The fun season is almost here. Starting with Halloween, Thanksgiving following closely, then Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve … and all the joy that comes with each of these holidays. Unfortunately, the hard work, studying and prepping does not stop in order for us to have all the fun and the excitement that we would wish for. Thus, working more efficiently, planning, staying focused — all of these have to come into play so you can work hard and play hard during the holidays. For your own productivity, MTP has prepared five useful tips to making the most of your time and efforts, and to help you balance work and fun-time.
- Plan rigorously.
Planning is the way to go. If you know in advance that your family will take that trip and spend the holidays at the grandparents’ house, hanging out with cousins, aunts and uncles, make sure you know exactly the dates and start planning. Or, maybe you’ll have company during the holidays and your house will be full and noisy. Again, plan. If you have a test to prep for, or projects to finish, try to work harder before the visits, so you can have more time to enjoy with the family. Or, allocate one-two hours per day, as needed, in order to get some work done, even if your house turns into the “Home Alone” McCallister home and chaos surrounds you.
- The early bird gets the worm.
A key step in your planning is studying early. The earlier the better. Especially if visitors crowd the living room, dining room, your closet and bathroom. Take advantage of the quiet morning hours to get things done. Plus, you’ll have that weight of studying for the day lifted off your shoulders, and you’ll be able to enjoy that family trip, snowman-making or ginger-house building with a breezy attitude, knowing the ‘worst’ of the day has passed.
- Go digital.
While away, or in a rush, make the most of readily available resources which, thanks to the Internet Age, you can easily access. Use your phone to download quizzes to test yourself, or search for flashcards; if you’re stuck on a 4-hour flight make the most of the time either by working on your tablet, laptop, or by listening to audio materials.
- Resist outside distractions.
Make a point of not letting anyone interfere with your schedule. You might have planned to study later in the day, when others want to have fun. If you hear, “it’s ok, you still have time, you’re smart and will get it done…”, or anything along these lines, politely say, “thank you” and stick to your routine. Even if you cut down your time from two hours to one and a half, ask for understanding, make them wait for you, but don’t budge. Again, you’ll have so much more fun knowing you have made progress toward your educational goal.
- Rewards are in order.
Rewards are even sweeter when good work has been done. Go for the extra treats, the cookies, make a long list for Santa. Reward yourself with quality time, maybe even volunteer to help with causes close to your heart. You’ll have lots of joy to spread after making yourself happy with efficient studying!