Managing your time as you head into the home stretch of the semester

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Oh wait, did you hear wonderful or just the full part? Between the holidays, spending 20 extra minutes in the morning scraping off your car and of course, finals, let’s put it this way: nobody is bored.

But! There is no reason to get overwhelmed or experience burnout. You don’t need to enter your weeks of freedom as a shell of a person who put everything they had into the final sprint of your fall semester. Consider these tips for time management:

Make a schedule

October Jazz Jam artist Kris Johnson posted a video on time management and getting important things done by making a color coded schedule.

Watch the whole video here:


There is, unfortunately, a difference between wants and needs. You have to be able to establish which is which especially in times of limited capacity. Do you want to play video games, or do you need to play them in order to decompress? (Wink wink.)

Give yourself rewards

Ideally, the rewards you set up for yourself are free and finite. For example, don’t decide to start binging the show ‘Supernatural’ as a reward for finishing a paper. You’ll be watching TV for 13 full seasons and they’re not all diamonds. Watch a short, locally-made movie instead. Try to avoid spending money, too, as the gift-giving season probably already sucked up your extra cash.

Don’t forget about self care

Misunderstanding self care as a commodified thing or a “treat yo self” scenario is trouble. Recognizing that it is the first step toward good habits that make you unstoppable is wonderful. Schedule in time for showers, exercise, and balanced meals. You’ll be like, at last 90x more productive.

Learn how to say no

Boundaries for social media, family and friend time are important when you have a lot to accomplish. With parties and gatherings ramping up, it might be easier to try to get everyone in one place once instead of seeing everyone individually. And don't be afraid to use the old "I have to study," as a reason to decline. We've all been there.

Know when you work the smartest

You’ve heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder,” right? Often this means optimizing your skill set and abilities, but it’s also important to think about when you work the best. Right after you wake up? After the gym? Make these times the ones when you do the most important work.

Remember your why

When you’re in the weeds of hectic and busy, it’s really easy to forget what your goals are. Make a list of why you’re in school, what you foresee and are willing to work for in your arts career, and revisit it often - like a mantra - while you’re churning out papers and study sessions.