Managing the Workload During Finals

Sienna working on her laptop in a cubicle located in the John T. Richardson Library at DePaul.

Finals are a stressful time for everyone with plenty of papers, projects and tests due. I sometimes find it hard to keep track of everything. As a commuter student who is on the move a lot of the time, I found a couple of ways to break down the work I have to get done. One key thing for me is deciding what to work on based on how noisy my surroundings will be. For things that I do not need absolute silence, I try to get those done on the train. My personal hotspot is a life saver! 

Sienna with a notebook studying for finals, on the metra train.

Things I do need silence for, I try to build in time to go to the library. The Lincoln Park library is great because the upper floors are dead silent most of the time. The biggest help though is using my calendar. I write everything down from due dates to club meetings to what specifically I will work on. I go as far as to not only write “work on this paper”, but “work on introduction and body paragraph one.” I feel it holds me accountable. I also add my chores, like walk the dog or help with dinner, so nothing gets left out or forgotten. I always feel a little overwhelmed at this point, so I try to prioritize keeping my to-do list organized and have dates set so I do not miss anything. Finals are hard, but the biggest key for me is staying organized and breaking tasks down so they are manageable and not overwhelming.

An open planner with pink sticky notes to the side. With a blank sheet of paper with "Body 1 Outline" written on top.