It’s the end of the festivities and it’s back to reality. Every university student knows just how difficult it is to scrape together all remnants of motivation that have been left in early December. Even festive television can be distracting, especially when Harry Potter is plastered all over ITV (I’m secretly thankful for this). But, essays don’t write themselves, and hopefully these few tips can ease you back into the swing of your former studious life.
Make realistic study plans for each week. I am the worst person for creating huge plans and aiming to complete them by the end of each day. And when I don’t complete them, I beat myself up about it. If you’re like this, try not to be too strict with your plan by setting tasks for each day, but make small realistic plans for the whole week instead. That way, you’re consistently fulfilling small parts of your assignments, whilst remaining positive about your progress. The feeling of ticking something off your list is incredible, and can’t be done if you set yourself a military operation!
Figure out how you work best. To remain intrigued and optimistic about your assignments, you could complete small chunks of each module rather than concentrating on one assignment at a time. However, this may get confusing, and you may wish to complete one essay before starting another. There’s no right answer as to which is the best method, so try different options! Changing up your planning and revision strategies can also keep your motivation going, especially if you’re a visual person. There are lots of 301 study skills workshops at the university for this sort of thing, and I have found them particularly useful throughout my studies. Check them out here.
Turn off all distractions. You’ve probably seen that Harry Potter film about ten times now. You probably don’t need to watch it again because it’s on telly. Simply turn off the TV, turn off your phone, log out of Facebook, and perhaps play some of your favourite music (if that’s how you work). Completing different tasks all at once probably makes you feel even more tired, thus reducing motivation. You can save the Harry Potter films as a reward for yourself later on!
Make time for breaks. Breaks are more important than people think. Overworking yourself is a thing, and probably reduces your motivation for the next day. Since it’s just after the festive period, you more than likely have tons of chocolate lying around, so grab a few squares and turn over to your favourite fantasy film every couple of hours or so (yeah, I do mean Harry Potter).
Make time for friends. Equally as important is making time to see your friends. Completing your assignments and revision can sometimes be an incredibly isolating experience, and taking the time to arrange plans with friends in between studying makes for great therapy. Factoring these social plans into your overall study plan ensures you won’t feel guilty afterwards, especially when you’ve had a few too many (oops!). You could even make plans to study with friends too.
Disclaimer: These tips won’t work for everybody! Try to figure out what works best for you in getting your motivation back after the Christmas break. Don’t be too hard on yourself for not sticking to plans either – we are all human and sometimes things get in the way.