Feeling End-Of-Semester Burnout? Try These Productivity Tips

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April is upon us, which means there are less than four weeks of classes until finals season. While we all make the most of our last month in Happy Valley, it can be tempting to ditch the library for a night out – even if we could benefit from a little GPA boost. Looking for some end-of-semester motivation? Follow VALLEY’s tips to keep your grades up while still having fun this spring.

Find a Study Spot

When it comes to hittin’ the books, your work environment can make all the difference. Choose a study space that will make you the most productive. Need some peace and silence? Find a quiet corner in Pattee and Paterno. In the mood for a study snack? Head to Irvings or Vibe Coffee to fuel your workday. Finding a place where you can best focus will totally improve your work ethic and efficiency.

Keep a Daily To-Do List

Studies show that checking tasks off your to-do list can make you feel happier and more satisfied with your work. Plus, planning out each day will give you a set of goals to keep you motivated. If you don’t prefer the old-fashioned planner approach, try using an app to keep your tasks up to date. With your Penn State email, you can use Microsoft’s to-do app, which syncs your to-do list on your phone and computer – so you can always have your list at hand!

Try the Pomodoro Method

We’ve all been there before: you know you need to study for an exam, but the arduous task of studying for hours straight feels *so* exhausting. Luckily, there’s the Pomodoro method, a scientifically-backed work technique that breaks up your studying with intermittent rests.

The classic Pomodoro method is 25 minutes of work followed by 5 minutes of rest, but you can alter the time lengths to whatever fits your study flow best. Most find that for large projects, essays, or exams, the Pomodoro method is effective because it motivates you to work for a “reward” and the end of each work interval. There’s even a Pomodoro timer to make your job easy.

Find a Work-Life Balance

It’s totally normal to feel burnt out by the end of the semester. Therefore, take this as your reminder that balance is key. At the end of the day, it’s simply unrealistic to assume that you’ll be able to power through the last weeks of classes by prioritizing academics over everything. On the flip side, your plan to never miss a night out and hope the best for your GPA might also have its tradeoffs.

To be your healthiest (and happiest!) self, it’s important to keep a balance based on what’s best for you. So yes, study for that exam, but make sure to reward yourself with a night out this weekend.

Think Positive Thoughts!

Ok, we can’t blame if you read this one with an eye roll. But even though positivity may seem like a meaningless work tactic, it can actually really improve your productivity and confidence! Social scientist Loretta Breuning explains that per human nature, our brains are conditioned to think negatively and critically of ourselves – and that the more we “practice” this negative behavior, the better we get at it. So next time you have a busy work week, try paying yourself a few compliments. The more thoughts and situations you frame positively, the better chances you have to succeed.

How will you stay motivated as you wrap up the semester? Tweet us, @VALLEYmag, with your go-to study tips.


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