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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UVA chapter.

We’ve all been there. It’s Sunday evening, and tomorrow, you have an exam, a paper due, a shift at work, and have to find time for food and sleep between it all. 

To make matters worse… you can’t get off TikTok! No matter what you do, you can’t reel your mind into what you need to get done, making for a stressed and exhausting day. You have things you need to finish… but where do you start? 

Here are some of the best ways to reset your brain, get organized, and get that homework done. 

Use a calendar. 

One of the best tips to approach a mountain of work is to write your tasks down, and sort them out by time and importance. Try using a calendar! There are endless options online if you want a copy on your phone or, if you prefer a physical item, you can try a written calendar. They key is to make sure that you know when things need to be finished, and a calendar helps you know just when you have space in the day to get focused and start working. 

Control your environment.

Work can be hard to start when your roommates are blasting music or the TV, you’re hungry, and your boyfriend keeps texting you for attention. With so many distractions, it seems impossible to slow down and concentrate on schoolwork. 

A great way to minimize distractions is to change the environment around you. Social media might be tempting, but when its time to work, the phone should be put away and on “Do not disturb.” Another great escape is a trip to somewhere private you can focus. For some, that is the library, while others might enjoy getting work done in their room with their favorite music. And don’t forget to eat and get enough sleep! There’s nothing like sitting down to write a paper and your stomach is growling for attention. Set yourself up for success. 

Ground yourself. 

Sometimes, even when you’re in a quiet spot with the time to start studying, your mind can be your own worst enemy. Stress, doubt, and fatigue all make it harder to be mentally strong when your head is in the clouds. 

Try practicing mindfulness techniques, like meditation, or a similar grounding exercise. Some find comfort in zoning in on one of their senses, such as taking a few seconds to think about what you can hear, feel, or see in that moment. These techniques can set you on the path to mental discipline, and redirect your focus to where you need it most. 

Make it a routine.

People tend to be creatures of habit. Setting a routine, and more importantly, sticking to it, ensures that it gets a little bit easier every time. After a while, you won’t have to fight to reign your focus in on your assignments. It will be second nature. 

Get some fresh air. 

Last, but certainly not least, make sure to leave time for breaks. Even with time to burn, the perfect environment, and a mind of steel, we can only hold our focus on one task for a limited amount of time before our performance begins to suffer. 

Take a few minutes to get outside or check your phone. It’s also important to allow yourself to enjoy activities outside of work. The time you enjoy wasting it not wasted time! Using a few hours to grab food with friends or even blowing some time on the couch will help you return to your responsibilities with a fresh mind and renewed spirit. 

With a few of these tips, you can make it a little easier on yourself to catch up on the everyday business of being a hardworking young adult. And once all that work is done… time to let loose and enjoy the weekend without worrying about what is due on Monday! 

Second-year at the University of Virginia currently studying biology.