We offer some quick yet effective tips to help keep you focused when you've got deadlines to meet over the Christmas break.
The Christmas break is a great opportunity to rest, spend time with family and reflect on the year gone by - and when you’re balancing study and work (as many Arden students do!), it’s particularly important to take some time for yourself.
If you’ve got uni deadlines to manage over the holidays, it can be difficult to stay focused on those days when you really do need to knuckle down, especially when everyone around you is busy having a good time.
Here are eight quick tips to help you stay motivated and work on what you need to, without giving up too much of your valuable time off.
1. Battle your workload in bite-sized chunks
Instead of tackling big tasks all in one go, break them down into smaller, more achievable steps. For example, instead of writing an essay in one long session, aim to write a few paragraphs each day. This will make progress feel much more obtainable, and that satisfying feeling of ticking tasks of the list will inspire you to keep going.
2. Keep up with relevant news
It might sound insignificant, but staying switched on and keeping up-to-date with the goings on in your industry will help you stay connected. Such a small task will take no more than a few minutes of your time each day, but can help ensure you don’t lose touch with your studies entirely.
3. Stay in touch with friends from class
When you’re surrounded by people who aren’t studying, it can be hard making the decision to turn down social plans to concentrate on your work. Staying in touch with your uni friends over the holidays will give a support network, and you can encourage each other to do what needs to be done. Remember – they know exactly how you feel!
4. Set some goals before the term ends
Try setting yourself some goals to achieve over the break before the end of term. This will give you something to focus on, and if you achieve them early in the holidays, you can kick back and relax until term resumes.
5. Keep some form of routine
Making an effort to keep some sort of routine while you’re off can really help you stay focused. We’re not saying set your alarm for 7am on Boxing Day – but perhaps pinpoint a few days where you would be happy to wake up early and spend a few hours working. Remember to keep regular meal times when you can, as well, otherwise time can run away with you.
6. Get some exercise
Whether it’s hitting the gym or heading out for a brisk walk in the winter winds, regular exercise can help keep your mind clear and encourage you to focus on the task at hand, whatever that might be.
7. Work on your CV
Spending time keeping your CV up-to-date after a long day of studying or working can be draining, so why not make the most of having a couple of weeks off and dedicate a day updating it instead? This will remind you of the reasons you’re studying in the first place, and help you keep sight of the end goal.
8. Don’t deprive yourself of downtime!
Most importantly, don’t forget that switching off and taking time for yourself really is essential. It’s all very well making study schedules, but if you’re feeling tired and overworked, a schedule probably won’t help your concentration. Have fun, enjoy the Christmas break and remember that it’s okay to forget your priorities for a few days!
If you’re studying with Arden University, our Student Support team are always on hand to help you stay motivated.