As the end of semester approaches, students are scrambling to keep up with all of their deadlines. Before you know it, you are up against exam time.
If you’re among the majority of students who procrastinate in studying and end up with a ton of work to do, here are a few tips to help you survive those final weeks.
Here’s a truth that everyone, except maybe students and undergrads, knows: students procrastinate. In some schools, the phenomenon is more pronounced than others.
Students sometimes ask me if they should take a class early instead of after the term has already started. While I do see some valid points, it is not a smart idea to take a class early since you have less time to properly prepare.
There is nothing worse than being close to the exam and realizing you need more time to study. This leads to a further loss of time, and many students don’t have a lot of it. To avoid procrastination, take the “prove-it” approach. Instead of postponing the start of a course, take a course as soon as it is offered.
Get an Early Start
Most students get distracted easily, so getting your work done early will help you stay on track. Remember, it’s better to start on it earlier and then work on other assignments when you can. Also, you can try the Pomodoro technique to help you get through a lot of work in a short period of time. This technique is a great way to speed up your work.
Don’t Waste Your Time
Spreading out assignments over several days is a great way to waste time. You’re also better off putting all your assignments on the same day. It’s not all about being efficient, though. Giving yourself a day to decompress after a stressful week of classes will also help you relax and enjoy the end of semester.
Keep a Calendar
The most efficient way to manage your time as a student is to keep a schedule and keep a daily to-do list. Identify your focus areas, then establish a structure for the semester.
The three most important parts of this are your classes, your extracurricular activities, and your work schedule. These are the three areas that you will spend the majority of your time on. Make sure to have plenty of time allocated to your homework.
Put your phone down and think. Are you really going to spend the last few weeks working while you could be spending time with family and friends?
Consider what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the semester before diving into the final chapter of your book. The first week of December will be over before you know it.
Related Blog: How To Prepare For Board Exams
Create a Task List
Setting a task list to-do items ahead of time is one of the most effective methods for managing your time when you have a lot of assignments and exams to write.
By making a list of tasks that you need to complete, you can actually put an end to procrastinating and get through your work.
Remember that your task list should be prioritized and includes things that are easy and things that are difficult. It is also important to pay attention to deadlines, as it is easier to cross tasks off if you’ve finished them on time.
Do Your Homework
When it comes to time management, sometimes it’s best to avoid diving right into the deep end. If you are struggling to complete assignments or exams, the best strategy is to start small by completing simple tasks first.
Use a Time Management App
While many of us procrastinate, a good number of us also suffer from an inability to manage our time. This is perhaps one of the most common problems that we have in our lives.
Even the most disciplined student is not going to feel great if he doesn’t know how to make time to do his work.
Thankfully, there are a number of apps on the market that can help students. Timely is an app that helps students stay on track with their time management. It tracks your daily activities and alerts you when you’re getting close to your time limit.
If you don’t want to spend your entire student life studying in the library, or otherwise without enough access to wifi, you can take advantage of HubSpot’s Hub, which is a free tool for time management.
Break Down Tasks into Chunks
Most students get overwhelmed by the amount of work they have. Instead of trying to tackle everything at once, break it down into small tasks.
For example, instead of tackling your entire essay in one day, you can break it into small tasks such as adding the subheading, creating a table of contents, researching the topic, writing a thesis statement, and making a table of contents.
Then, tackle each task one at a time. Keep the whole paper in front of you as you go. Write a paragraph, proofread it, check your spelling, and then move onto the next task.
Many students are so afraid of making mistakes that they delay doing anything for weeks. By breaking your big tasks down into manageable ones, you can actually get your work done!
If there is any temptation to be a slacker, create some buffer time in your calendar by assigning someone else the responsibility for tasks. Of course, you may still have some tasks to take care of, but you can assign someone else to the task for a certain period of time.
For example, this time can be used to read for an exam, make notes, or meet with a professor. “Create a schedule so that you can schedule time to work on your assignments. After that, limit the amount of time you spend online. Read and write for no more than 30 minutes, and put your phone away when you do,” said Digital Society of Cosmetology.
Prioritize Your Workload
Before you set out to do something, start by defining what you want to get out of that activity. Too often, students get involved with a project that requires hours of work and then do not set out to perform the task in the most effective way.
The majority of students are good at managing the way they consume information and can remember facts in school. As soon as they start focusing on their schoolwork, however, they forget the way they acquire these facts and often make crucial mistakes.
Setting a goal to complete three or four assignments at a time as well as managing your daily schedule will prevent you from burning out. A lot of students do not schedule their assignments in time because they have the tendency to procrastinate.
Put your homework first
As much as it may feel like the students are only on campus to socialize and study, it’s important to manage your time wisely and do your schoolwork.
Find the best place for you to study: where will you be able to concentrate fully?
Take into account how much energy you can use in a short amount of time to maximize your results. Avoid using your laptop in your room or on your couch.
With its high noise levels, it may not be the best place for concentration and could disrupt the other residents.
Try not to study at the same time as friends. They may distract you or motivate you to study for other reasons. Go for a walk or go to the cafeteria to study. It’s a great opportunity to unwind, have a conversation, or grab a bite to eat.
Make time for studying for exams
The first step is to make time for studying. Most of us already work full time and often have to squeeze studying in between our work and other commitments.
The problem is that studies take time – you can’t expect to study all day and then finish it all at night, so make a plan.
At the beginning of each day, make a list of all the assignments you need to do that day and stick to it. Set aside time for studying in the morning or before going to bed.
If you feel overwhelmed at the beginning of the semester, ask for a break in the middle of the week. At the end of the week, re-evaluate your study schedule to make sure that you’re on track to meet the deadline.
If you need to work on a part of your schoolwork after class, make sure you’re setting aside enough time for that.
Break down large tasks into smaller ones
If you’re overwhelmed by a semester full of exams, you will probably spend way too much time worrying about getting all the things done.
After all, you’re only human!
You might not have the capacity to manage all of your assignments, but if you take it one step at a time, you can handle anything!
Break your exams into their smaller parts and then conquer each task step by step.
Understand the importance of time
Your high school textbooks served as a free resource for quick information that you could always refer to when you had time to spare. You probably had your evenings free to play sports, hang out with friends, and work on hobbies.
But for college students, this is no longer the case. You have to be at the library to study in the early afternoon, cram for an exam, get some work done before going to your classes and spend a few hours each week for homework.
Most of the time, the hours of the day that you have in college will be spent working on assignments, so you have to make sure you schedule your time well.
Don’t try to get by with minimum effort. The more time you spend studying for a final, the more you will learn.
Find ways to be more efficient
Many of us procrastinate on completing tasks that don’t require a lot of time or research – even on seemingly “non-critical” tasks.
According to a study published by the Journal of the Association of Consumer Research, the number one reason that people procrastinate is an unclear task description.
Not only does an unclear task description make you avoid completing the task, it also makes you lose motivation to complete it in the first place. Instead of finding ways to be more efficient, you should focus on delivering more value to your client or employer by using your time wisely.
For example, instead of “getting a head start” by creating a to-do list before heading to the office, create a to-do list that sets out your tasks in order of importance.
Get enough sleep/rest
Procrastination is strongly correlated with lack of sleep, which ultimately leads to lack of motivation and overall exhaustion.
Sleeping for 8-9 hours helps to calm your mind and relax, and without adequate rest, you cannot focus on tasks. If you consistently skip your sleep, you’ll suffer from extreme fatigue, high anxiety and stress.
As a result, you’ll never be able to finish your assignments on time. Also, do not worry too much about your health. Lack of sleep does not have to mean muscle pain or insomnia.
There are plenty of ways to combat this issue. One of the most effective ways is to go to bed earlier than usual. Sleep deprivation does not only make you cranky and depressed, but it can also seriously impair your mental capacity.
Have a plan B if things don’t go your way
If you don’t manage your time, you won’t be able to get through your workload. It’s a crucial task in a student’s life.
“In psychology, we call it decision fatigue. This means that when we are repeatedly making decisions, our ability to make quality decisions decreases. Our subconscious mind, which is designed to do the thinking, is not able to.” – Michael S. Crimmins, PsyD.
It might sound like a challenge, but it’s a simple thing to learn. When things don’t go as planned, give yourself a way out. A way to build up the opportunity to get back on track with your studies is to set up a way to ‘compromise’ or find a ‘middle ground’.
Related Blog: How to Manage Your Time During Exams
Exam season is a bit of a trying time for students but with a bit of planning you can make it through it and succeed.
Whether it be by testing out these strategies or by letting your professors know how you prefer to study, there’s no need to stress if you approach exams with a lot of preparation. When studying for exams, give yourself room to breathe.
Work on your paper, but don’t focus too hard on trying to fill in all the answer-blanks. Work at your own pace and stop procrastinating.