Christmas is perhaps one of the most distracting times of the year. There are films on galore, parties to attend, and you tell yourself there’s no better time to sit and watch Die Hard 2 for the fifteenth time! But for most of you students, whether you are at college, school or uni, there’s work to be done and examiners don’t think about the fact that you might want a Christmas break.
So how on earth do you avoid all those distractions and get down to business? Here are a few tips:
Get out the house
Whether it’s going to the gym or walking the dog, you’ll never get anything done if you feel as though you’ve not moved from the same spot, in the same room, for more 24 hours.
Inform your family
Let your family know that this Christmas you are going to be revising and they should not disturb you. If you’ve a rough idea of when you are going to be working, let them know the times - and let them know that they can still come in to give you a cheeky cup of tea though! If you are not sure when you are going to revise, come to an agreement that when you are downstairs in front of the TV etc, you are free, but when the door is closed to your room you are concentrating and that you don’t want to be disturbed.
Know your limits
Most people can’t sit down for more than three hours at a time and many people prefer to work in 25-minute bursts. As we all have a limited amount of willpower and concentration, know that you can’t go on forever taking information in and being productive. A little trial-and-error will help you out with this one; you might want to portion your work so that you study little and often throughout the day, or you might want to study in large three-hour chunks twice a day. However, whichever method you choose, you’ll soon find yourself racing through your work. A routine doesn’t sound like the sexiest thing, but it’s a sure way to get motivated.
Change your learning style
Studying using the right learning style is an important factor that many people forget. It can make the difference between getting through your revision and feeling as though you’ve achieved something, and not making a dent. For more information about your learning style, please see Revising for your Learning Style.
Turn off your social media
Do you realise you much time social media takes up every day? And what about all those videos of cats? Make it easier on yourself and tune out of social media. Turn off notifications on your phone. Set specific times that you’re allowed to check social media sites (and ONLY check at these times).
Mix up your study time
If you find you are not getting the groove of studying, how about trying to work at a different time? The holidays are a great time to try out a new routine and find out when you are most productive, whether it’s working into the early hours of the morning, or waking up early to start your day and getting everything out of the way to enjoy the daylight hours. Late at night or early in the morning there are no distractions, no one posting on Facebook, and you might find yourself getting everything done before you even know it.
Sort out your desk
There is nothing less motivating than a messy desk. Before you start to work, spend 15 minutes tidying it, organising it, and creating a home for all your bits and bobs. Once your work space is clear, your mind is clear, and you are ready to start! See our blog on organising your work environment for more information.
Eat and sleep well
Well, let’s face it, we’ll all probably be guilty of having too much to eat and drink over the Christmas period. And staying up late a fair few times. But if you want to get that work in over the Christmas holidays you’ll need to make sure that you eat and sleep well. You’ll then actually be able to concentrate and focus when you sit down and do your work.