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It's no secret that the holidays (and Black Friday!) are swiftly approaching, but there's also one other memorable (and dreadful) event that college girls around the world can't stop thinking about during this time of the year: finals week.
The end of each semester is always a whirlwind for me. The workload for my major ebbs and flows, but there's almost always what seems like a zillion group projects due during finals week, plus a few more pesky exams. I've tried pretty much every method out there for managing stress, including hiding out in my bedroom binge watching full seasons of Supernatural for three days straight last year. I literally only came out of my room to get the door when my food deliveries showed up. It was bad.
That being said, I've definitely come a long way since those days, and I even have a few game-changing tips to share with you today. They're here just in time for you to mull 'em over during Thanksgiving break and let me know what you think ;) Here's the lowdown:
1. Be rested...the early bird gets the worm.
During finals week, it's almost impossible to find a seat in the library...even if it's 2 or 3 a.m. Believe it or not though, no amount of caffeine can replace a quality night's sleep. Try making rest a top priority during finals week this semester, and you'll be pleasantly surprised at your increased ability to absorb information during the day. There's many distractions in college, but getting yourself in bed and fast asleep by 10 p.m. allows you to get eight hours of rest by just six o'clock in the morning. Imagine if you woke up that early to start studying. There's no need for painful all-nighters!
Waking up early is also a habit of some of the world's most productive and successful individuals. In fact, Bob Eiger, the CEO of Disney, recently came to give a presentation at my school and rumor has it that he disclosed he starts his workdays at 4 a.m.! According to this source, many other famous executives also find early mornings to be the sweet spot for productivity, including Tim Cook (CEO of Apple), Richard Branson (billionaire entrepreneur), and David Cush (CEO of Virgin America).
2. stay energized
Even if you do manage to get a good night's sleep, staying energized throughout the day can still be a struggle. Though most people turn to coffee when they're feeling a bit sluggish, I'm more of a superfood/supplement kind of girl (I've seen way too many of my college friends get straight up addicted to caffeine).
I first heard about youtheory® Maca Root during my freshman year of college after reading an article on how to stay energized throughout the day, and I've been obsessed ever since. Also known as Peruvian Ginseng, this root vegetable is historically used for both nutritional and health purposes, and is cultivated at high altitudes in the Andes Mountains of Peru. It's many traditional uses include food, energy, hormone balancing, sexual functioning, PMS relief and menopause relief.
I love mixing this nutrient-dense superfood into my morning smoothie, and would definitely recommend doing so during finals week, or any other time when you need a little boost. After all, it is traditionally used to boost energy, stamina, and endurance. I also love that youtheory® Maca Root is 100 percent Peruvian grown material and sustainably sourced. It's also dairy and soy free, with no gluten ingredients. Love it.
I bought my youtheory® Maca Powder from Costco.com, so head over there if you'd like to try it for yourself. You don't need to be a member to shop at Costco.com to take advantage of special deals and products, there's just a small surcharge of 5 percent! Here's the links to the youtheory® Maca Powder and another one of their lovely products called youtheory® Sleep Nighttime Powder, which is also perfect for finals week!:
3. Time block
Time blocking is a college girl's best friend. It's my number one favorite way to stay organized and prioritize tasks efficiently. If you haven't heard of time blocking, it's as simple as scheduling out your entire day on a pad of paper. During finals week I will schedule every activity for my entire day, down to the hour. This ensures that every task on my to-do list gets attention and that I don't get distracted. If it's not time blocked into my day, I don't do it! You can of course schedule out time for eating, relaxing, and hanging out with friends, but putting a limit on how much time you'll spend doing these activities can increase your productivity immensely.
I'm old fashioned and use a notepad to plan out my days, but there's also plenty of apps out there to help you get organized!
4. increase your mental clarity
I listen to a lot of podcasts, and one of my favorite shows has recently been discussing mental clarity a lot. It's so easy to get distracted, especially when you're in college and have a million different things going on at once. Time blocking can be hugely beneficial in terms of productivity, but it's also important to make sure that you've got your game face on and are ready to kill it when you start your day. I find that one of the best ways to increase my mental clarity, or focus, is by eliminating distractions. Put your phone on "do not disturb" mode, or turn it off entirely. Clean up your bedroom and organize your desk the day before you're planning a huge study sesh. It's usually the little things in life that can be the most distracting!
Another way to increase your mental clarity and regain motivation, especially during that afternoon lull, can be by hitting the gym. Even just 25 minutes of cardio can make all the difference in helping to clear your head and regain your focus.
5. fuel your brain/bod
There have been so many times that I've fallen into the trap of eating super unhealthy during finals week. Remember that time I binge watched Supernatural for a whole three days straight? There was a lot of takeout involved. While it was fun for a little while and took my mind off of all the studying I should have been doing, I felt horrible about it after. I try not to do food guilt after I've eaten something (I think it's an unhealthy mental practice and frankly a waste of time), but my body was not happy with me. It took twice as many healthy meals to reset and undo the damage of so many poor eating choices! So, learn from my mistakes. Go grocery shopping before finals week and stock up on healthy snacks. Don't give yourself any excuses to indulge in that bag of chips. Choose foods that will fuel you all day long and help you get through those long study sessions instead of encouraging a mid-day crash. Some of my favorite finals week snacks include:
- Dark chocolate
- Veggies and hummus
- Air popped popcorn
So, what finals week strategies work for you? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.