Seven tips to help you survive the holidays and keep you on track to graduation
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
Remember the long game and keep the end goal in sight. Are missed deadlines or rushed assignments 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
A reputable adult learning provider will give you an online learning coach. Agree to check in with yours once a week or every other day during this time – whatever you need to keep you on track and motivated to study smart.
Get away from distractions
- If there are extra visitors in the house, or work is getting a bit too festive, then use a library, café or even a table under a shady tree to study.
- Put your phone in a draw, in another room, or even in the car!
- To control social media time, set an alarm to ten minutes of browsing, then close all tabs except your online learning portal.
- Tell your messenger groups you are unavailable for the next two-three hours.
- Ask a relative or friend to take the kids to the movies or a park, or do child-minding swaps.
Its ok to say no
During the party season, it’s important to pace yourself. You do not have to attend every function to which you are invited. Yes, read that sentence again! Learn to say no thanks, go home, knock out a few hours of study and get an early night instead. Unless you want the stress of having to redo poor assignments or you enjoy sleep deprivation!
Adjust time 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 and study on the train or during your lunch break – you can re-install them after New Year’s.
- Save shopping time by agreeing not to give presents to friends and do a family Kris Kringle
- 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 silly season a distraction challenge, then committing to show up for another person might be what you need. Agree to do virtual study link up sessions with others from your online study forum. Or be a study buddy for someone else – you can keep it virtual or meet up to study. The idea is you agree to a time, have a ten-minute chat about what you both want to get done in the study time, then get to it.
Plan to have fun
Taking breaks is also 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 that first before committing to attend another event. Also, plan relaxation time – a walk in the park, a swim or timeout watching a favourite movie 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.