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The truth is, sometimes life can be overwhelming. Due dates are closer than they appear, and you just have a lot to juggle. I get it, I’ve been there before. Especially as the end of the semester fast approaches, more work begins to pile up and you feel as though you are swamped. We’re in the Endgame now and it’s crunch time. Everyone wants good marks, so I have compiled a list of a few ways to help you be more productive in order to succeed. (Don’t worry, you got this!)


Firstly, exercise is good for you physically – I mean after all, who doesn’t love getting those gains? Exercise is a great way to relieve stress as it can release endorphins that will make you feel happier. Furthermore, it gives you newfound energy and allows you to focus better so you can have a fresher and more focused mind when studying.

Agendas, Calendars, and To-Do Lists  

I use an agenda to write down readings and assignments that I have to do as well as upcoming tests that I may have. By having an agenda, I feel more organized and prepared for the day ahead. In addition, I also use the weekly schedule template that can be found on the SASS website. It just helps me visually see when I have classes and can help me block out some time for studying, eating, and exercising. To-Do Lists can also be helpful because it shows you all the things that need to be done. Although the piles of readings, tests, and assignments on a page may seem overwhelming, it definitely feels satisfying checking off of your to-do list and/or crossing them out.

Set SMART Goals

Some of you may have heard of SMART goals which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Specific goals are what you want to accomplish. Measurable goals are how you track progress and how you know if you’ve accomplished a goal. Attainable means that what you want to achieve needs to be practical to reach. Relevant is if your goal is reasonable. Timebound is the time frame that you want to accomplish your goal by. SMART goals are useful as they help give you a sense of direction and possibly event motivation to fulfill your goal. With all that said, if you don’t want to create a SMART goal then try to set little goals in place so that you feel fulfilled and proud of yourself for when you achieve a task. Also, it’s all about baby steps – something may seem overwhelming at first, but “it always seems impossible until it is done” (Nelson Mandela).

Go to a Cute Coffee Place and Study

I recently tried Crave café downtown with a friend and needless to say the food was amazing. I tried a chocolate cheesecake brownie which was truly delicious alongside a matcha latte. Not only was the food and drink good, but I found myself being really productive that day. I find that trying different cafés helps you study because you get to have fun by exploring Kingston as well as trying different foods and drinks. Cafés are also nice because it forces you to leave your room and enjoy the nice fresh air. Cafés are also good because sometimes it’s just the right atmosphere you need – some nice music in the background, an outlet within reach and a place that is a little warmer and cozier than a stuffy old library. 

No Electronics – No Means No

As young adults, we often find ourselves spending a little too much time on our phones. Instead of aimlessly scrolling through Instagram, sending snaps or watching hours of TikTok videos we could be using that time to do something productive such as study. This doesn’t mean you should never go on your phone, as study breaks are essential to help you increase focus and reduce stress, it just means that you shouldn’t spend hours upon hours on your device. If you are serious about studying, you could always have a digital detox where you turn off your devices and put them out of sight for a day or until your task is finished. 


You can’t be effectively studying and retaining information if you are sleep deprived.  Your mind needs time to store information so that you can retrieve it later during a test. Moreover, the last thing you want to do is burnout. Not having enough sleep can lead to you feeling sluggish throughout the day resulting in you not finishing a lot of work thus becoming even more stressed. Your body needs time to rest and recuperate and after a long hard day of studying, you deserve to crawl into bed and get those much-needed Z’s.

Gillian Stewart

Queen's U '23

Gillian is an avid reader who loves to read and write. She enjoys physical exercise such as skiing & snowboarding, field hockey, going to the gym, and leisurely swimming. Lastly, Gillian loves travelling, hanging out with friends, taking photos and trying new foods.
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