The holiday season is a time for festivities and fun with family and friends. For many, it is also a time off work to relax and enjoy a much-needed break from their busy work schedule. Some of you may be going to parties and get-togethers here and there, or planning trips to take advantage of the holiday.
The holidays, however, may also be the best opportunity to put some solid study time into your course work. Time off work can also be a time to upskill. This will help you prepare for new challenges in the coming year, which gets you closer to reaching your career goals. You can get a head start by enrolling in a short course in a specific area of interest related to your current job role or a position you’re aiming for.
To keep you on track with your studies, we’ve put together seven tips to help you stay productive.
1. Plan your schedule and stick to it.
We all have different prime times or peak hours when we’re full of energy and ready to study. Some people learn better when they study in the morning while others are night owls who study well during the night. Schedule your study time during your peak hours and make sure you commit to that schedule. Don’t forget to include both the study and holiday activities in your calendar to create a healthy balance of work and play.
2. Go out to study.
Often during the holidays, there is a festive atmosphere at home. Kids running around, relatives and friends coming and going and even food that smells good can keep you away from studying. When it becomes too challenging to focus on your online course, take a few hours of the day to go out and find a good spot to study like a nearby cafe. If you’re focused and have continuous study time free of distraction, you can complete your course faster.
3. Limit distractions and set a focus time.
When you set a time for study, it should be entirely for studying. You will less likely remember what you have studied when you go back and forth from study time to non-study time and you tend to have to re-read things. It takes discipline to remove distractions and focus solely on your course work. Always prepare yourself before you start. Set a focus time and remind yourself that focusing means you’ll get more studying done. Limit distractions by turning off notifications on your mobile and logging out of social media.
4. Develop a good holiday routine.
During the holidays, we don’t always stick to our regular routine. We can stay up all night not worrying about getting to work early the next day. That can lead to irregular eating and sleeping patterns, which result to being unproductive during the day. Sticking to your planned schedule will be more challenging if you keep up with an irregular routine. For this holiday season, try to develop a good routine to help you stay focused and motivated.
5. Motivate yourself with rewards.
Rewards are great motivators. It works for children and it definitely works for adults too. Reward yourself when you have finished a unit or a difficult section in your course work. Treat yourself to a fancy meal, buy yourself something special or enjoy one day of no studying as a reward. You may also set bigger rewards for bigger accomplishments to motivate you even more.
6. Get inspiration.
Studying becomes learning when you have reached a level of understanding beyond the theory and concepts of your course work but on the bigger picture application. Studying can be boring without the motivation to learn and apply concepts in real-world scenarios. To build on that, get inspiration from industry leaders. You can easily find online videos of industry leaders who speak about their experiences, journey and learnings that you can relate to your online course or in the career path you want to pursue. From technology to leadership, working culture and more, you can find sources of inspiration like in TedTalks. In this way, studying becomes more personal and empowering.
7. Don’t overdo it.
While studying during the holidays is practical and rewarding, remember not to overdo it to the point of burning out and losing quality time with family and friends. With the right study habits, you can reach a healthy balance of study and fun time.
If you are studying this holiday season, we hope these seven tips will help you stay on track and make the most of your time off work. Good luck and we hope you have a productive and happy holiday. Cheers to everyone!