“Tis the season to be jolly
Fa la la la la, la la la la”
You belt out this traditional tune, without a care in the world…. But then it dawns on you that although it may be the season to be jolly for many, you need to study. In mid-note, you suddenly find yourself wondering,
“What’s there to be jolly about when instead of being able to leisurely lounge around all day eating, drinking and being merry to my heart’s content, I’ll be buried under a mountain of study material throughout the holidays?”
Whether you’re revising for exams, writing assignments, researching for your dissertation, or just playing catch up after a stressful term, you’re not alone in your study struggles this holiday season. I know it’s not easy juggling festive fun, successful studying and required rest. So, if you’d like some successful ways to study this holiday season, then these productivity tips are for you!
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1. The Gift of Silence
How wonderful would it be to have the gift of silent days and silent nights under your Christmas tree?
It really helps to have some peace and quiet, especially during the festive season. This may seem like mission impossible if you’re lucky enough to have a house full of merrymakers. One of the upsides to social distancing for students this year is that you may not have as many people around. So the distracting noise that often accompanies Christmas celebrations should be reduced. If you’re fortunate enough to still have quiet places like libraries, or coffee shops open in your area, then take a moment to visit them, find a quiet corner and get some study stuff done. If you’re in total lockdown, then speak to those around you and help them to understand that what you want for Christmas is some silent days and silent nights to get some studying done. In the spirit of Christmas, I’m sure they’ll be happy to give you the gift of silence.
BONUS READ: 7 Secrets of Phenomenally Successful Students That Will Skyrocket Your Grades
2. Have A Seasonal Study Schedule
Have you ever thought, “I love my family, but they’re so distracting when I need to study?”
It’s difficult to get the balance right when you want to spend time with your family but need to study. The solution is to have a seasonal study schedule. This enables you to get your studies done during the festive season without feeling guilty of neglecting your family or fearing that you’re missing out on all the best bits of the holidays.
- Create a seasonal study schedule that includes a plan/timetable with all the days/dates of the holiday and time slots for each day. These can be 1-3 hour time slots or whatever works for you.
- Although this year, the pandemic has restricted full-blown socialising, if you’re fortunate enough to have friends or family staying with you this season, find out from them when will you be needed for social events/activities, etc and approximately how long each of these activities will last.
- Highlight these activities on your plan/timetable to ensure you don’t miss out on anything important.
- Highlight a few important days that you’re definitely sure you won’t be studying on, perhaps Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
- Whatever days and times do not have highlighted information, use those to schedule study time.
- If it doesn’t look like it will be enough time, speak to your friends and family about your seasonal study schedule. Come up with a compromise that enables you to enjoy social activities and still sneak in some essential study. Perhaps you can skip an event or two, or you can stay for a shorter period at the party?
Your friends and family want you to succeed. Get them on board as you sail to success.
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3. An Attitude of Gratitude Is A Great Christmas Gift
If stress caused by the pandemic, your studies and life, in general, is making you miserable like the grinch that stole Christmas than it’s time to get a good dose of motivation and inspiration to keep you going. Focus on the good in your life and be grateful to have made it to another Christmas. Remember, many who started the year, are no longer here. Take a moment to be thankful for the little things and let your happiness be contagious. Invest in some magical mood-boosting and study helping printables and eBooks for yourself, because you’re so worth it. Or, if your loved ones are still struggling to get you that perfect last-minute gift, point them in this direction. It’s amazing what a little reflection, an attitude of gratitude and some handy, helpful guides can do to your self-esteem and study success.
4. If You’re Struggling, Don’t Suffer In Silence
This year has been particularly challenging for most of us. So, there’s no shame in asking for help if you think you’re struggling and could do with a helping hand. There’s help all around if you just take some time to ask for it. This might be as simple as asking your family or friends to give you some extra space so you can focus without interruptions or undue pressure of making things perfect for Christmas. You may want your loved ones to just listen to your concerns and challenges or be a shoulder to cry on until you feel better. You may need guidance from a professional who could help you feel more confident in your capabilities and make you view things from an angle you hadn’t considered before. You may need help getting through some sorrow that’s got you stagnant. Or you may need academic assistance that online support groups would be happy to provide if you just reach out. Don’t suffer in silence this season. Do whatever it takes to get you over your struggles so you can shine like the superstar that you are.
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5. The Harder The Battle, The Sweeter the Victory
When you feel like you’re the only one in the whole wide world who’s buried in books over the holidays, remember this mantra,
“The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.”
It will work wonders for your motivation and determination. Focusing on being academically productive while almost everyone around you is in the mood to be merry takes a great deal of self-discipline. When you feel like giving up, don’t lose sight of your ultimate goal and think of how sweet it will be when you gain that degree and have that victory.
BONUS READ: 7 Strategies to Improve Your Time Management, Organisation & Productivity. Get More Done In Less Time.
6. Prevention Is Better than Cure
My grandmother used to say,
“An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.”
This phrase is so relevant nowadays, especially because the pandemic seems to be strengthening and spreading. Never has it been so important to take care of yourself and stay healthy. Enjoy yourself and celebrate this season, but remember to remain vigilant and follow the rules for social distancing and keeping yourself and your loved ones safe. It’s best to avoid illnesses, rather than getting sick through negligence, or ignorance, and then hoping you get cured. Take care of your body by boosting your immune system and following guidelines. Eat well, exercise, and be sensible this festive season.
7. May Your Days be Merry & Light…
…and may all your Christmases be bright. Although it’s important to get your work done this holiday season, it’s also important to balance things out and get in some festive fun. This may look like special moments spent watching holiday movies or playing games with your family. Or it may look like you making Christmas dinner with your momma, grabbing your 5th mince pie with the kiddos, or enjoying a lovely bottle of bubbly with your sweetheart. Whatever your definition of merriment looks like, it’s important that it’s included in your seasonal schedule. Remember, all work and no play makes you dull. “I love being dull!” said no one, ever! So, take a moment from your busy study schedule to spend some time with your loved ones, or even by yourself and soak up the beauty that this season brings. Take a walk and look at the beautiful Christmas lights, listen to Christmas music, dance like no one’s looking, eat, drink and be merry. Celebrate this wonderful thing called life. It will recharge you so that when you try to tackle your work, you’ll be productive, positive, and powerful. Win, win, win!
In short, it’s not impossible to study successfully during the holiday season, learn loads and have a ton of fun. Just plan, organise, prioritise and you’ll be productive. Don’t forget to practice some self-love and some self-care and you’ll begin 2021 with a BANG!
How are you spending your holidays? Remember to look to the future. It’s only just begun.
However you choose, Seasons Greetings to you and your loved ones!