It’s difficult in the best of times to stay on top of your to-do list and keep on top of all your work but that all becomes so much more difficult over the holidays.
In an ideal world, we’d all be on top of our work, with nothing to do over the Christmas Break but to enjoy spending time with our friends and family, but unfortunately that very rarely happens. Most of us either have deadlines looming in the new year, or homework due the moment break is over and add on top of that all of the stress and chaos that occurs over Christmas and New Years, it can be hard to get work done.
There are a few things you can do, though, to help you keep on top of your school or college work while still being able to enjoy the holidays:
- Schedule. Scheduling in time to do homework is probably the last thing you want to do over break but it’s so important if you have deadlines coming up. It also helps if you pencil in family or other commitments so you know when you’ll be able to get work done. For me, I prefer to just schedule certain tasks to get done on specific days, instead of allowing a specific time out of my day to do things to keep things a bit more flexible.
- Be realistic. If you’re travelling for the holidays, it’s probably not realistic to plan to write a 7000 word essay in three days. Keep in mind the holidays are busy and things won’t always go to plan, so make sure you leave a bit of time in you schedule to catch up on things if plans change.
- Take breaks. Christmas is all about spending time with family, make sure you leave time to actually enjoy the holidays and aren’t burning yourself out over break by overworking. If you’re stuck for what to do over your study break, I have a post filled with quick things to do on a study break.
- Multitask. Can you read while your family are watching a Christmas movie? Can you listen to online lectures while traveling? Can you take notes while everyones playing a board game or cooking? It may not be the most productive trying to work with others in the room or while doing something else but its better than nothing.
- Take advantage of traveling. If you’re traveling this Christmas, either by plane, car, train or bus, take advantage of that down time and try to get a big chunk of work done while you’ve got nothing else to do.
- Get your family involved. Got exams coming up? Get your family members to quiz you on your exam topic. Make it a game for younger cousins or siblings. If you’ve got an essay or assignment, get them to proof read or take a minute or two to explain the topic you’re writing about to see if they can add in a different point of view or argument.
- Get the bulk of work done before break. This seems obvious but if you can, try and leave only quick, easy and little tasks to do over break. Things like editing essays, reading through flash cards, studying for exams or reading a few chapters of a novel, etc are the kind of things you should try and leave for completion over break as they’re not time consuming. Obviously that’s not always possible but if you can avoid doing things like finishing a huge lab report or reading an entire textbook over Christmas, that’s best.
- Get a study group together. If you’re not going anywhere or you have friends or family who also need to get work done, why not get together and do it? You can catch up and spend time with loved ones while also getting work done, it’s a win-win situation!
- Don’t waste what little down time you have. You have very limited down time over the holidays. If you’re not cooking, shopping, partaking in Christmas/holiday traditions, spending time with family or doing everything else that needs to be done, get your notebooks, laptop and pens out and get to work. It’s so tempting to veg out on the couch and watch Christmas movies on Netflix but remember, you can do that after you get everything done!
- Work at night or early morning. It’s not the most ideal to work late into the night or getting up early to get things done but this way you can leave your days free to really enjoy spending time with your family.
Hopefully those tips help you get some work done over the Christmas break! Let me know if you have any tips on how to get things done over the holidays, I’m going to need all the help I can get!