The semester is finally coming to an end, and summer is in sight. But before college students trade their backpacks for beach bags, they must tackle the last challenge of the semester: finals week. Most college students dread these five days because they lack time management expertise. These management skills are critical for finals. Sometimes proper planning can dissolve the gap between an A and a B. Here are some timing tips to make you achieve the most during finals week.
1. Make lists
Lists do not require a fancy planner, a color-coded calendar or any technology application. They simply require a pen and paper, making them the easiest time management tool. Take a minute to write everything you need to get done and by when. Then, read over what you wrote. This will clarify your jumbled, overwhelmed brain and therefore, decrease your stress level. Transfer all of your tasks to a piece of paper and a weight will be lifted from your shoulders. All that is left to do is start crossing out!
2. Get proper sleep
No sleep means no energy. And no energy means no productivity. Likewise, sleep is essential during exam week, so it is important to start studying earlier than the day before an exam. Try to study a little every day/week, and this will build. When it is time to study more in-depth, you will already be familiar with the material. This results in time to sleep! Studies show that sleep deprivation can negatively affect memory, concentration and performance, lowering a student’s GPA. Be the exception, study early and get sleep.
3. Plan meals
Another important way to manage time is to plan meals. Know what, when and where you can eat before you start studying. Scheduling meals like this will prevent the procrastination that results from not being prepared. Also, include healthy study snacks in your food plan, so that your body is fueled and ready to absorb information. Set an alarm at designate a time to eat so that your are constantly energized and ready to learn.
4. Block social media
Social media can be viewed as one of man’s worst inventions, and when studying is involved, this theory is proven. Various platforms consume the lives of college students and serves as a distraction to their academics. The acts of scrolling, updating and clicking have become habitual, so we must practice self-control to be productive studiers. Technology gave us social media, and now it also gives us the software to block social networking sites. Applications like SelfControl, Freedom and LeechBlock prohibit Internet users from visiting websites of their choice. Consider downloading one of these the next time you stop reading flash cards to check your newsfeed.
Priorities are constant battle in college. Finals week presents the biggest war with what we want to do and what we need to do. Studying should be the number one priority, but it doesn’t always seem that way. Try ordering class subjects based on your exam schedule. Know what’s first and what’s last, and then proceed in chronological order. You can also prioritze based on the amount of material you have to study. Start with the class that has the most material and work your way through. That way, the harder stuff is out of the way first, and you might get extra study time at the end to cram for those classes even more.
Implement these five time management tools into your schedule and ace that exam! Summer will be here before you know it.
Torie Gray is a junior at Florida State University. She is finishing her Public Relations degree and starting her degree in Editing, Writing and Media. She enjoys tennis and running, and loves all water sports and the beach. As a college student, she enjoys a busy lifestyle, and is involved in many on-campus organizations and clubs. She is excited to be a StudentRate Campus Coordinator and hopes to provide useful information for other college students. Go Noles!