5 Tips for Staying On Track During the Holidays

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The holidays are a time of joy for many people, but they are also a time where our sense of normalcy is jeopardized a bit.

Parties, out-of-town-visitors, shopping, cleaning, cooking and other holiday activities can throw a wrench into everyday routines.

For students, celebrating the holidays can cut into study time. The need to accomplish the same amount of work in less time — and with added pressures — can cause stress, which also can make studying difficult. To get your work done while minimizing stress during the holidays, consider the following tips.

1. CREATE A REALISTIC SCHEDULE

It’s easy to fall into the I’ll-do-it-later trap; too often, later never comes and you’re left scrambling to meet deadlines. Create a schedule that allocates appropriate study time each day during the holidays. Most importantly, stick to your schedule no matter what else is going on.

2. PACE YOURSELF

You know the deadlines for your course assignments. Count backward from those due dates to determine how many days you have, and estimate how much time you need to put in each day.

Create ample room in your daily schedule for completing all assignments in advance of their deadlines. Putting assignments off will only add to your stress and reduce the chances of performing at your best.

3. GET YOUR FAMILY ON BOARD

It’s vital for loved ones to understand why you can’t be available at every moment during the holidays.

Explain to children, along with other family members, that your studies are very important and you’ll need to devote some time to them on most days. They may even want to help you by scheduling a daily quiet period or family reading time.

4. MAKE TIME FOR REST

Between your studies and the constant barrage of holiday activities, you may be tempted to skimp on sleep. Resist this urge at all cost! Sleep plays a critical role in both learning and thinking, according to WebMD.

Failure to sleep enough can impair your concentration and problem-solving, which can seriously limit the effectiveness of your study time.

5. TAKE A BREATHER

While you’ll need to set aside time on most days for your studies, understand that it’s OK to take a break once in awhile.

If Christmas Day is significant for you and your family, for instance, consider taking the day off from your studies.

However, if you do take an occasional day off, don’t try to make up for all the lost time the next day. Overdoing it can lower the quality of the extra study time. Instead, continue moving forward at your normal pace, and make up the time with a few extra minutes spread over multiple days, if need be.

With the support of your family and some smart planning, you can help create a holiday season filled with more joy than stress.

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