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5 Time Management Tips for Finals Week

5 Time Management Tips for Finals Week
Finals week isn't much fun, but everyone in college has to do it. To make finals week a little easier on yourself, manage your time more effectively this semester. Schedules, planning, and good sleep will help you get through this frustrating week and on to that wonderful school break.

Create a Schedule

A schedule will keep you sane during finals week. You'll be able to divide your time evenly among your subjects, plan break time, and decide when you'll do the mundane things like groceries and laundry. A schedule also lays out how much you have to accomplish, so glance at it every time you feel the urge to procrastinate. It will serve as a reminder to keep pushing through.

Break Big Projects Into Manageable Pieces

One of the worst parts of finals week is the number of huge projects you have to do. To keep them from feeling so daunting (which may tempt you to put them off,) break them up into smaller sections. Got a big research paper? Spend one afternoon gathering and reading potential sources and then work on your outline. Complete your rough draft the next day. As long as you start early, these smaller pieces will help you get through projects without feeling so overwhelmed, and you'll feel accomplished every time you finish a segment.

Take Plenty of Breaks

You need short breaks and long breaks to get yourself through finals week. Every hour or two, spend 15 minutes taking a break. Eat a snack, go for a walk, or do some yoga poses. Try not to hop on the computer or on your phone if you can help it: those cat Vines can get really addicting and eat up more time than you mean to lose. Long breaks are equally important. If you've spent the day studying, you deserve a night in with Netflix to let your brain unwind.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep deprivation is serious business: you make memories and connections when you sleep, and when you're sleep-deprived you'll feel emotional, spacey, and dim-witted. Stick to a specific bedtime during finals, especially the night before any big exam. You may think staying up to cram in extra facts will help you, but your brain needs those REM cycles to process the information you've spent all week learning.

Set Your Own Deadlines

When you have three big research papers due on the same day, you're not going to be able to knock them all out the night before. Set deadlines for when you want to get each one done, leaving yourself ample time in case they take longer than you think they will. Setting deadlines works for studying, too. Decide that you want to spend an hour reviewing your biology notes, and set a timer. Then put your phone and any other distractions in another room, and spend that hour focusing.

Remember to spread out the amount of work you're doing, and also to take care of non-scholastic tasks, such as storing and shipping your belongings, beforehand. It's no fun to start planning and studying earlier than you expected, but you'll avoid burning yourself out as you would when waiting until the last minute to study. Your GPA will thank you later.

Image via Flickr by Moyan_Brenn