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How to Stay Focused During Reading Week

Every quarter, reading week approaches filled with the hope of an orgainzed schedule that will certaintly give you plenty of time for studying, sleeping, and socializing. However, more often than not, we waste our valuable time and find ourselves on Sunday night craming for our exams in the upcoming week. Here are 5 tips to help you avoid procrastination and the traps that leave you feeling stressed and overtired. 

 

1. Make a schedule:

Look at what dates your finals are on and when your papers are due and work backwards. Make sure you are aware of how much material is going to be covered on the exam and plan accordingly. A great way to help yourself stick to this schedule is by putting it in your calandar or in your planner so that it is more legitimate. You will be more aware and less likely to put it off if you have penciled in the time to get it done. 

 

2. Build breaks into your work schedule:

By setting one hour limits for work with a 5 minute break after, you force yourself to make it through more matierial without getting distracted. Try not to touch or look at your phone or surf the internet during your “work” hour to maximize efficiency. This also helps to avoid scrolling through Instagram for a half hour and then looking up to a computer screen that has gone to sleep and no work being accomplished. Think of checking your phone as a reward for putting in a decent amount of work.

 

3. Download a self-control app:

If you have no self control and are constantly tempted to check your phone and browse the internet anyway- there is still hope for you! There are several apps and websites that block distracting sites for a time limit that you are in control of setting. Once they are turned on, you will not be able to log into these sites for that period of time. Offtime and Freedom are two apps that can be used to help accomplish this. 

 

4. Avoid the afterhours library time:

A good night’s sleep is way more effective than staying at the library until 5 a.m. Sometimes it may seem like everyone is putting in way more time studying than you and if the libray is open 24-hours you must be there for as much time as possible, but this is not the case. If you are not someone who typically stays up late on a regular night, we do not reccommend you start doing it during reading week. Messing around with your sleep schedule can do way more harm than good when you want to be able to perform at your best. So go home, eat a good dinner, and start again in the morning. 

 

5. Don’t Stress!

Reading Week is also a fun time for socialization. With many formals and date nights going on, do not feel like you have to miss out on everything. Pick the events that are most important to you and plan your study schedule around them. This is a great way to blow off some steam and maintain balance throughout the week.

Good Luck!!

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Amanda Matos

Northwestern

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