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Mastering Time Management: Finals Week Schedule for Optimal Study and Rest

You’ve spent the past few months completing various quizzes, homework assignments, and projects in each of your classes and now the moment of truth has arrived—final exams. With break looming on the horizon, it can be especially difficult for some of us to find the motivation to prepare for these tests, but with an organized study schedule, you can transform this overwhelming task into something more feasible.  

Tip #1: Make a list of all final exams and projects that are due.  

Like I mentioned in my midterm article, I believe one of the most important first steps you could take when creating a study plan is to make a detailed list of all your final exams and projects that are due. From there, I suggest prioritizing based on both difficulty and urgency, so whichever listed items are due first or are more challenging, put those at the top of your study plans. Don’t forget to schedule breaks between each of your study sessions!  

Tip #2: Set realistic goals and avoid multitasking.  

If you’re anything like me, you like to pile countless tasks on your plate so you can knock them out all at once. However, studies show that not only does multitasking reduce productivity, but it also increases the amount of mistakes made and can potentially lead to burnout. To avoid this, make sure you study for each of your courses separately and allot a reasonable amount of time—experts suggest two to three hours daily—to each task on your schedule.  

Tip #3: Make the most of your time by staying healthy and well-rested!  

‘Tis the season to get sick, and there’s nothing that can derail study plans faster than catching a cold or worse! Studies show that your ability to retain information decreases if you don’t get enough sleep each night. A minimum of eight hours of sleep will not only help you stay healthy, but it will also prepare your brain for intense study sessions. Along with staying well-rested, experts suggest that eating healthy, getting exercise, and staying hydrated can also help you survive a particularly stressful finals week.  

Tip #4: Try multiple study techniques and choose the ones that work best for you!  

When it comes to studying for final exams, what works for one person may not work for another. It’s incredibly important to try out multiple techniques and choose the ones that work best for you. Whether it’s reading, flash cards, practice tests, or studying with a group, there are methods available for everyone, no matter what your learning style is.   

By embracing the above strategies, you’ll not only be able to excel in your final exams but enjoy some well-deserved rest and relaxation afterwards. Stay focused, stay healthy, and good luck!  

About the Author

Kristee Mikulski is a junior at University of Colorado Boulder who is majoring in Strategic Communications (Advertising Strategy) and minoring in Media Production. Kristee will be completing her Bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications in the Spring of 2025.

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