With the winter break fast approaching not only are you likely juggling your school workload with a part-time job, but now there are holiday parties starting up, gift shopping to do, and the excitement of knowing the term is almost done!
Before you get totally swept up in the hustle of the holidays, here are a few tips on how to stay focused before the winter break.
Stick to a Schedule
The end of a school term is usually the busiest with all of your big assignments starting at once, and final exams just around the corner. Back in September these seemed a million years away, but now they’re here and if you don’t stay on top of things it can become even more overwhelming.
The key is to stick to a schedule. This is going to help immensely!
So get out your calendar and write down all the coming up due dates, tests, and important activities. Next, find pockets of time you can schedule in time to actually sit down and do the work, and then stick to it.
Have a Study Space
If you don’t have a designated study space there’s no time like the present to set one up. Creating a designated space that’s just for homework and studying will help improve your productivity because your body and mind will switch into schoolwork mode whenever you sit there. We’re creatures of habit, after all.
Even if it’s just a small desk in the corner of your room, your brain will come to see that as the place you do your schoolwork. If you don’t have room to create your own study space, booking study rooms on campus or at the library can also have the same effect. Or, if you have a favourite cafe to work in, go there!
The trick is just finding a space that works for you, where you can go and get work done with few interruptions.
Eat Well and Plan Ahead
What we eat plays a huge role in how we feel and directly contributes to our level of productivity. With so much going on, you’re going to need to fuel up on healthy food that gives you energy rather than junk food that can leave you feeling sluggish.
However, it’s usually during these stressful time we’re more likely to grab takeout or go for less healthy options because they’re fast and cheap. But, by planning healthy meals and snacks in advance, you’re going to make up for that time in the long run because you’ll have more energy and your mind will feel clearer.
It can be as simple as having trail mix and fruit on hand for snacking, protein bars in your school bag to quickly refuel, or meal prepping on a Sunday afternoon.
Exercise is also an important factor when it comes to staying focused, but it’s often the first thing to go when we get busy. The thing to remember is that even just half an hour a day of exercise can boost your productivity and help you stay focused, and here’s why:
When you workout regularly, you increase blood flow to your brain. This keeps you alert and focused throughout the day, which means you will have an easier time when doing homework, juggling your busy schedule and remembering all the tasks you need to get done. Regular exercise also kicks up your energy level by enhancing your body’s ability to transfer glucose and oxygen throughout your body and your brain.
Don’t skip your workout, even if you don’t think you have time for it. You don’t need to do an hour long of intense exercise to reap the benefits; even just a half hour of cardio and light strength training can be enough.
Get Enough Sleep
A sleep-deprived person can’t focus or think straight. In fact, many studies suggest a good night’s sleep can have a positive impact on learning and memory, whereas lack of sleep can do just the opposite.
Instead of trying to pull an all-night study session, get yourself to bed at a decent time. Or, if you have difficulty falling asleep look into why this might be. Do you have a regular bedtime? What’s your night routine like? Are you drinking too much caffeine? Is your bed comfortable enough?
There are a lot of things that contribute to a good night’s sleep, but the benefits make finding out how to get your best night’s sleep worth it.
Stay Positive and Have Fun
The weeks leading up to the winter break can be stressful and overwhelming. Nobody is perfect and there might be times you want to go out with your friends, have a few drinks and eat pizza afterwards, and that’s okay.
Staying focused doesn’t mean you can’t go out and have fun! It’s important that you stay positive and treat yourself from time to time because you deserve it. So enjoy those holiday parties, take an afternoon to go gift shopping, and enjoy it while it lasts!