Finals 101: How to avoid procrastination and stay focused during finals


The end of the semester has arrived and this means that finals are just around the corner. Here are five easy tips on how to stay focused, avoid procrastination, and make it through your finals.

Work environment
Practicing good study habits is a must, and I find that where you choose to study is key. Although I do love the comfort of my bedroom, during finals I definitely feel the need to get out of my apartment. Getting dressed (even if it’s to jump into your regular end-of-semester sweatpants) and making your way outside, will already make you feel as if you’ve accomplished something. I usually am the most productive while studying at the library. The law library is usually my first choice. 

Remember libraries tend to be extra crowded during this time of year, so take that into consideration when choosing your study location. Choose a work environment that is best suited for you. Avoid blindly following your friends to crowded study areas that tend to quickly become more of a social happening than anything else. This is your time to be selfish because at the end of the day you are the one taking the exam, not your friends.

The right amount of disconnect
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube…there are so many potential distractions out there! Now while I am not saying that a complete disconnect from the Internet or all things technological is necessary (let’s not be that drastic), a certain amount of self-control is necessary at this point in the semester. What is really important is knowing to what extent the Internet and social media contribute to your procrastination habits. If you are constantly checking your Facebook account and it is preventing you from focusing on your work, maybe you should consider taking down your account for a few days in order to focus more on your schoolwork.

Organize your time
Time, or lack of time, always seems to be the unsolvable puzzle during exam periods. While mapping out your entire day on top of doing enormous amount of reading, writing and studying may make you stress out even more, I absolutely recommend trying to organize your time efficiently. Writing a to do list with your goals for each day will definitely help you with your time management. Not only will this help you stay focused on what you have to for that day, but also it will give you a sense of accomplishment when you actually get things done. Trust me, crossing things off a list definitely makes those long hours at the library feel worthwhile. 

Take a break
With all those long hours spent at the library, it is important to remember that you are allowed to take a break. Taking a break will actually renew your energy flow and allow you to focus better the next day. I wouldn’t recommend trading in your books for a night out on the town, but a dinner with friends or even going for a walk can be a nice way to take a break from all that studying. Sleep is also very important during finals, and although all-nighters sometimes are inevitable, it is best to try to have a good night sleep before tackling a long day of studying, or before a final exam. 

Stay positive and motivated
Stress can sometimes bring out the worst in people and you may even find yourself at the brink of an emotional breakdown (trust me, I’ve been there). When you are overwhelmed with school and all the work you have to do, everything always appears worse than it is and as a result you may find yourself increasingly irritable. This is when you want to stay positive and motivated. Sometimes talking to a friend, or calling a family member can help you relieve some of that built up stress and anxiety and help you stay focused. Last semester when I was in the middle of an end of semester meltdown, talking to my cousin really helped me feel better and her daily text messages were really encouraging and motivating.

That being said, it’s time for me to put my tips to good use and stop procrastinating on writing my own paper!

Best of luck!