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The UT Counseling Center has some important tips to help you manage stress, learn time management skills, and combat procrastination as you approach your final exams.

Managing Stress

  • Examine what’s stressing you out.Then change what you can and accept what you can’t change. For example, while you can’t change that you have a final at 8 a.m. on the first day of the finals period, you can embrace the opportunity to get one final exam behind you quickly. Noticing what’s stressing you out and addressing it constructively can really help manage that stressor.
  • Maintain your body’s usual sleep routine. Thinking that pulling an all-nighter will allow you to comprehend more information tends to backfire on students. You are less productive when you are exhausted and ideas tend to generate while you are sleeping.
  • Be mindful of your current emotions. Avoiding how you feel toward finals will not make coping with it any easier, but acknowledging your emotions will. Don’t let emotions keep you from focusing on studying.

Time Management Skills

  • Choose a planner that you will use on a regular basis. This can also be the calendar on your phone or computer. Make sure it reflects your long-term and short-term goals. During finals, it will help if you break down the week by hours and fill in your studying, sleeping, and other activities appropriately.
  • Be wary of multi-tasking. Watching your favorite show while taking an exercise break is fine, but don’t multitask too much. When you try to complete multiple tasks at one time, less brain power goes toward each task and you make more mistakes.
  • Plan for efficiency. Do the harder tasks at the time of day when you have the most energy and are more productive.
  • Minimize time wasters. Cut back on activities that are of no value to your studies such as watching TV or scrolling through social media.

Combating Procrastination

  • Worry less, do more. While a little complaining to a friend can be cathartic, don’t waste too much time fretting or complaining about an undesirable task. You can lose valuable time just worrying. Go ahead and get it done and enjoy the satisfaction of having it behind you.
  • Count the cost. Make a list of the unpleasant activities you are avoiding and note the consequences of putting off the task and the benefits of completing the task. This process can help build motivation.
  • Stay focused. Avoid starting a new task until you have completed the current task.
  • Reward yourself. Small rewards, such as taking a break, can be beneficial.

For more information on stress and time management, visit the Counseling Center’s self-help resource guide.