I know it’s an unpopular concept – doing work over break – but, whether we like it or not, the work will still be due at the end of break whether we get it done or not. Maybe you didn’t have assignments due the first few days after break, but if you did, and you found yourself struggling to make time to get it done during the holidays, consider using a different approach to finishing schoolwork when your next break rolls around. Following a few suggestions, you just might find that completing your work over break isn’t as much of a drag as you thought.
1. Make a to-do list
I cannot stay organized without lists, and I have one for every type of “to-do.” I have homework lists; shopping lists; wish lists; books, movies, and songs lists; and pretty much every type of list you can think of. It might seem lame, but lists really do help to keep everything going on in your mind organized. I forget that I have to do entire projects all the time, and if I didn’t have them written down, I’d honestly just not finish them. While your memory might not be as bad as mine, it wouldn’t hurt to make a list of assignments that you need to finish over break so that you have an idea of how much time you’ll need to spend doing work.
2. Create a homework schedule/plan
After you’ve made a list of assignments, think about when you should try to finish them. If you have something due the day you get back to school, work on that first. If you have a project or paper that you know will take you a few hours or days, start that earlier in your break so that you don’t have to work for hours on end the night before it’s due. You also might find that your family has part of your days off already planned for you, so you’ll need to fit your work schedule to fit their plans as well. That said, homework is always a great excuse if you don’t want to participate in any particular family activities, especially if you’ve already planned out your homework schedule and try to stick to it for the rest of break. This will also ensure that you have some time to spend on your own during your days off.
3. Do a small amount of work each day
It’s tempting to spend your entire break doing whatever you want and ignoring all homework and responsibility, but don’t give into the temptation. If you’re stuck doing all of your work the night before classes start again, you’ll be burnt out before your break is even over. This makes going back to school that much harder because you’ll already be looking ahead to the next break. Instead, plan a feasible work schedule, and stick to it. Set aside two hours or so each day depending on your work load, and make sure that if you skip a day, you make up for it gradually rather than letting it pile on to your last day. I like to schedule my day before school begins again as a completely free day, if I can, so that I don’t have to worry about doing work on my last day of freedom. Even if I do end up having to finish some work, it shouldn’t be more than I can handle, as it’s only “leftover” work that I didn’t end up fitting into one of my other days.
4. Stick to your sleep schedule
You might be someone who goes to sleep 4 hours later over break than you would on a school night, but consider cutting down on your night owl tendencies. It’s difficult to wake up at a normal hour when you’re sleeping at irregular times, and by waking up later, you’re cutting out part of your days. Even if you try to get your work done at night, you might not be as productive as you could be in the morning. Consider going to bed and waking up at or around your normal times, and try to get some work out of the way in the morning so that you can enjoy the rest of your day.
How do you keep yourself from getting behind on school work during the holidays?