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The holidays are a time for festivities and fun, shopping and cocktails, parties and everything in between. It can be an extremely difficult time to find the motivation to study. And, as if keeping yourself focused during term time isn’t difficult enough, try including holiday parties, late night dinners or long luncheons, and family responsibilities into the mix.

Think you don’t have time to study during the holiday? You’re not the only one. It's difficult to unwind properly when you have a mountain of revision waiting to be finished. It won’t be easy to find the time to study but it has to be done. With all the obligations with friends and family, it’s important to carve out your study time. And it’s possible for you to stay on track with your studies during the holidays and maybe even get ahead.

Here are a few tips for studying during the holiday.

Plan ahead

One of the best things you can do is be prepared for what’s coming by planning ahead. It’s important that you prioritise your studying and know what work must be complete and understood and by when. Do you have all the necessary study materials? If you’re doing an information technology course, have you brought your computer and other equipment with you? Do you have your study timetable figured out? Make tweaks to your timetable if you have to in order to accommodate for when you know you won’t be able to sit down with the books. You should also consider outside factors that will impact your study time. You need to ensure you’re getting plenty of sleep or studying will be a fruitless exercise. So spread out your holiday activities.

Create a holiday schedule

Together with planning ahead, you should create a special study schedule for the holiday. If you want to stay on track with your studies, then creating a holiday schedule is a great start. Find a specific time to study that works best for you. Don’t feel bad for allowing yourself more downtime than usual. It’s your holiday time after all, a time to relax and unwind. But it’s important to check your course timeline to make sure you aren’t falling behind. All the relaxing you do won’t be worth it if you fall behind and find yourself cramming before returning to class. Readjust your schedule to ensure you keep on top of what needs to be completed during this time.

Study while traveling

If you’re visiting family or friends over the holiday, then it’s best to make the most of your travelling time. While on the bus, plane or train you can squeeze in some studying. It might not be the most comfortable place to study but you should be able to get work done. Also, all things digital will be your best friend. It’s recommended you invest in audio lectures and portable study aids such as flashcards and multiple choice question applications. This way you won’t have to carry your textbooks and notes. It doesn’t matter what course you’re doing, you can find digital and electronic study aids to assist you. You can download them onto your mobile phone and have them readily available.By keeping your phone or tablet charged you will always have the opportunity to study in unconventional spaces and at irregular times.

The early bird catches the worm

It’s best to study in the early morning. Many students don’t like this. They want to enjoy long, lazy and late mornings during the holidays, which is understandable. However, it’s best to wake up early at around 5am or thereabouts. If you get up before anyone else you might find one or two hours of extra study time, with no disturbances. It’s easier said than done but it can be implemented. You’ll also be a happier person if you’re able to get your studying out of the way. This is best because everyone is asleep, rather than in the middle of the afternoon or evening when everyone is socialising. So set an early alarm and get work out of the way in the morning. Then you can spend the rest of the day with your loved ones.

Take regular breaks

This can’t be stressed enough. Taking a break seems counterintuitive to motivating yourself to study but you don’t want to burn out. You should find it easier to get through a chapter after taking a short break. Instead of studying for hours on end why not break up your studying sessions into smaller chunks such as one hour at a time? Take five minute breaks in between and do something physical. Moving around will help you stay awake and alert.  

With these five tips, you can manage studying during your holiday. And remember to reward yourself. Go on an adventurous trip or perhaps an early morning hike. But only treat yourself after meeting your study goals.