Just a couple weeks ago, we caught up with loved ones and stuffed our faces with delicious apple pie over Thanksgiving break. Now that break is over, however, we are faced with every college student’s worst nightmare — the final weeks before Winter break. Whether you’re a seasoned finals pro or a newbie freshman, prioritizing your mental health should never be up for debate (finals week especially). Here are my top tips for prioritizing your mental health to better help you get through the week.  

1. Set realistic goals

Your ever-growing to-do list can look incredibly daunting, especially if you just keep adding to it. Try breaking it up into manageable groups of tasks that you KNOW you can get done that day. I am the type of person who needs to map out my to-do list as soon as I’m awake, which is great when I’m trying to organize my day. This big list includes assignments, homework, meeting notes —anything that I can think of. I then take that big list and break it up based on priority and necessity, narrowing it down to 3-4 tasks that need to get done that day. If I break up my list into smaller chunks, it makes me feel that much more has been accomplished when I see my fully crossed off list at the end of the day.

2. Track your screen time

Social media is one of the top contenders when it comes to diminishing productivity. So instead of trying to cut it out entirely, learn to work with it! Many phones have built-in screen time tools to monitor how long you are on a specific app like Tik Tok or Instagram. You can create your own limit, for example, only using specific social media apps for three hours a day. Once you are at that threshold, your phone will no longer allow you to open the app. By setting these boundaries you are better able to manage your breaks while studying and don’t have to risk falling back into procrastinating habits. Check out this article from Business Insider  to learn more about limiting your screen time. 

3. Learn to “Time Block”

Time Blocking is a time-management technique used to organize your day based on tasks with the goal of reaching peak productivity. This is a method of scheduling that is goal-oriented where the schedule itself isn’t the goal —- the reflection of your priorities is. The only tool you’ll need for this is your calendar of preference (mine is Google Calendar) and time to plan your day or week in detail. You can time block anything from homework to exams to workouts to bedtime routines. According to Medium, there are many benefits to time-blocking that you can read about here, including improving your focus and concentration while minimizing procrastination.

Good luck on this finals season whether it be your first, last, or somewhere in-between! I hope these tips were of some help to you on your studying journey!

About the Author:

MacKenzie Payton is a senior pursuing a degree in Advertising and Public Relations with minor in Psychology. This is her second year with GrandPR, where she serves as an Account Associate after previously working as a Design Associate. She currently works as a Career Connector at the GVSU Career Center and after graduation aspires to work in strategy, consulting, and anywhere in-between.