Do you hate finals week? Do you feel like you need to pull all nighters or slam Red Bulls to have a chance at passing them?
Here are some tips I’ve learned to help you crush your finals without the need to feel stressed or overwhelmed.
- TURN OFF ALL NOTIFICATIONS ON YOUR PHONE
How are you supposed to get anything done if you are watching Snaps, scrolling through Facebook, checking your tweets, reading your emails, and constantly hearing dings on your phone? We live in such a need-to-know-instantly culture that we are addicted to our phones. Turn off all your notifications when you are studying. A really cool app I just found about is called Forest. It allows you to lock your phone for a period of time to grow virtual trees. It’s like a video game because you are trying to not use your phone for periods of time and build your forest.
If you don’t want to be a phone drone, why not try it always? Is it really that important to instantly know what your friend made for lunch or if your fifth cousin’s boyfriend liked your newest profile picture?
I just read “The One Thing” which talks about focusing on one thing at a time. 28% of our day is wasted by distractions. Don’t let 5 hours in the library only account for 3 hours of actual study time.
- DO HOURS OF POWER
I know you may be in college, so I need to clarify this is not a “Power Hour.” This is a focus strategy. Instead of trying to power through endless hours of studying, break it into chunks.
For every 50 minutes of focused study time, take 5-10 minutes for a break. Those breaks could include doing jumping jacks to get the blood flowing, meditation to clear the mind, checking Facebook because you’re going through withdrawals, or going to the bathroom. You will return for the next 50 minutes rejuvenated and ready to focus.
- DRINK YOUR BODY WEIGHT IN WATER
I know this doesn’t seem like it relates, however, water is very important. Our bodies are made up of mostly water, and we need to stay hydrated. Even though it doesn’t give you a kick like coffee does, it will be better for your body, leaving you balanced throughout your entire study session. Drinking tons of water will keep you cleansed, give you better focus, and not leave you feeling drained and lethargic.
- GO SOMEWHERE WITHOUT DISTRACTIONS
Too many students study with TV or music on in the background. You aren’t absorbing everything you can because part of your brain is focusing on what’s going on in the background. Even the library can be distracting. It’s a great place to go study, but most likely you’re spending half your time saying “hi” to all of the friends you see, getting distracted by side conversations, and staring at the cute girl in your English class across the room.Find a place with little traffic, little noise, and somewhere that puts you in a good mood.
- DO THE MIRACLE MORNING DAILY
I could write a whole website on the what the Miracle Morning has done for my life. 😉 Essentially, it’s doing all the important activities that we should do, but we claim not to have the time or energy to do. What I think is funny, is that when it’s time to step up and prep for finals, students cut back on healthy habits. They think they need to spend all day studying. However, it’s even more important to keep those good habits up to be on your “A game.”
How good would you feel if before you studied, you exercised, reflected on what you’re grateful for, had a chance to clear your head, got pumped up with a self-confidence affirmation, and read 10 pages of an inspiring book? EVERY student has an hour a day to complete these activities daily to keep them in tip top shape for crushing their finals. Unfortunately, many students eat crappy, get less sleep, don’t exercise, and sit in front of a screen all day.
- GO TO COLLEGE THE WAY YOU WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL
Isn’t it funny how college students complain about a packed day of classes when they only have 4 classes? That’s about 5 hours of actual class. We used to go to school from 7:45 am-2:45 pm. That’s a straight 7 hours. Students don’t need to cram for exams or pull all-nighters if they just treated college like high school. What I mean is “go to school” from 8 am-4 pm, even though you might only have 3 actual classes in that time frame. Fill the hour gaps with study and homework time. That way you are already focused and in school mode. Then you can have fun and relax all night. Do you really need that nap, or that extra game of COD, or to see ESPN for the 3rd time? Resist short term pleasure throughout the day, to have long term happiness later.
- STAY POSITIVE
In my original Vector Marketing work training, I learned that “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” It’s amazing how powerful our brains are. Go into your finals week confident and motivated. You are smart enough, you have all the resources at your fingertips, you took good notes, and attended most of your classes. Don’t get stressed out and fill your mind with the “what ifs.” Most of the “what ifs” never happen. Build yourself up and fill your mind with positivity. You won’t be as worried for your exams with a ‘can-do’ mentality.
FINALLY, AFTER YOU TAKE THE FINAL…CELEBRATE!
I find that too many students worry about their grade still after they have already taken the exam. They live in misery for days wondering what their grade is. Worrying about it won’t change how poor or great you did. Forget about it and move on. Don’t let the last test affect your next one. Some of the best athletes have the shortest memory of bad moments. If they have a bad quarter, they forget about it and believe in themselves for the next one.
Finals can be a stressful time, but if you follow these tips, you will CRUSH YOUR FINALS and NOT STRESS doing it.