Staying Productive Over Easter
The Easter holidays are well and truly in progress now as we come to the end of the second week out of five. The Easter vacation is tricky because it’s five whole weeks of having to keep on top of your work independently, without the stabilising routine of any contact hours to help you. There’s a lot to be done in the run-up to essay deadlines and exams in Term 3, so it’s important that you make the most of it, but it’s also important to give yourself a well-deserved break as well to avoid burning out. Here’s my top tips for remaining productive over the Easter holidays.
This doesn’t have to be the same as your usual routine during term time (if you have one…) but it helps a lot if you can get up at a similar time each day and break your work up into chunks so that it feels manageable, one day at a time. Eating at similar times each day will also help you to feel more prepared and in control of your time.
It is the Easter holidays, after all. Yes, everyone has a lot of work to do, but it’s just as vital to give yourself a break too. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and have AT LEAST one full day a week where you don’t do any work. This is to prevent you feeling completely overworked and exhausted to the point that you can’t remember the last time you weren’t working. No one wants that – it’s unhealthy and counter-productive in the long run – so give yourself a break! It’s up to you how you spend your days off – you might want to just lounge around in your pyjamas all day, which is totally fine, or you might want to plan a day out so that you have something to look forward to. Either way: all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!
I’m a full-on timetable kind of girl, but even if you’re not, if you want to be productive over the Easter break you need to work out exactly what it is you need to get done. This could just be a quick list of your assignments/ revision topics, or it could be a more detailed breakdown of what you want to do when. I make a timetable and set myself a goal each day (for example, if I’m working on an essay, this will usually be a word count goal of where I want to be by the end of the day), but I keep it flexible so that if something unexpected comes up or I don’t quite achieve what I want to one day, it doesn’t throw me off completely for the rest of the week.
4. If you’re struggling to get anything done, change your environment.
You might start out the day with the best intentions, then find that it’s 6pm and you’ve done hardly anything all day. Procrastination has won again. It can be really hard to knuckle down and concentrate, especially when the to-do list seems endless, so sometimes you might need to change the environment you’re in to give your mind and concentration levels a boost. Everyone works differently so this will be dependent on each individual, but this can involve moving location (to a different room in the house, or a different location entirely eg library, cafe, home, a friend’s house, outside if it’s warm enough!), turning music on or off, eliminating background distractions (eg leave your phone in a separate room), or adding something such as a scented candle (I don’t know why this really works for me, but it does). Experiment until you find the right combination for you, and if you find yourself slipping, change it up again.
Don’t go into panic mode and decide that the only way you’re going to get any work done is to shut yourself off from the world entirely for five weeks. It’s important to keep in touch with your friends – whether it’s for a much-needed chat over coffee, or just some reassurance that you’re not the only one stressing out. It can be helpful to set yourself limits on phone usage and social media if you’re trying to get things done, but this doesn’t mean you have to delete every app on your phone and never leave the house. If you’re struggling, reach out to those around you – I guarantee there’ll be other people in the same boat as you.
I hope everyone has a productive Easter!