The 25 Best Daily Routines for Students (with Examples)

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Are you a student trying to be more productive? Can you never figure out the best time to study at night or how to get the most out of your morning routine? Do you have a hard time sticking to one nightly routine?

Daily routines vary between students, but many successful students have the same habits and the same daily routines.

In this article, we’ll share some of the best daily routines for students, including morning and nightly routines for a school day, sample student daily routines, and ways to integrate good study habits.

Why are Daily Routines Important for Students?

Why are Daily Routines Important for Students?

Why are Daily Routines Important for Students?

Daily routines are sets of habitual activities you can repeat every day until they become easy and natural — for students, whose schedules may already be somewhat repetitive loop between classes, studying, extracurriculars and work — productive daily routines can be easily integrated for a healthier, less-stressful lifestyle.

When you set aside time to exercise, time to eat a healthy breakfast, time to study and time to set goals repeatedly, these activities become natural and help you achieve your goals.

How can Daily Routines Help Your Studies?

How can Daily Routines Help Your Studies?

When you repeat the same activity or habit daily, your brain begins to recognize the pattern and adapt to it, according to several studies, including recent research from MIT.

Routines can make your life more streamlined, more efficient, and more meaningful, allowing you time for the things that matter, like goal-setting and reflection.

Creating a routine out of studying makes the process more comfortable, and looking at your notes every day before a test helps cement the material in your brain.

5 of the Best Morning Routines for Students

5 of the Best Morning Routines for Students

5 of the Best Morning Routines for Students

Many successful students know the value of waking up early and taking advantage of the time before class to review material and ease into a hectic day.

Here are some examples of productive morning routines to help you start the day off right.

1. Wake up early.

For the students who have to start classes before 8 AM, this sounds demanding, but having the time to fuel your body and accomplish tasks right away sets a positive tone for the entire day.

Many successful students choose to wake up between 5 am, and 6 AM to block out plenty of time and start working before the rest of the world, but the right time to wake up also depends on the time you go to sleep and the time you start classes.

The most important thing is to make sure you’re consistent since your body sets its internal rhythms based on consistency — if you wake up at 5 AM every day and go to bed at 10 PM every night, you should feel just as good as someone who wakes up at 8 AM every day and goes to sleep at midnight.

2. Eat a healthy breakfast and pack snacks.

Eating breakfast provides you the fuel necessary to get through a morning of classes. Pick foods with protein, nutrients, and fiber, like oatmeal with nut butter, or avocado toast, or a smoothie full of fruits and veggies.

You can also make yourself some coffee or green tea as an antioxidant-packed alternative if you’re feeling drowsy.

3. Take time to exercise.

Stretching and moving your body helps wakes you up, and exercising in the morning will keep you energized all day. If you don’t want to head to the gym, a brisk run around the block, a floor workout, or some yoga stretches are all great alternatives to keep you in shape.

4. Set up to 5 daily goals in your planner.

The best way to maximize your day is to set a few short goals — is there an assignment you’d like to get done by the end of the day, or a paper you want to outline, or a quiz you want to ace? Look over the day ahead and pick out key tasks you’d like to focus on. Jot these down in your planner so you don’t forget to complete them by the end of the day.

These goals don’t have to be academic either — maybe you want to attend a club meeting for the first time, or network with someone on campus. Thinking deliberately about where you want the day to take you will help you avoid getting bored or overwhelmed.

5. Review your notes by rewriting them and quizzing yourself.

Take some time before class starts to study your notes from the past few days. Synthesize the most important information by copying it down, then quiz yourself on key concepts and identify areas where you’re still confused. You can also jot down follow up questions to ask in class. Reviewing these notes will prime your brain with key concepts, and you’ll probably find it easier to pay attention in class.

Alternatively, you can also try making a mind map to connect broad concepts and terms. Find mind map templates you can either print out or edit online here. Or, if you have flashcards, try running through them a few times before you have to leave in the morning. You can also find a set to study from on quizlet.com.

5 of the Best Evening Routines for Students

5 of the Best Evening Routines for Students

5 of the Best Evening Routines for Students

Even when classes finish, it’s essential to stay focused and productive. Having clear evening routines, including studying at night, will help you set up a productive tomorrow. Here are 5 of the best evening routines for students.

1. Don’t lose your momentum from class: use the Pomodoro method to stay motivated.

When you get home, take some time to get a snack, but don’t fall into the trap so many students do, where they don’t start on their homework right away, and quickly fall into a productivity lapse. Instead, fuel up and start right away on your work. This way, you can relax peacefully later, knowing everything’s done.

The Pomodoro method blocks up your studying into 25 minute periods with 5 minute breaks, then a long 15 minute break after 2 hours. These breaks let your brain relax — you can switch up topics or assignments after each break, or not, if you have a long reading to get done, or a big paper to write. You can find an online Pomodoro timer here.

2. Reflect on the day and think about goals for tomorrow.

Ask yourself: did you meet all your goals for the day? What could you have done better? How will you have to adjust your goals or daily routine for tomorrow?

You can look over your week and see what important events are coming up, then think about how best to prepare.

If you have a journal, take time to jot down some of your thoughts or feelings for a moment of introspection on the day. Doing this helps you better identify long term progress, and can motivate you for the future.

3. Organize everything you need for tomorrow.

Pack your backpack with the right supplies for tomorrow’s classes, check your planner and make sure you’re prepared with any notes or materials you might need.

You can also set out an outfit if you don’t want to waste time picking one out in the morning.

4. Tidy up and declutter your space.

Nothing is more annoying than waking up to a messy room. Take just a few minutes to put away stray items — clutter can be a significant stressor for students, and combating it just a little bit every day helps out in the long run.

If you find yourself with an excess of clutter to clean every day, consider trying the Marie Kondo method, or another decluttering method to tidy your space. If an object isn’t useful or meaningful to you, donate or dispose of it. A messy space isn’t going to help your stress level.

5. Practice self-care.

After a long day of hard work, everyone deserves a brain break. Put on a facemask, watch an episode of your favorite Netflix show, or read a few chapters of a book.

Take time to relax, or burnout can set in. Then, try and go to bed around the same time every night — it makes waking up much easier.

5 Good Study Habit Daily Routines for School

5 Good Study Habit Daily Routines for School

5 Good Study Habit Daily Routines for School

It’s easy to build good study habits directly into your daily routine. Identifying smart study tactics and taking advantage of breaks in your schedule can keep your productivity high all day long. Read on for five good study habits to build into your daily routine for school.

1. Make the most of your breaks.

If you have breaks between classes, don’t just sit on your phone or watch Netflix — make the most of your extra time by reviewing your notes, working on smaller assignments, checking emails, knocking out a quick reading, or practicing some flashcards. Even those weird, twenty-minute periods can go to good use.

Keep yourself engaged between classes with a quick snack — not all teachers allow food in class.

2. Write down everything.

Whether you use a physical or online planning system, the most important routine for every successful student is to write down everything.

Every single assignment, every due date, every presentation date, every little thing you need to remember to bring to class. Especially if you have a heavy class load — then you’re more likely to forget.

Writing down everything is quintessential to being an organized student because then you can later plan out bigger assignments by breaking them into manageable chunks over several days, or draft study plans for each day leading up to the exam date.

3. Study smarter, not harder.

The most successful students know how not to waste time studying. Make sure your study routines are smart study methods that actively engage your brain.

Ever notice how reading something over or highlighting a text doesn’t help you remember the material for the test? Those are passive study methods — your brain tends to just go on autopilot instead of diving deeper and thinking about the text on a deeper level.

Try taking notes or asking questions about the main ideas of the reading. Draft a mind map to make connections between concepts. Don’t waste your time reading a text if you’re not going to think deeply about it and store the critical information for later.

The same thing goes for rewriting your notes — while it works for some students, recopying information you’ve already written down isn’t always the most helpful unless you’re making connections between pieces of information and sorting out the essential parts of the material.

Similarly, if you’re doing math or science, avoid back solving problems from the solution. Your brain can learn from failure, but it learns more when it’s thinking out-of-the-box and analyzing a problem.

4. Plan out your studying using a calendar.

Got a big exam coming up? Or several finals in the same week? Building a study calendar into your daily routine can organize and make the most of your precious study time.

First, mark the exam dates on your calendar. Using any exam information from your teacher, try and estimate how many hours you’ll need to study for the test — if you’ve had other midterms or exams in the class, use those as a gauge.

Then, work backward from the date and plan out how many hours you want to study each subject each day. This way, if you’re super busy on some days, you can plan around those, and you’re not left with an extra ton of work later when they happen.

You can also add specific units or study methods you want to review or use each day, so when you look at the calendar later, you know what and how to study.

This method also ensures you’ll be fully prepared for the exam by the exam date — no last-minute cramming the final units of the class the morning of the test.

5. Break down your work.

Even if you’re not using a study calendar, you can still break down long projects into smaller, more digestible chunks. For example, if you have to write a paper, outline it and then write one section a day over a few days, instead of forcing yourself to sit at a computer for six hours straight — and even then, only finishing half the assignment.

5 Daily Organization Routines for Students

5 Daily Organization Routines for Students

5 Daily Organization Routines for Students

Staying organized is often the biggest challenge — and ultimately, the biggest barrier — to success for students. When you have to balance five classes, three extracurriculars, and a job, or some similarly hectic schedule, assignments inevitably fall through the cracks, right? Well, they don’t have to, if you build the proper daily routines. Here are the best daily organization routines for students.

1. Use a planner or planning software.

Whether you prefer carrying around a physical planner in your bag with you or keeping everything organized with software, having some sort of planning system is essential for students. Organizing your work helps you break down large assignments throughout the week and prioritize the most important work.

Planner: If you’d prefer to carry around a physical planner, make sure to pick one that has everything you need, from monthly calendar pages to daily or weekly pages. These different spreads help you visualize the month and important dates throughout the month, to daily and weekly tasks.

Make sure to record every assignment and date as you hear about it, so you don’t forget anything, and check your planner when you get done with your classes to review each assignment you need to get done.

Bullet Journal: The Bullet Journal system is much more flexible since it’s essentially the DIY version of a regular planner. It’s a little more time consuming since you have to draw in your calendars and daily spreads, but you can tailor it entirely to your own needs.

To start, all you need is an empty notebook or journal. There are tons of online resources for bullet journalers, including templates and designs, as well as unique spread ideas.

The system is versatile — you can use it to track your habits, budget, make shopping lists, set goals, or even just flat out journal about your thoughts, as well as plan and record assignments or exam dates.

Evernote: If you’re more into tracking your work online, where you can easily access it on your laptop or phone, Evernote might work for you.

It’s one of the most popular planning softwares, but it goes far beyond just planning and tracking assignments. You can use it to take notes during class, if you like typing your notes and organize them all together, along with to-do lists and calendar pages.

You can also manage big projects by breaking them into chunks or create study plans for exams months in advance.

Notion: While similar to Evernote, Notion’s layout is a little cleaner and more minimalist. You can create pages with different to-do lists to schedule things, or pages for different classes to better organize your work.

You can insert calendars, images, or even Google Docs, and you can create spreadsheets or take notes. It’s easy to check off tasks from lists and move around different tasks as well.

2. Organize your notes with a system.

2. Organize your notes with a system.

Whether you prefer to take notes online or on physical notebooks, making sure you can easily find the information you’re looking for while studying is paramount. There’s nothing worse than knowing you have the answer to an assignment question in your notes somewhere but not being able to find it due to a lack of organization.

If you like to type your notes, any of the digital planning systems mentioned above can also function as note taking platforms, if you’d prefer to keep everything together in one software.

Physical notebooks and binders: The classic system so many students stick with, because of its simple effectiveness, is having several physical notebooks, one for each class. It primarily works great if all your classes require a similar amount of note taking, and your backpack can fit the number of notebooks you need.

However, if you find that one class only uses handouts, maybe try using a binder instead, with a few extra loose-leaf pages. If you have a class that requires way more note taking than the typical 70-page notebook can handle, try using a three or five-subject notebook for the course.

OneNote: If you’d prefer to type your notes, or if you have an iPad or computer with a Smart Pen you use to write notes digitally, OneNote is a great way to keep everything together. It’s a Microsoft software, so it’s exceptionally intuitive for users of Word or Excel.

You can create several digital “notebooks,” each which you can break up into sections and pages, which you type or write on. This system is super easy to organize — just make a notebook for each class and a section for each unit. You can also insert pdfs if you have online readings you’d like to annotate, and images to add detailed diagrams to your notes.

Google Drive: Google Drive is an entire suite of programs free with your Gmail, including Google Documents, Google Spreadsheets, Google Presentations, etc.

If you take notes on Google Docs, you can share them with your friends, and it’s easy to organize them into folders and subfolders for each class and unit. You can also insert images, and they have a bunch of add-ons if you want to make detailed diagrams or create bibliographies.

3. Keep your backpack organized.

An essential part of every student’s evening routine should be making sure your backpack is ready for the next day. Take out any books, folders, or notebooks you won’t need and make sure you have all the materials for your classes the next day. Maybe pack a healthy snack like a granola bar. Also, take some time to clean out clutter like trash or extra items you don’t need. In the morning, double-check that you have your phone, laptop, chargers, etc.

4. Set reminders for important tasks.

Don’t be afraid to put your phone to good use — setting alarms or notification reminders for important upcoming tests or assignments can help you make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

5. Prioritize your tasks.

When you’re making your to-do list, be mindful of each task’s importance — do the most heavily-weighted assignments first, and save the easy assignments that don’t require as much concentration for later, when you start getting tired. It can also help to break up dense math or science work with reading or writing-based assignments, to keep your brain stimulated in different ways.

3 Daily Mindfulness Routines for Students

3 Daily Mindfulness Routines for Students

3 Daily Mindfulness Routines for Students

For most students, mindfulness isn’t a significant concern or priority. But since a large percentage of students suffer from stress and anxiety, integrating mindfulness routines into your day might help more than you’d expect. And it doesn’t have to mean sitting alone in a dark room for an hour every night — a mindfulness routine can be as simple as journaling for five minutes every day or waking up with some yoga stretches.

1. Try meditation.

Now, in the digital age, there are tons of apps on the market, specifically for meditation exercises. Headspace is one of the most popular, and you can choose the length and focus of a guided meditation session. They have meditations specifically for stress, focus, anxiety, and other issues students tend to face. They also have sessions for sleep, which can be helpful to integrate into your daily routine.

Other apps include Calm, which has special meditations meant for people ages 17 and under, buddhify, which has meditations for activities, like travel, work, or even eating, and many others.

If meditation apps aren’t your thing, there’s nothing wrong with finding a quiet place and just sitting alone with your thoughts. Most students with hectic schedules don’t usually have the time to reflect or sort out their thoughts when running between classes, study groups, and extracurricular activities, so simply taking the time to meditate on your own can prove valuable.

2. Exercise mindfully.

Another great alternative to guided meditations is meditative exercise routines like yoga. Yoga encourages you to slow down and be present in the moment throughout each pose, to feel how your body moves in space and how it connects with its surroundings.

You can find yoga routines practically anywhere, from guided yoga on YouTube to yoga poses on Pinterest and other social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Exercising mindfully keeps you grounded and in shape, and it’s a great way to start the day off right.

3. Use a journal to reflect.

Daily journaling can be a mental health check-in in the morning or a reflection on the day’s events in the evening. It’s a flexible system intuitive to you — all you need is a journal, a writing utensil, and your brain. Busy students can use the system to sort out their tangled thoughts, or set goals for the future, or just talk about life and record fun memories from the day.

2 Sample Comprehensive Daily Routines Examples for Students

2 Sample Comprehensive Daily Routines Examples for Students

2 Sample Comprehensive Daily Routines Examples for Students

The following is an earlier routine, likely more aligned with high-school schedules, or college students with early morning classes. The afternoon is very flexible for study time, work, or extracurricular activities.

  • Wake up: 5:30 AM: don’t immediately turn on your phone. Instead of scrolling through social media, do something a little more engaging, like make the bed.
  • Exercise: 5:45–6:15 AM: run through some yoga poses and reflect on the day ahead
  • Take a quick shower: 6:15–6:30 AM: Don’t waste too much water!
  • Eat a healthy breakfast: 6:30–7:00 AM: heat some water to make oatmeal, or even blend some fruits and veggies for a smoothie. While you’re eating, look through your notes, run flashcards, journal or read something!
  • Use your remaining time before class to review your notes or get started on an assignment.
  • Between classes, fuel up with a healthy snack and review your notes or run through flashcards. If you have a longer break, work on assignments or readings.
  • When you’re done with class, check your planner and start working on homework. Break up the workload — prioritize your most important tasks first, and remember to take a break every half hour to an hour.
  • 5–6 PM: Don’t forget to eat dinner! Foods high in antioxidants, protein, Omega-3 and unsaturated fats are brain foods that can help you focus.
  • 8:30 PM: Reflect on the day: did you accomplish every task on your to-do list? What still needs to be done tomorrow? Update your planner.
  • 8:45 PM: Organize your bag for tomorrow, and tidy up your space, so you have less to worry about in the morning.
  • 9:00 PM: Take 15 minutes to a half-hour before you go to bed to relax. Watch some funny YouTube videos or browse social media.
  • 9:30 PM: Take care of yourself and your hygiene. Also, try and go to bed at the same time every night.

The following is a later routine, more aligned with college schedules — it can also work for the summer or holidays. The afternoon is very flexible for study time, work, or extracurricular activities.

  • Wake up: 7:00 AM: don’t immediately turn on your phone. Instead of scrolling through social media, do something a little more engaging, like make the bed.
  • Exercise: 7:15–8:45 AM: take a jog around your block, or do some light cardio and lift weights at the gym.
  • Take a quick shower: 8:45–9:00 AM: Don’t waste too much water!
  • Eat a healthy breakfast: 9:00–9:30 AM: Fuel up after the workout with some eggs, a bagel sandwich, or scrambled tofu. While you’re eating, set some goals for the day in your planner, and catch up on the news.
  • Use your remaining time before class to review your notes or get started on an assignment.
  • Between classes, fuel up with a healthy snack and review your notes or run through flashcards. If you have a longer break, work on assignments or readings.
  • When you’re done with class, check your planner and start working on homework. Break up the workload — prioritize your most important tasks first, and remember to take a break every half hour to an hour.
  • 6–7 pm: Don’t forget to eat dinner! Foods high in antioxidants, protein, Omega-3 and unsaturated fats are brain foods that can help you focus.
  • 9:45 pm: Reflect on the day: did you accomplish every task on your to-do list? What still needs to be done tomorrow? Update your planner.
  • 10:00 pm: Organize your bag for tomorrow, and tidy up your space, so you have less to worry about in the morning.
  • 10:15 pm: Take 15 minutes to a half-hour before you go to bed to relax. Watch some funny YouTube videos or browse social media.
  • 10:45 pm: Take care of yourself and your hygiene. Also, try and go to bed at the same time every night.

How to Stick to These Daily Routines

How to Stick to These Daily Routines

How to Stick to These Daily Routines

It does take discipline to introduce new daily routines, but the longer you stick to them, the more comfortable they become. Taking time to reflect or journal can help you keep track of your long term goals and remember why you’re on this path — whether it’s getting into your dream college or working your dream career, daily routines can help you stay disciplined and productive all year long. You can try some of them with a friend and keep each other accountable or set an alarm to remind yourself.

Helpful Reads and Resources for Building Habits & Routines

Helpful Reads and Resources for Building Habits & Routines

When you’re building a routine, it’s likely there’ll be times when you just forget about part of your routine, or you don’t feel motivated to keep it up. Here are some resources to help you keep up your study habits and daily routines, including both morning and night routines, and stay productive throughout the school year.

The Power of Habit: This popular book explores the impact a routine or set of habits can have on your life. It also provides interesting anecdotes and motivates the reader towards establishing habits that reflect their goals. Follow it up with the author’s second book, all about motivation, goal setting, and decision making — all the pieces of a good routine’s foundation.

On Sale
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
  • Power of Habits
  • Duhigg, Charles (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-09-01

TEDTalks: TEDTalks are short, informative videos given by inspirational people, and there’s a whole playlist curated by TEDEd about habit and routine forming. Check out some of these videos for more information on how to build a habit or daily routine, and how to stick with it even when things get tough.

Habit Tracker apps: You can get an app for your phone to help you through your daily routine! Habit Trackers remind you about every step, and you can check each one-off for extra satisfaction. Plus, some of the creative and cute apps like Habitica even make building your routine fun!

Wrapping Things Up: The Best Daily Routines for Students

Hopefully, these tips have helped you think about creating your own daily routines, and given you some ideas and ways to move forward.

Daily routines can help you live a healthier, more productive life, and though they require a little bit of motivation and discipline to integrate, they’ll eventually feel natural. From taking some time to exercise and eat right to setting aside other times to study and set goals, you’ll find yourself living a balanced, fulfilling lifestyle.

Did you like this post? It’s part of our high school study tips section here. You may also like our guide on How to Get Straight A’s or Inspirational Quotes for Exam Success.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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