Staying productive during the Easter holiday
Term 2 has ended, and the dreaded term 3 is approaching…
With huge deadlines due on May 1st, and the exam season beginning soon after, the Easter break doesn’t quite feel like a complete break. If there is anything that I have learnt over the last few years, it is that being organised during the Easter break does wonders when it comes to term 3. That’s the difficult part though! Here are some tips for maintaining productivity during the holiday.
View the weekdays as a 9-5 school day, and use at least one day during the weekend to relax:
This largely depends on how you study the best, so it may not work for everybody. Personally, I am most productive in the morning/afternoon so I plan accordingly. Once you get into the habit at a similar time every day to study for a few hours and then relax, it becomes a lot easier. Equally, it is important to give yourself a day or two at least to refresh. There is no point in overworking yourself and then risk draining yourself out mid-break or even during the start of term 3. Take it easy.
Pinpoint what needs to be done:
I use “keep notes” which can be accessed on my phone and laptop to just jot down, very broadly what I need to do. This way, I can see whether I am making much progress or not, and use it as motivation (the less I procrastinate now, the more days off I can give myself later).
During the start of the holiday, I made a note of all the assignments I have due next term and what I still need to do to get them completed. At the start of the week, I pinpoint which assignment I will be focusing on, and every night I make a more detailed to-do list of what I hope to get done the next day. This strategy leaves a lot of room for staying flexible which is really important. For instance, last Friday I hoped to write 700+ words but reached an unexpected problem which took almost the entire day to solve, meaning I barely managed to write 100 words. This is completely okay though because I don’t have a strict schedule.
Give yourself something to look forward to every evening and during the weekends:
My evening motivation is currently watching The Office (USA, of course) which really helps to stay sane! Don’t feel guilty for treating yourself daily, it is the Easter holiday and you deserve it!
Take days/weeks off:
It’s completely okay to give yourself a day off every now and then, or a week or two completely. The Easter holiday is a long time and it is the perfect opportunity to catch up with work and relax too. For me, I prefer to work during the beginning of the break so that I know everything is done, and whilst I am still in the “work mode” from term 2. This gives me some scope to take time off mid-break and energise myself, whilst easing myself back into work towards the end of the break, in time for the start of term 3. I know others who prefer the opposite strategy, feeling drained after term 2, so wanting to relax during the first part of Easter. Think about what may work best for you and try to stick to it.
Find out where you may study the best:
Perhaps you want to stay at uni when you are working, and visit home during the weeks you give yourself off. This clearly lets you see what needs to be done and when potentially reducing the chance of procrastinating.
Personally, I have a younger sister who is at school for the first 3 weeks of my Easter break which helps a lot. I decided to stay at home for the entire break (though I am considering heading back to uni a few days early) which has worked for me because I use the time she is at school to study, and hopefully, I am done with the bulk of my work by the time she begins her Easter break.
Don’t be worried:
It’s easy to compare yourself with your course mates, especially during Easter. Somebody may have already finished writing 40,000 words. Somebody else may not have even decided on their questions. Try to avoid falling into this trap which can lead to nothing but panic. Ultimately, you know how you study best. Focus on yourself and your own studies. You will get everything done!
Don’t forget that it is called Easter HOLIDAY. As long as you find the right “work-life” balance for you, you will be completely fine!
The light is near!
Best of luck <3
Shanita 🙂 xoxo