We know that tutors, at times, aren’t so kind around Christmas. Deadlines are often set for the start of January which means only one thing – studying over Christmas! Nightmare! But don’t let studying ruin your festive spirit! Here’s how…
Step 1: Preparation is key
During the Christmas break, you may not have access to the same resources as you did during term time so you need to plan for what you may need going into the festive period. Make sure that you have to hand all of the relevant textbooks, notes and other resources that you may need for your studying.
Try to get as much work done as possible before the Christmas break, if you can. This way you won’t have as much outstanding workload and therefore, won’t need as many resources to be trekking back home. Try spending a couple of days studying before you make the journey back home, you’ll be surprised at how productive you can be when you know the reward is Christmas! Additionally, knowing that you don’t have as much work to do will not only put you in better festive spirits but also encourage you to complete the studying that is left to do – after all, it’s not that much now
If you’re not driving home for Christmas, make good use of a long train journey, or flight, and get studying! Making use of otherwise ‘lost’ time will really benefit your social time during festivities later.
Step 2: Only study on the days that aren’t the main days of celebration
Christmas and New Year can be extremely busy times and you may be panicking about how you are going to manage your time and even fit in any time to study at all. Step 2 kind of links in with step 1, it’s preparing a schedule to allocate certain days/times to studying. Take note of any social events that may be planned during the festive period and allow for time to attend these however, beware not to put too much priority onto your social life, just make sure you don’t miss out on the important bits. Use the spare days/times for studying and make sure to let your friends and family know that you won’t be available for those specified times.
Certainly, make sure to keep the main days, i.e., Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, for exclusive family and down time; it’s important you get a break. By making sure you take time away from studying allows you to switch off, make the most of the festive season and feel refreshed when study time resumes.
Most importantly, make sure you stick to this plan.
Step 3: Approach things in small portions
As with many study strategies, breaking tasks down into smaller chunks helps to keep focus, boost concentration and reduces the tendency to procrastinate and/or defer work. You don’t want to waste your entire Christmas looking at books and resources and taking an endless number of notes, so take it easy on yourself and only study in smaller segments. Plus, studies have shown that staring endlessly at pages can have negative effects on your ability to recall information, so it’s rather counterproductive if anything.
Therefore, utilising the little and often approach also helps for those who struggle to approach a high workload or larger task as not only does it allow tasks to feel less daunting, but it also allows for much for the day (outside of study time) to be spent however you please! So, smaller is definitely better in this scenario.
Step 4: Be positive
It could be very easy to slip into a negative state of mind when you have studying to do over the Christmas break; plus, we know that studying is a pain. But let’s make sure this doesn’t happen! Studies have suggested that positive thinking can boost information retention and encourages the brain to build more networks. This then increases the perceptions and possibilities of the topic you are studying; essentially meaning you’ll become a better student!
Positive thinking can also aid relaxation and working memory as well as boost your focus. This can also increase your openness to new experiences, information or knowledge which can encourage innovative and creative strategies when it comes to studying.
Therefore, it is very important that you approach tasks in a positive mind frame. Make sure you take all the time you need and learn in a way in which you learn best, don’t be too hard on yourself. You are already achieving so much and have accomplished many goals to reach where you are now – always keep this in mind.
Step 5: Enjoy your Christmas & New Year!
The easiest step of them all; enjoy yourself! You’ve worked hard during the term time to enjoy a well-deserved break!