It could be the copious amounts of entertaining you’ve been enjoying, or the fact you’re eating your weight in turkey and trifle and you’ve lost track of what day of the week it is. Maybe it’s just the thrill of getting into the holiday groove. Whatever the reason, we know it’s very easy to let good study habits slip over the Christmas period making it difficult to achieve important milestones and keep the momentum going.
Self-discipline is usually not a virtue that is synonymous with this indulgent holiday season, but it’s an all-important attribute if you want to keep on top of your workload and avoid falling behind. To that end, here are some top tips for enjoying the best of both worlds and to avoid a holiday hangover that lasts all year long, leaving you playing catch up.
Put a plan in place: sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how the days disappear before your eyes when on holiday. If you don’t have a robust plan in place that identifies when you will study, for how long, and what your areas of focus will be, you run the risk of falling behind or falling into the procrastination trap which will see you putting off the must-do’s. Schedule your study into manageable and most importantly realistic sessions and ideally use a reward-based system to incentivise completion of the sessions. I.e: block out time before a gathering with friends or family so you have a motivating driver to meet your objectives.
Study on the go: over Christmas, you may have a getaway planned. The great thing about eLearning is that it gives you the opportunity to get ahead anywhere, any time of the day. Use your journeys – near or far – to get your head down. Ten or fifteen minutes here and there may not feel like a lot of time to dedicate to your study, but you’ll be surprised how quickly these study bursts add up and how much ground you can cover by using this time wisely.
Find your zen: households can become hectic hotspots over Christmas and therefore don’t always make the best backdrop for a successful study session. Spend some time ahead of the holidays scoping out the spots where you can retreat to if you need to get out of the house to hit the books. Local libraries or even a cafe (if you can tolerate the background noise) can be good study zones.
Give yourself a break: study over Christmas can lead to two extremes – falling behind, or, conversely, becoming hyper-stressed and not getting any much-needed R&R. Staying on top of study also requires a healthy dose of downtime. Be kind to yourself, exercise, eat well, and allow yourself the opportunity to enjoy the special times – particularly the official holidays. It’s easy to feel guilty when you have a to do list playing on repeat in your head, but everyone is entitled to enjoy some Christmas cheer, so make time for you and your loved ones.