How To Study Smart in The Silly Season

Studying during holiday season keeping on track

Christmas, New Years and summer holidays are a wonderful time of the year. However, all the festive fun on offer can mess with study schedules. The key is to balance your celebration time by staying mindful of your study commitments and qualification goals.

We’ve coached thousands of online learning students through the silly season. Here’s what we’ve found works best to keep you on track:

Remember why you are studying

Keep the end goal in sight. Missed deadlines and rushed assignments aren’t worth the stress. You deserve the career advancement and opportunities that your diploma is going to provide, so keep focused on your ‘why’.

Use your online learning coach

End of year gets busy and December can fly by before you know it. Plan ahead by booking in coaching calls in advance, at the beginning of the silly season. You can even book weekly check-ins throughout this season – whatever you need to keep on track and motivated to study smart.

Get away from distractions

Distractions are everywhere at the best of times, but the approaching holidays often have extra things to throw at you and take your mind off your study. Try to counteract these distractions with these techniques:

  • If there are extra visitors in the house or work is getting too festive, use a library, café or table under a shady tree to study.
  • Put your phone in a drawer, another room or even in the car!
  • Set an alarm or app blocker to stop you doomscrolling after 10 minutes of social media. Then, close all tabs except your online learning portal.
  • Mute your messenger groups and put do not disturb on your phone for two to three hours. You can even set up an auto-text reply to let people know that you’re studying and will get back to them later.
  • Ask a relative or friend to take the kids or do child-minding swaps.
  • Put a sign on the front door or your home office door to let people know you’re studying and not to be disturbed.

Its okay to say no to social functions or requests for your time

During the silly season, it’s important to pace yourself. You do not have to attend every function you’re invited to. Learn to say no thanks, go home, knock out a few hours of study and get an early night instead. Saying no to non-value-adding activities gives you more time to focus on what you care about. It also saves you the stress of submitting assignments through a wave of sleep deprivation.

How To Study Smarter

Adjust time management habits

Let’s be honest, the silly season is exactly that. Traffic gets heavier, queues get longer and days go faster! Be proactive and adjust your habits to compensate.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Get up an hour earlier for the next few weeks and hit the books.
  • Disable your Netflix account for a month.
  • Delete social media apps from your phone – you can re-install them after New Year’s.
  • Study on the train or during your lunch break.
  • Save shopping time by agreeing not to give presents to friends or doing a Kris Kringle instead.
  • Batch prepare meals on the weekend to save cooking time during the week.
  • Let the kids earn holiday spending money by giving them extra chores.
  • Ask your housemates to support you or trade chores – you’ll do their washing in February if they do yours now.

Find a study buddy or group

If you know you are going to find this season distracting or challenging, then commit to show up for another person. On the surface, this seems counterintuitive. But committing to a group elevates the importance of study and makes you less likely to procrastinate.

You can be a study buddy in-person or virtually. Reach out to someone you know who’s studying or agree to do virtual study session with others from your online study forum. The idea is you agree to a time, have a quick chat about what you want to get done before the next study buddy session, then get to it. Alternatively, you can have a ‘study date’ where you meet up in a cafe with your laptops and work on your separate studies or projects for an hour.

Plan to have fun

Taking breaks is good for productivity, so reward your work and effort with planned fun. There will be special parties and Christmas drinks you want to attend. Scheduling is the key. Put these A-list events into your calendar – along with your study and assignment schedules – and check first before committing to attend another event. Make sure you plan down time, too. Whether that’s a walk in the park, a swim or timeout watching a favourite movie, taking time out to relax will keep you balanced.

With these study smart tips, you can be sure to nail the silly season and keep your qualification and graduation goals on track.

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