6 Time-Management Tools To Help You Nail Your Midterms
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6 Time-Management Tools To Help You Nail Your Midterms

All-nighter or not, these will probably help.

6 Time-Management Tools To Help You Nail Your Midterms
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If you’re anything like me, the very idea of a busy exam period makes your skin crawl - So, you don’t let yourself worry about it… until it’s too late. You already finished re-watching Gilmore Girls for the third time in anticipation of the upcoming Netflix reboot, you cleaned your bathroom again, you self-handicapped in every way imaginable… and now you have three exams, two papers, and a midterm presentation due this week. How are you gonna get it all done?! Let me give you some handy-dandy tips that have saved my hide more times than this college senior can count:

1. A Good, Old-Fashioned Planner

I always had a dinky little day-planner that had my assignments in them. But last year, when I became much busier with co-curriculars and work, I needed something to literally tell me where I had to be and when I had time to get stuff done. Getting a planner that has a monthly overview, time-slots to perfectly plan each day by the hour, and a space for work and personal to-do lists like this one helped me tremendously. Listen, I know how ridiculous it sounds to spend more than $5 on a planner. But trust me, it makes all the difference. Plus, checking off each task as you get it done is a major game-changer for your self-esteem when you feel like you aren’t doing enough!

2. A Productivity-Boosting Social Media Blocker

Try one like this free Google Chrome add-on that lets you be in control, but only until you abuse it. You can choose which web pages are blocked, and how long they are blocked for. You set a time that’s strictly for productivity, and when that period ends, a small break allows you to browse your favorite social media so you don’t feel anxious and as if the world is ending and you’re not present to hear about it (it’s preset on a 25 minute work/5 minute break schedule, which you can modify). If you really want to crack down on work, there’s a setting that makes it impossible for you to disable it until a specified time.

3. Utilize the Silent Section

I’m one of those people that likes to have music on constantly - when I’m getting ready in the morning, when I’m taking a shower, when I’m in the car… everywhere. But sometimes even I find it difficult to study or be productive when I have music playing in the background. The silent section of my college’s library makes it so that there are no external stimuli, and you're really bad if you accidentally press a play button and your headphones aren’t quiet enough, or - worse yet - you forgot to plug them in. It’s a great motivator to stay on task and focus. And if you really, really need music, try to listen to musical scores without lyrics - I find epic soundtracks from movies like Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter to be particularly good at making me stay alert, while also making me feel like a badass.

4. Treat Yo’self

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Maybe you find it easier to get through something when there’s a light at the end of the tunnel - you can try the tried-and-true gummy bear trick (in which you place a gummy bear at the end of each section of a textbook and you get to eat it when you reach the next marker), or promise yourself that you can finally buy that pizza onesie you’ve been eyeing on Amazon if you finish your paper on time, or go out to dinner at a place that has actual silverware if you nail that presentation. You deserve it!

5. Try Again Tomorrow

Now, I realize that this tip won’t work for everyone. But after staring at a book or a screen for eight hours, I’m exhausted and my work is less than ideal. All-nighters are sometimes necessary, but definitely not ideal. So, instead of chugging energy drinks and falling asleep on my laptop at 3am anyway, I just go to bed no later than midnight and set two (or three) alarms for 5am, 5:10am, and 5:15am. Even if you have an exam at 8, you’ll still have around three hours where no one is awake to distract you on social media and IRL, and the stress of the deadline will have your fingers flying across that keyboard. (Not something I’d recommend from an anxiety-standpoint, but in a pinch, you gotta do what you gotta do, my dude.)

And if all else fails…

6. Don’t Stress Yourself Out Too Much

There’s only so much cramming you can do before you’re no longer retaining information. Over-studying is definitely a thing, and it’s not worth the stress if it won’t benefit you and just make you run-down and do more harm than good in the long-run. Take a breath, get that nutritious breakfast and coffee, and do your best. Everyone fails once in awhile (hopefully you won’t), but maybe trying out some of these tips before the final lap in the future will help you for next time!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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