As finals week is approaching along with the chaos of the upcoming holidays, it can be stressful to balance each responsibility. If you want to stay rested, decrease your overall anxiety and comfortably push yourself to do your best work, consider enacting these steps into your schedule before finals week.
1. Get on a healthy sleep schedule.
If you want to have more productive days, a regular sleep schedule is needed in order to prevent exhaustion. If you plan on going to bed around 11 p.m. and waking up at 7 a.m., you will get a full eight hours of sleep and will have more time in the mornings to start getting work done. Staying on a consistent sleep schedule allows your body's internal clock to easily regulate when you fall asleep and wake up, decreasing your overall fatigue throughout the day during finals.
2. Make a list.
If you feel overwhelmed by upcoming assignments or assessments, write out a chronological list of every responsibility you have until Christmas break. If you are able to visually look at an overview of your assignments and responsibilities for the next couple of weeks on one page, you can begin to determine the order in which you must complete each duty. Having a list of every assignment, final, work shift, social event or off-campus responsibility ahead of schedule will help decrease your anxiety by putting everything into a less daunting visual perspective.
3. Go in order of priorities.
Once you have made your chronological list, you should plan to complete assignments and reviews one day before their due date. This will put you ahead of your schedule, making it easier to give yourself a break when needed and preventing you from completing an assignment the day before it is due. Completing work prior to its due date will keep you one day ahead of your schedule, making it easy to study or take care of yourself during your free time without stressing about cramming or procrastination.
4. 30-minute rule.
Sometimes, it isn't easy to stay focused on one assignment or review for a long period of time and getting distracted can easily reduce the productive hours in your day and ultimately leave you feeling more stressed. When you sit down to study or do an assignment, set a 30-minute timer on your phone then put it away until it goes off. Once you have fully focused on one assignment for 30 minutes, give yourself a five-minute break and continue working. Using this method to focus will help you achieve more in a shorter amount of time due to the many small breaks that will prevent longer distractions.
5. Do not over-study.
Once you have understood the material you are required to learn, it is important that you either move on to your next assignment or take a long break to avoid over-studying. Excessive preparation can lead to mental and physical exhaustion which can affect your grades and overall health. It is important to understand that the best information retention method is to study in increments over a period of time rather than the night before in order to achieve your desired results without tiring yourself out.
It is important to take care of yourself during busy periods of time in order to successfully complete assignments and responsibilities without feeling run-down or overly anxious. Getting on a consistent sleep schedule, having a visual list of all your assignments, and completing them within smaller time intervals prior to the due date will prevent a decline in mental and physical health and promote a better outcome during finals.