I think one of my favourite things (heavy, heavy sarcasm) is coming home from University, sticking my feet up, turning the tele on with a nice cuppa in my hand only to realise that I have 3 deadlines coming up in the next 4-6 weeks that I haven’t started. Feet down, tele off, coffee made extra-large. Oh, what a joyous time. And despite all of my emails to the University explaining that 3000 word essays “aren’t very Christmassy”, they still persist to lay them on us. Therefore, I’ve managed to come up with a few helpful tips and tricks to help stay on track over the holidays. Be it Easter, summer, Christmas, or Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you).
“Failing to plan is planning to fail,” Cyrus, M. Hannah Montana.
At the start of the holiday period, note down everything that you have to do. How many essays? How long are they? Do you have exams? How much revision do you need to do?
After that, find the slots in your schedule you can dedicate to working and stay dedicated. If it says to work, that doesn’t mean watching vine compilations and occasionally glancing at a blank Word document. In all honesty, that never even feels good anyway. You just feel a bit slobbish and guilty, then when the end of the day rolls around, you get a nice big dose of stress and anxiety as you reflect upon how much work you’ve still got left to do. It’s far better to let your head hit the pillow exhausted or at least content in the idea that you’ve filled up your time productively.
My second tip is to get on the podcasts and audiobooks. During the holiday periods, you’ll most likely find yourself travelling quite a bit in cars, trains, planes, and automobiles. Audio learning has changed my mind-set to work and made me feel far more capable with the workload I’ve been set. Whether you’re researching or revising, there are bountiful options on the podcast and audiobook market to help you learn on the go. You most likely already listen to a lot of music, so why not swap that every now and again to something educational. I’m not saying that B.I.G.’s Ready to Die doesn’t make you think, but it’s probably not that relevant to your course.
If you want to make sure you stay on track of your reading, then sign up to GoodReads. It’s essentially a social media platform based around literature where you can set reading goals, find relevant books similar to those you’ve read before, and see the ratings of various titles.
Lastly, make your study time a social time. There’s a high chance you’re around others who also need to do work, whether it be your friends or family, so instead of missing out on your social life, combine the two together. This means that you can help one another stay on track whilst also making work a bit more exciting. Sometimes when you know that you have to do something, you’re less likely to do it. So by disguising work as an excuse to see friends, you’re killing two birds with one stone or feed two birds with one scone, as Peta say.