3 Hacks to beat the mid-semester slump

So, you’re about halfway through the semester—Congratulations, the holidays are almost here!

You start the semester on a positive note, attending all lectures, getting your tutorials done, even staying ahead of the work in school. But somehow, by the time recess week kicks in, you start losing your momentum and you’re no longer motivated to get any work done.

Procrastination becomes your best friend and you just can’t wait for finals to be over. Tasks that took you a couple of hours to complete now take you days to even get started.

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Sounds familiar? (#storyofmylife) Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! This isn’t permanent, fortunately, and you won’t be stuck in this never ending cycle of procrastination, constantly wondering when this semester is going to end. Here are 3 hacks for you to power through, conquer the rest of semester, and beat the mid-semester slump!

#1 IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL

What better way to beat the mid-semester slump than to avoid it? When you’re full of motivation and positive energy at the start of the semester, take advantage of that and start allocating time to complete tasks and stay ahead of the modules.

Part of the reason we get stressed near the midterm period is due to the never-ending list of tasks. Suddenly, you have midterms to study for, projects to do, presentation prep, CCA commitments, all the while maintaining your nonexistent social life (*cries*)! All this can quickly get very overwhelming and stressful. When caught in a slump, taking on your commitments one at a time can really help you focus and finish each task to the best of your ability.

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This is where planning comes in handy! Personally, I love the old school way of putting pen to paper (I feel that this transfers the stress from my brain to the paper, anyone with me?), but choose any planning tool that works best for you! There’s so many planning and productivity applications, calendars, bullet journals, etc to choose from.

Prioritising the work according to the deadlines gives you a sense of which task you should start on first. Another tip: break down the difficult tasks into smaller ones. That way, you will feel a lot better about the workload and tasks will seem more manageable.

#2 REWARD YOURSELF

Now that you’ve got the planning down, the next step is to execute them. Trust me, I know how difficult it is to get started on something when there’s a billion other things you would rather be doing.

A tip is to force yourself to start and for 10 minutes, give your 110% attention to the task in front you. After 10 minutes, it’ll be much easier to continue with the task, as you are already in the ‘zone’.

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Let’s be real, studying can be such a boring task sometimes. Give yourself some incentives and keep things exciting! For every task you complete, reward yourself with a break, a pat on the back, the movie you’ve been wanting to catch or anything but only do so AFTER completing the task. Studying will go a lot easier if you take a break and once in a while, do something you really, really want to do. Not only does this lift your spirits, you’ll find yourself studying better when you’re in a relaxed and upbeat mood.

#3 GATHER YOUR STUDY BUDDIES

Each semester in university is like a marathon. Ideally, you run at the same pace throughout the race and speed up near finals period. In reality, we all jog at the start, pretend to speed up in the middle and run like Usain Bolt at the end, gasping and breathing that sigh of relief as we emerge out of the last finals exam.

No one said you have to run this race alone. Studying together with friends is a great way to motivate yourself to stay on track. After all, they are also going through the same slump, and have a similar workload as yours. What better way to get over the slump, then to share the pain with your peers (*Cue ‘We’re all in this together’).

When you need help with the content or have some problems you can’t solve, your friends can help you work on it. If you find yourself slacking, they can keep you on track and make sure you’re being productive. The best part about study groups is tapping on each other’s strengths and helping one another out. Also, be cautious who you let into your #studygang. Some friends can be a little distracting, so make sure you study with people who have similar goals as you. That way the study session will be way more productive.

For all you homebodies that hate leaving your nest, I get you! Thanks to technology, you can still have study sessions and not leave your bedroom. You can set up a time with your friends and have a virtual study session on Skype!

THE END IS NEAR!

As simple as these hacks might seem, applying them mid-semester might just pull you out of that slump! It’s natural that you get worn out from time to time, but remember that there is light at the end of any tunnel and that hard work never fails!

This semester will be over before you know it. Make sure you still leave time for fun and be excited about the fact that the holidays are around the corner!

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