‘Tis the season for gingerbread men, holiday preparation, gift-giving…and finals. Most of us are wanting a fast-forward button that skips over the end of the semester and straight into winter break, but unfortunately, we must finish off strong regardless of whatever offers or admissions we may have that are waiting for us.
- Get a Chrome extension like Cold Turkey to block distractions. Like everyone else, I have fallen into the “just one YouTube video…oh hey, it’s 2:30 A.M. and I have done nothing but scroll through memes.” Working on a laptop allows you to access the Library of Alexandria at your fingertips, but that library includes YouTube and Facebook.
- Get an app like Forest that inhibits you from playing on your phone. Forest allows you to set a timer and plant a “tree” so long as you keep the app open while the timer counts down. Close the app and the plant dies. By expanding your garden, you can also redeem points to extend your collection of plants or even plant an actual tree.
- Stick to a schedule. If a 24/7 schedule works for you, then that is fantastic. If meticulously planning out every hour of every day isn’t going to work for you, that’s also fine. However, get a general sense of how you want to allocate your time.
- Try to incorporate small breaks into your schedule. The Pomodoro technique involves working for a short period of time (usually 25 minutes) and taking a short break (5 minutes). By forcing a person into focusing in such a short period of time, it can increase productivity much like writing a paper that’s due in 6 hours is more motivating than writing a paper that’s due in 2 weeks.
- Stay in the now. We are so close to winter break, but we cannot start winter break early. Thinking about our plans for the break is so much more tempting, but finish the semester off strong. You’ve worked too hard throughout the semester for you to flop a final because you lacked motivation.
Stay strong and good luck!