For most students, Reading Week is like a life vest thrown to them in the sea of midterms and assignments. Reading week offers students a chance both to relax and catch up on studying. After the stressful first half of the semester is over, it can be tempting to just chill and forget about catching up. Here are some tips to stay focused over Reading Week.
Set realistic goals for both working hard and playing hard. Outline the assignments you need to finish and the upcoming tests you need to study for. Set secondary and tertiary school priorities as well. It may seem a little strange to set goals for fun, but we promise it will help. Make a note of which extracurricular activities you want to participate in, the party you need to go to and the one you would like to go to. Prioritize your extracurriculars just like your school stuff so you can accomplish the really fun things and know when and what to sacrifice. There’s nothing worse than partying at the beginning of Reading Week only to have to study at the end of it and miss the best event of the semester!
Tip: Physically set goals. Make a bullet journal or a colour-coded sticky note wall calendar that outlines your tasks and goals. Crossing things off your to-do list is incredibly satisfying and can help keep you motivated. And having a visual representation of your schedule can help you stay on track and unintimidated by the many assignments on your plate because the work is broken up with fun! Knowing you get to reward yourself is all the encouragement you’ll need.
Get Help Holding Yourself Accountable
Tell your vacation companions that you have homework you plan to do this weekend. Tell them you can only participate if they promise to let you get some work done. Communicating this can make a huge difference, because after a few days of doing nothing but relaxing (and procrastinating), your travel mates will hopefully ask “hey, are you going to study at all???” This works especially well when travelling with family.
Work in the Morning
If you’re on vacation with friends or family, studying can seem impossible. A good time to get some work done is in the morning before everyone has woken up and it is still quiet. This means you can’t be too hungover though! In addition, communicate these goals with your travel buddies so they know that study time is in the morning. They’ll probably hit the books with you before brunch!
Study on the Go
As long as you’re not driving, travel time can be a great time to study. Long car rides or train rides home are the perfect opportunity to get a few hours of studying or working done before your break has even started! If you’re flying somewhere, turn that boring airport and flying time into productive time!
Make it Easy
If you’re going somewhere with limited Wi-Fi or service, you can prepare by printing out the assignment guidelines, textbook chapters, or information you need rather than relying on the digital copies (or heavy, bulky books). Finish and print the first draft of your essay to edit by hand when you have time – your travel buddies will probably look it over for you too if it’s easily available. Plan ahead and bring the supplies you need.
Download a Focus App
There are a few apps out there that can help you stay focused. Forest plants a digital tree for every 25 minutes of focused time. If you want to use your phone in that time, you have to “give up” and risk killing your digital forest. In addition, Forest has teamed up with Trees for the Future to plant real-life trees. Other apps like Simple Habit and MindSet can help your concentration with mindful meditations.
Stay informed. Stay Current.