No matter what subject you’re studying, or if you’re currently at college or university, the chances are you’ve got work to do over the Christmas period. This could be a large piece of coursework, essay writing or revision for exams in the New Year. Whatever you’re working on, motivating yourself to study can be a real challenge over Christmas!
The festive season gives the chance for people to relax and switch-off. It’s a time to reflect and look back over the previous year, as well as celebrate with friends and family. The last thing you want to do is force yourself to study!
Unfortunately, deadlines still need to be met and, when term starts again in January, there’ll be more work coming your way! So, use Christmas as a chance to get ahead. If you’re clever about your time during the holidays, you’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve and still have time to enjoy those mince pies!
When you’re at uni or college, your days are organised by a timetable. This helps you to understand what you need to do and by when. Although you may hate the idea of living by a timetable over the Christmas holidays, it can really make you days easier.
Start by prioritising your workload – which deadline is coming up first or which exam has the most content for you to learn? From there, you can download a timetable template and start to block out your days.
Try keeping your blocks of working time consistent. For example, start each day at the same time and work for 4 hours in the morning if you know you work better at that time of day. Take a decent break for lunch to stay fuelled and then do another 3 hours of work in the afternoon.
You can cover multiple subjects or topics during those blocks of time and also schedule in smaller, more regular breaks, to help your brain stay on top of its studying-game!
If you’re finding you’re increasingly having to force yourself to study, it’s time for a bit of a change. Studying inside the same four walls can quickly get dull! This, in turn, makes it harder for you to stay focused and avoid your usual distractions.
Try taking your work to a different location. This could be a coffee shop, local library or even someone else’s house!
By changing location, you are triggering an association in your brain that you’re now going somewhere to study. Instead of just rolling out of bed and sitting at your desk in your bedroom, make the effort to reset yourself and associate your work with a few different locations. This leaves your room for chill out and sleeping only!
We all get distracted, one way or another. It’s only natural to try and avoid doing the things you don’t want to do. The key to handling this is to get control over your distractions.
Although motivating yourself to study can be difficult when you’d much rather let YouTube videos eat into the hours of your day, you are in control of your actions. Take control and remove the things you know cause distractions. Actively doing something to help yourself can be very empowering!
1. Leave your phone in a different room and on silent. You can go and check it when you take one of your short breaks, but you can also do without it for a couple of hours.
2. Don’t study in a room with a TV. The temptation to turn it on as “background noise” can be hard to stem.
3. Turn off the Internet. This may not always be an option, depending on whether your need access for research. However, if you’re typing up coursework or notes then you don’t need to be connected. This will prevent you from signing into Netflix and spending the next 6 hours binge-watching the latest series!
One of the most effective ways to motivate yourself to study is to understand why you want to do well in the first place. These motivating factors are what drive you to achieve and succeed.
It doesn’t matter what motivates you to do your best. Reasons can range from career-driven desires, to self-improvement and growth to wanting to provide for the best future you can have. Regardless of what motivates you, make sure you understand it and remind yourself of it – especially when things get really tough!
Be positive about having to study over the holiday period. Having this kind of attitude will help you to stay motivated throughout the work you have to do and will also help you enjoy your time off too!