If you’re like most students, you have countless assignments, tests and projects due at various times throughout the semester.
While it’s tempting to put everything off until the last minute, that doesn’t give you the best chance to do well on them or on your exams.
Fortunately, with these seven tips you can make your schedule work for you so that you don’t get overwhelmed and stressed out during exam season.
1) Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is important not just for your health but also your grades. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
This will help you maintain a healthy sleep pattern and avoid the anxiety that comes with not knowing how much sleep you got last night.
To save time in the morning and make getting ready easier, pack your backpack the night before.
In order to prioritize what needs done first when there are two different tasks that need doing at once, try scheduling them back-to-back or spending more time on one of them.
For example, if you have to spend an hour studying and then 20 minutes reading, spend the hour studying then read afterwards.
It’s hard to get work done if you’re sitting at your desk all day so try setting some time aside for walking outside or taking a study break by watching TV or listening to music.
If something needs to be completed by a specific date then set deadlines for yourself and be sure to allow enough time between tasks so that you can give each task the attention it deserves without feeling overwhelmed.
2) Set realistic goals
It can be hard to balance work, family and social life. But if you’re a student, it can also be hard to balance school with all of the other things in life.
One thing that can make your schedule more manageable is setting realistic goals for yourself. Be sure to set time aside for homework so that you have time left over for everything else.
For example, if you get home at 7:00 pm, try not to start any homework until 8:00 pm or 9:00 pm. If you do this, it should give you enough time after school to eat dinner and hang out with friends before getting down to business on your laptop or tablet.
Another tip is to make a list of your tasks from most urgent to least urgent. As you complete them, move them from the top list to the bottom list so that they don’t interrupt important tasks.
3) Find a study method that works for you
The key is figuring out what works best for you and then committing to it. It may take some trial and error, but the more effort you put in, the better your grades will be. Once you find a study method that works for you, commit to it.
Once again, find something that works for you and make sure to stick with it. Create a schedule that gives you enough time to sleep, eat well, socialize outside of class, and do all of the other things that are important to you outside of school.
If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry! There are plenty of tools available on various apps like Google Calendar or Apple’s iCal where you can create different schedules so they’re personalized for you.
4) Don’t procrastinate
Procrastinating is the worst, but it can be hard when you have so much on your plate. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started on your work so that it doesn’t pile up.
Pick one thing. The key is not to overwhelm yourself with too many tasks at once. If you need help getting started, choose just one assignment or project and start there.
When you’re done with that, pick another task from your list of assignments. Repeat until all of them are finished!
Break down long projects into smaller steps: If you know how long your project will take and what needs to be completed by what time, break down each step into its own day.
5) Take breaks
It’s important to take breaks from your work every now and then. Not only will this keep you refreshed and focused, but it can also help you come up with new ideas.
Even if you don’t have time in your schedule for a full break, try taking five minutes at the end of each hour or 20-minute intervals throughout the day.
These microbreaks may just be enough to get you back on track. Don’t use technology during class: Instead of checking Facebook during your lecture, focus on what is being taught by using these moments to catch up on anything you might need to read later.
Take notes by hand: In order to not waste time typing out notes that are easily found online or simply repeating what was said in class, use old school note-taking skills like taking good quality notes by hand.
6) Manage your time wisely
The key to managing your time wisely is setting up realistic expectations. It’s not realistic, for example, to expect that you’ll have time during the day or night to work on homework.
Instead, you should be realistic about when and where you do your work. If you’re going to be working on school-related tasks at home, set aside some time in the morning before heading out of the house and designate an hour or two in the evening after dinner.
Whatever you do, don’t procrastinate: if you wait until tomorrow to start on something, there will always be something else that needs attention right now. Use the Pomodoro technique
7) Seek help when needed
There will be moments in your life where you need help. Don’t be afraid to ask, and don’t feel guilty about not being able to do it all.
It’s ok to reach out and ask for help when needed! If something comes up unexpectedly or takes more time than expected, try not to get too stressed over it.
Give yourself permission to make changes as they are needed rather than beating yourself up over having missed a deadline or deadline extension request from the professor.
Focus on what you CAN do, then put energy into completing that task and tackling another one. Keep your head up and remind yourself that this is just a small setback!