The real title for this blog post should be, ‘when you know you’ve still got crap to do but you don’t want to do it’. Or, ‘how to study during the holidays when you just want to drink mulled wine and watch Love Actually…again’.
Have you already fallen into relax mode when you still need to be in student mode?
I blame the fact Christmas music and decorations have been everywhere for months.
I’ve only just given in to the festive spirit and, while I’m still a few weeks early before the big day, I feel late compared to every shop, high street and friend’s Instagram.
So no wonder we don’t want to sit at our desks and study when there’s 100 other fun things to do.
I’ve got two work Christmas parties, three meet ups with friends, my nephew’s first birthday party, my own birthday and a weekend away. And I know you all have crazy schedules too.
December. Is. Busy.
But unfortunately your studies don’t care it’s Christmas.
Now I’m lucky enough to officially have a two-week study break over Christmas. But I’m three weeks behind in my reading and I have a business task list as long as my arm that I want done before 2018 rings in.
In this blog post, you'll discover:
So I need to find ways to get my head back in the game for a bit longer. And I thought if I’m having this problem I’m sure some of you are too.
Don't forget to download my study planner so you can squeeze every last drop of value out of your chocolate-fuelled festive study sessions! Grab it by signing up to my free resource library where you’ll also get access to TONS of other printables and worksheets to help you become a happier, more confident and more successful student.
Five Steps to Studying at Christmas Without Feeling Like the Grinch
1. Download those tasks
First, take a piece of paper and list ALL the tasks that you’d like to get done before Christmas. Note down your study, personal, work and anything-else tasks. Try and list everything even if it feels scary because we’ll sort them later.
2. What’s the consequences?
Now I want you to spend a minute thinking about the reason why each task needs to be done.
What is the consequence if it’s not done?
Who will you let down? Yourself or others?
What will happen if you don’t do this task or leave it until January?
Answer these questions and you should be clearer on what your priorities are.
Here’s some examples for me.
Task to be done: catch up on three weeks of studying.
Consequence of not doing this: my next essay is due in on January 11th so if I don’t catch up before the holidays I’m in BIG trouble. I’m in Sweden over New Year and not back until the 3rd so that would only give me only ONE WEEK to complete 3 weeks of work and write an essay. Ok crap, I’m starting to sweat a little just writing this.
Outcome: it’s got to be done. I will spend 30 minutes studying every day after work and schedule in a big catch up session on December 16th.
Task to be done: make homemade presents for extended family e.g. chutney, limoncello, cookies…etc.
Consequence of not doing this: I’ll have to spend more money buying presents and I won’t feel the satisfaction of handing over beautiful homemade gifts.
Outcome: I haven’t got time. Homemade presents take way too long so I’ll suck it up and buy presents this year.
Task to be done: write my last blog post for the year on December 14th.
Consequence of not doing this: letting down my readers who know to expect to hear from me every week. Letting myself down and breaking a promise to myself of releasing weekly content. Also, if I let myself goof off on this one, it will be easier to goof off on the next one and I don’t want to get into that downward spiral.
Outcome: it’s got to done. Spend two hours on the evening of December 11th writing it.
3. Study with breaks and rewards
Don’t try to force yourself to spend hours at a time studying if that’s going to depress you.
Instead, look for those small sections of time you can fit studying into.
- As soon as you wake up
- Straight after work or in your lunch break
- Before family or friends come round
- During naptime.
It may not seem a lot, but if you can study for 30 focused minutes a day that’s a good 7-10 hours over the Christmas period.
Also, don’t forget to reward yourself. Use my study planner to pick your reward before you study to motivate yourself to stay focused and get shiz done.
Bring on the mulled wine and Quality Streets!
4. Make your time as efficient as possible
When you don’t have a lot of time to study, it’s even more important to make sure that time is as focused and productive as possible.
So, even though it’s Christmas, it’s time to get serious.
Remove distractions before you study
- Turn your phone to silent and/or move it away from you
- Turn off the television or radio
- Close down the Internet tabs you don’t need.
Always know what you need to study
Don’t sit down to study during the holidays without a clear plan. You’ll waste time deciding what to do that you could be spending relaxing with some mulled wine.
So decide the night before what your priorities are so you can hit the ground running straight away.
Use the Pomodoro Technique
Studying in intervals just works. I get messages from my readers every day saying how much this simple technique has changed their studying.
So click here to read a blog post where I tell you exactly how to use it.
5. Remember ticking over can be good enough
Try not to feel guilty for taking some time off studying. After a long few months of studying a break will do you so much good. Work out what your priorities are and get these done but don’t be afraid to let things tick over until January if you don’t have immediate deadlines in the New Year.
Most importantly, remember that you’re doing great. Studying alongside other responsibilities is difficult so you deserve some relaxation. And when you come back in January you should feel fresh and reenergised.
And don't forget to sign up to my resource library and grab alllll my best resources to help you save time each week, improve your study skills and achieve the grades you've always wanted.