Time Management: Survival Tips for Finals Week

As April break comes to a close, you might find yourself anxious to check-out of Brandeis and check-in to summer mode. Now more than ever, you have to refocus, amp up self-care, and most importantly time-manage to maintain some sort of balance during the impending week of exam preparation. Check out these time-management strategies so that finals week isn’t so anxiety-inducing after all.

 

1. Plan ahead

 
 
I might just be that person who buys the vibrantly designed, paisley-patterned agenda at the start of the semester only to bury it beneath textbooks not even a week into classes. During hyper-stressful periods like finals, sticking to a schedule is key to conquering tasks. By scheduling out time for specific assignments, downtime, and even gym time, you might find yourself actually completing each task. A schedule, unlike a mental note, is tangible and consequently might feel more binding. Not only will this sort of bind tempt you to finish the tasks you lay out for yourself, but you’ll also be sure to not forget an assignment or deadline.
 

2. It’s ok if you stray from your schedule every now and then

 
Given the stress that finals week brings, distractions or obstacles are bound to happen. While a stringent schedule can be helpful, some leeway is also fine. This flexibility can help to remind you that it’s finals, not brain surgery. While 100% on all exams and papers is ideal, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t score perfectly on absolutely everything. 
 

3. Designate you time

 
 
Don’t forget about basic hygiene, eating, and self-help during finals week. While gym time and meals aren’t always scheduled throughout the semester, you might find yourself too swamped with test-prep to grab lunch, jog outside while the weather transitions, or even interact with other humans. If you find yourself forgetting to do event these basic daily activities, schedule them in!
 

4. Spend any extra time wisely

 
 
Of course you might want to take advantage of any and all free time. While compiling flashcards during the hour between review sessions or meeting your study group over dinner is a great use of time, remember that how you spend your time one day can have adverse effects the next day. In other words, maybe don’t stay up past 1am, eyes glued to the sentence you’ve been reading and re-reading. Not all time taken advantage of is necessarily productive.