So how exactly can you organize yourself for final exams?
Clean desk, clear head
Start with the most obvious area. If you work at a desk, make sure it’s clean. Clear away any clutter (even if you have to temporarily put it in a box just so it’s out of the way), make sure you have ample light (natural is always better), and have all of your supplies at the ready.
I always find it easiest to study when I have a distraction-free environment. Let’s just say I’m capable of putting the “pro” in procrastination.
The best way to follow this rule is to do everything in your power (you obviously can’t help it if another subway passenger sneezes on you) to keep a clean slate of final exam health. Drink enough water everyday, sleep enough every night, and don’t fall prisoner to stress-eating.
Trust me, I know how easy it can be to just grab some Pringles, a can of Red Bull, and call it dinner when you’re crammed for precious study time. However, one of the easiest ways to overcome bad eating habits during high-stress periods can be to prepare meals in advance.
If I know I won’t have time to make myself a healthy dinner, I make a nice meal the weekend before and freeze it for later. Then all I have to do is warm it up. Simple as that! Stock up on your fruits and veggies so that you have a healthy snack to grab on the side.
Also, not having to focus on a sickness (caused by exhaustion, poor diet, or dehydration) can help you to focus more on what matters – doing the best you can on your finals!
Create a to-do list
Oh my gosh, I love making to-do lists. I have so many different pads of paper and post-its – you’d think I was running a mini office supplies store out of my apartment. The final exam to-do list is important in helping you prioritize your studying, assignments, and any essay writing you might have.
The easiest way to make your to-do list is by looking at your class syllabi and establishing what you have left to complete in the semester. From there, break it down by what’s the most pressing – a final paper, a cumulative exam, etc. The next step would be estimating how much time each task might take. Be honest with yourself. It’s better to have extra time than not enough.
Once you’ve written it all out, you can start making your schedule.
Schedule your to-do’s
Figuring out just how much time studying, writing, and any other finals prep you will need can help you immensely when scheduling down-time (and trust me, you deserve to schedule time for yourself!).
I like to do this a 2 weeks before anything is due because it helps me in planning my free time and time for friends and appointments. I first do the things that are due first because it gives me a calm mind knowing that I finished it with enough time.
The above weekly planner is perfect for scheduling out your to-list for finals. It gives you an idea of what your week will be like, and you can more clearly see if your schedule is balanced out.
Take time for yourself
My favorite part about final exam season (besides it being over) is the time I schedule for myself. Grabbing a cup of tea and a good book is just the thing I need to help me unwind and forget about my worries.
Other good ideas for alone time are taking a walk around the neighborhood, seeing a movie, and window shopping. Of course, if you prefer to stay inside or it’s rainy outside, you can always take a nap, take a bubble bath, and check out Pinterest.
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How do you organize yourself for final exams? Do you have any tips that are worth sharing?