself might sound a bit off-putting, but remember that you will not be posting these videos anywhere – it is just to keep you focused for a set period of time.

We have all been there - saying that we will do an hour of studying before going out for drinks, but when the time comes to sit down and work, you procrastinate and get distracted in minutes. This is where recording yourself can help. First, it means that your phone will be in use for the entire time that you are studying, so you will not be able to scroll without ending the recording (bonus points if you put ‘do not disturb’ on while you are doing this). Second, it is like having a non-judgemental minder watching you work and reminding you that you should be studying every time you are tempted to procrastinate for ‘just 5 minutes’... give it a go and let us know what you think!

Mario Kart Music

If you were on TikTok in late 2020 you might have seen this phenomenon go viral, but if not, chances are you are very confused right now. Essentially, lots of students found that listening to upbeat, fast music (a far cry from your stereotypical low-fi chillout study music) such as the soundtracks to Mario Kart (particularly coconut mall), helped them write essays faster when working towards deadlines. We cannot vouch for the quality of your writing, but if you are feeling really drained, giving this hack a go might help give you that burst of energy needed to get those references done.

Do A 9-5

Creating a study schedule and sticking to it is hard, and life (including cooking meals and doing that load of laundry you have been putting off all week) can often get in the way. A way around this, and something that can really benefit you when it comes to transitioning from university to a graduate job, is to do a mini 9-5.

Depending on what you are studying, you will likely have one or two days off each week to do your own thing and catch up on work. Designate one of those days as your ‘9-5 day’ and treat your studying or university work as a job. Clock in at 9, give yourself an hour’s lunch break, and clock out at 5. Then, enjoy your evening knowing that you have done a full day’s work. If a 9-5 is a bit too much, try a 10-4 or even an 11-3 to get started. Switching up your studying mindset can make all the difference!

There you have it, some study and productivity hacks that you (probably) have not heard of before! If you have got any hacks of your own, or decide to give these a try, let us know or help someone you know out by telling them about it. Now go out there and smash it!


The Grad Soc connects students and companies through internships, and provides career/employability support and resources to help students and graduates get jobs.

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[BePineapple]. (2020, October 26). 2 hours of mario kart music | study motivation [Video]. YouTube.

Hernandez, P. (2020, October 26). Teens are using mario kart music to finish last-minute homework. Polygon.

Scroggs, L. (n.d.). The pomodoro technique. Todoist.

Sharma, R. (2019, August 17). StudyTube: The community of youtubers using revision and university to boost their platforms. inews.

Smith, R. A. (2020, September 20). The science behind wfh dressing for zoom. The wall street journal.

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Oct 21, 2022

What's your favourite study hack?

Let us know 💬👇🏼

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