Who doesn’t want to be one of the clever, productive, intelligent students?
Everyone wants that but there are only a few students who actually stand out in the crowd, students who are not just intelligent but also efficient. They are productive and always get their tasks done well and that too, in a seemingly effortless manner!

We all wonder whether it is the way they talk, the way they dress or maybe their backgrounds that make them shine even in the midst of a multitude of people. While a select few are actually born geniuses, the majority of these people are smart individuals who have a few things in common.

If you want to know a little more about the habits of the efficient intelligent students, go ahead and read on-

  1. Setting goals

Smart and efficient students are the kind of people who have planners and calendars. This is because they love to set goals for the things they have to do and the things they want to do. They don’t approach life haphazardly. They are organized and like to see ticks on their checklist. Done, done and done!

You can start with a vision board for long-term goals, a planner for weekly/monthly events and targets and a checklist for daily things to do! The first part is setting the goals, the second is consistency. Stay true to them and finish every task on your checklist. Start ahead to meet bigger targets.

  1. Multitasking

The efficient and smart individual always wants to get most done or the most out of what they’re doing. That’s why they are competent multitaskers. They are just good at doing multiple things simultaneously, but they are also good at learning things at a time.

Impossible for you to do that? No. You can start with simple tasks at home to develop your multitasking habit. A simple example – Cleaning up clutter in your room as you are listening to a podcast!

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  1. Reading

Bright intelligent students are usually avid readers. They are constantly wanting to learn more, see more and do more. But what they can’t know from experience, then books are the best way to learn. And this is a habit that is not just knowledge building but can also be very enjoyable. Intelligent students read because they love it and this is why they shine out.

You can start with a motivational book on productivity like Eat That Frog! Twenty-One Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating or The Productivity Project. If you like fiction, start with a modern classic. The God of Small Things perhaps? Whatever book you read, from business to poetry, it will do you good. Books help to frame your thought patterns, giving you knowledge and perspective. 

  1. Paying attention

Intelligent students know that it’s the people around you that generate support and opportunities, provided you show them your capacity to make it about them. In any given situation, they listen first and talk after. They are also great observers.

One way you can start developing this habit is by being intentional in your conversations. When you meet someone, actually listen to them, instead of planning your replies or the next story to tell. Observe their body language and try to read into the statements they make.

  1. Questioning

While highly intelligent students are always listening and observing, they are also deeply critical, forming their own opinions and reading between the lines. Efficient intellectuals stick to their beliefs and they follow their own path in life, constantly on the hunt for knowledge.

Whenever you hear or read something, don’t accept it as Bible truth. Think about it and ask questions. Be satisfied only when the questions you raise are answered.

  1. Seeking new things

Following from what we already discussed, intelligent students are always on the hunt to learn new things and they are not afraid of anything unconventional. An intelligent student realizing his college’s inability to give him the best of the course goes on to seek better online courses, even looking from mentors from his industry!

You can also do things like that. If you have an existing problem, seek out solutions. If you have anything that has become a monotonous cycle in your life, look for ways to add a new aspect to the way you do things. Always look for options to improve and enhance.

Read: Can engineering students from Tier-III colleges ever compete with IITs?

  1. Learning from mistakes

Whether it is their own mistakes or the mistakes of other students, intelligent students are sure to take note and avoid them later on. They don’t justify or rationalize mistakes, rather they take ownership, learning quickly to move forward.

In order to learn from a mistake, you have to first identify it and admit you were wrong. The next step is realizing that mistakes are inevitable and you can always move on from them. Knowing a mistake you’ve made means keeping it in mind the next time as you are doing the same thing.
Always remind yourself to double check everything to prevent repeated mistakes.


In all of these habits, the key to development is intentionality. If you aren’t intentional in trying them and sticking to them in the beginning, they will never become natural habits. However, if you are intentional and consistent as you develop the habits of an efficient intelligent student, you will find that you have become one yourself!

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