I hope I am not alone in the struggle to get enough sleep but somehow also finish large amounts of homework … scratch that. I know I am not alone in the struggle. Stress has a lot of negative effects on the brain, body, and one’s overall mental health. So, to help you all hopefully function better as exam-season nears, here are a few tips to increase efficiency, decrease stress, and maximize sleep.

stress body
Source: Daily Infographic Credit: Spencer Sands
  1. If you start procrastinating or lose efficiency due to stress, workout instead. Working out will help lower your stress levels, give you a distraction, and help you focus once you get back to doing your work.
  2. Go to sleep and wake up early to finish work.  Sometimes, we just can do any more work: our brains are done and our eyes are closing. So, instead of staying up trying to finish your work when you’re already half asleep, just hit the hay and wake up an hour earlier. You’ll get more sleep in the end because there’s a good chance you will be more productive in the morning.
  3. Structure your work time around breaks. These breaks can be eating, feeding your pet, arranging your room, or picking an outfit for tomorrow. Give yourself these moments of distraction. Also, instead of spending 2 hours chilling when you get home, spread out that one (maybe two)  Netflix episodes over your entire study time. Eventually you’ll get so into what you’re working on you may not even need to watch another episode.
  4. Do your most difficult homework first. This is a tip I must credit to my chemistry teacher. A lot of people want to save their hardest class for last but, since you’ll probably need the most brain energy for your most difficult homework task, by the time you get there you’ll be too brain dead. Instead, start with the hardest and work your way down to the subject that requires the least thought for you.

Exam time is getting closer which isn’t so great. But, there are a few things you can do it make it all easier. Proper studying and focused work is not devoid of  Netflix, breaks, sleep and food.

So, good luck and happy studying!