When you first start out your semester, you're usually on your "A" game. You're reading what's assigned, taking notes and preparing yourself for any quiz or test that may come your way. That's the ideal way a college student should do things. However, not every college student is ideal nor mentally prepared for what's going to hit them towards the end of the semester.
At the beginning of the semester, everyone sets the goal for themselves that they're going to be this good and hard-working student. They plan out how they're going to do their homework, that they're going to study for their exams and that they're not going to be as bad they were last semester. A system that may for the beginning weeks of the semester, but can slowly fade away when work starts pilling up and you catch yourself becoming lazy. It comes to the point where you find yourself becoming lazy and not having any motivation to do your work.
Once you find yourself becoming lazy, it's important to not overwhelm yourself with a lot of work. You shouldn't leave any papers or papers for the night before. Try to plan out your last weeks with what assignments or work you're going to get done. That way, you'll be able to get a lot done without feeling the pressure of running out of time. It's also important to not allow yourself to break down in the process of getting everything done.
There's nothing wrong with taking breaks and taking time for yourself. Just with the consideration that you have work to be done. So it'd be best to start everything early and break down days and times with what you're going to get done. There isn't a perfect way to handle the ending of the semester, but there is a way to get through it. It's all about not pilling up your work and stretching out your work thru days and good time management.