As the end of the year approaches, finals start to loom over our heads like a pile of bricks ready to drop at any second. Every big assignment for your classes seems to be due all at the same time and final exams are right around the corner. In the last Weekly Tiger of the year I wanted to give you guys some of my favorite tips and tricks to better manage your time and to minimize stress as much as possible.
My first tip is to wake up a little earlier than you normally do. I know this sounds a little crazy, but having a more relaxed morning to get yourself prepared for the day is so helpful. There’s nothing I hate more than waking up super late, rushing to get ready just realize that I forgot something and then freaking out during my morning classes instead of paying attention. Being in a rush in the morning can so quickly ruin your day, so waking up even just half an hour earlier can really make a huge difference.
Another tip for a busy week ahead is to plan your week on Sunday nights. Normally I look through my planner and to-do list on Monday in between classes or sometime in the morning, but I’ve found that I tend to not be as productive on Monday’s as a result. Having a predetermined to-do list before your day even starts really helps you not to be overwhelmed by your agenda for the day. This way you can wake up and already know your agenda for the day instead of scrambling last minute to figure it out.
A smaller detail that I think people really under-estimate is making really detailed to-do lists. Don’t just write “work on paper” in your planner because then whatever work you do doesn’t feel like enough and it feels a lot better to cross something off a to-do list that you’ve actually finished. For example, instead of “work on paper” you could write “finish paper outline” or “finish 4 pages of paper” these more specific points on a list give you direction when you work on assignments and are more achievable goals. “Work on paper” could mean just making a title page or adding headers and calling it a day. Speaking, or writing in this case, your daily goals into existence has really been helping me during my busy weeks, especially during finals when there’s a million things to be done.
Next, make an effort to add something new to one of your daily routines. When you’re busy, completing a normal routine can feel arduous and like a waste of time. But, when you add something new the routine, it changes the routine enough to make it fun and different without weighing on you. For example, because I’ve been waking up a little earlier in the mornings, I like to play music from my Amazon Alexa while I’m getting ready. In the past I’ve just listened to news headlines while getting ready and I was ready for a change. I made my own morning playlist on Spotify of all my favorite morning acoustics and it makes me more jazzed to get up and ready in the morning because I get to enjoy my new playlist.
Some of these tips might feel small and like they aren’t doing much, but when you’re already so jam packed with school obligations and work, big changes can be really overwhelming and unnecessary. I’ve made all of these changes to my own schedule and I’ve already noticed such a difference in my mood and productivity. Good luck with finals, Tigers!