Motivating Study Tips to Focus During the Holiday Season

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A recent study found that over half of college students in undergraduate or graduate programs believe that the online learning experience is better than the classroom learning experience. Online learning offers the flexibility you need to create balance, learn at your own pace, and complete the degree of your dreams.

The only drawback? You might find yourself studying at home frequently, which can get more complicated around the holiday season.

How can you stay focused on your studies while your friends and family are gearing up for holiday celebrations? How can you keep your classwork under control without feeling like you're missing out on the festivities?

Read on to learn more about studying during the holidays. With these study tips, California Coast University students can keep their grades up without sacrificing holiday fun.

Make a Visual Goal Board

Any Business Administration student knows the importance of outlining and sticking to your goals. Not only can your list of goals keep you on track but it can add order to your day and help you to avoid decision fatigue. Let's talk about how to create a visual goal board so that your holiday goal-setting is a little more fun.

Map Out Your Study Goals

Create a grid of the coming days on a large whiteboard or poster board that you can display in your study area. Then, map out your study goals, breaking them down into macro and micro goals. This can include things like the chapters you want to cover, the assignments you need to complete, the lecture material you want to review, and so forth.

Use Visuals to Stay on Track

Draw, design, or print out visuals that you can attach to your visual goal board. Make sure that these visuals keep you inspired and motivated to stay on track. Include images that represent the celebrations to come, both on the holidays and when you've completed your upcoming quizzes, tests, and assignments.

Use a Study Planner

When you're getting a Master's in Organizational Leadership, you learn the tools you need to stay organized when executing any task, big or small. Breaking down your holiday schedule by using a study planner will help you to avoid overlooking anything on your to-do list, from spending time with family to hitting the books. Let's talk about how to create a study planner for the upcoming holiday season.

Schedule "Must-Do" Holiday Activities

Even with big tests on the horizon, it's important to prioritize time with friends and family during the holidays. When you're creating your study planner, make sure to add all of your "must-do" holiday activities, like gift shopping or preparing a big holiday meal. Then, build your study schedule around it so that your study time doesn't interfere with your holiday time.

Add Quiz, Test, and Due Dates

Next, add all of your important school dates. This should include any upcoming tests or quizzes that you're preparing for as well as the due dates for all of your assignments. Having these written down clearly will make it easier to prioritize your goals based on the order of these important dates.

Spread Out Your Study Sessions

Whenever possible, spread out your study sessions over the course of several days, rather than cramming twelve hours of studying into one day. Research shows that you can better retain information when you give yourself significant breaks between study sessions, while this retention drops drastically if you're trying to learn tons of material in one day. Try block scheduling so that you can take breaks and spend time with friends and family or relax and watch holiday movies between your study sessions.

Create Flashcard Games Out of Your Notes

The holidays are all about spending time with family, which is why it can be difficult to balance work and play. With this method, you can turn your study sessions into a game that the whole family will enjoy. Let's talk about how to create a flashcard game out of your notes and play your way to an A.

Hand Design Your Flashcards

You have a great opportunity to become familiar with your study materials while you make your flashcards. Rather than copying, pasting, and printing out your notes or materials, hand-write them on your cards. If you are a visual learner, consider embellishing each flashcard with a doodle or image that will help you to retain the information you're studying.

Play Your Flashcard Game with Family

The best part about a flashcard studying game is that you can play it with a sibling, parent, spouse, or anyone else who happens to be around. Have your family members quiz you on your flashcards. If you want to make it really fun, come up with a point system and ask them to give fun clues when you get stuck and need a little hint.

Enjoy a Festive Pick-Me-Up Beverage

What flavors and scents come to mind when you think of the holidays? Our future Health Care Administrators will be the first to tell you that an active and focused mind starts with a well-nourished and cared-for body. Let's take a look at two festive drinks that will spread holiday cheer and give your brain the boost it needs to get through that next study session.

Make a Cinnamon Latte

Believe it or not, cinnamon is a spice that can really give your brain a boost. Studies have found that cinnamon reduces inflammation, improves memory, and increases attention. The caffeine in a latte can help to wake up your mind and body and a few shakes of cinnamon will make you feel warm, festive, and ready to study.

Sip Some Hot Cocoa

If you're looking for a holiday drink that isn't packed with caffeine, hot cocoa is the way to go. A compound in cocoa has been found to increase blood flow to the brain which can positively impact your ability to learn and retain information. The dollop of whipped cream on top is just for some added cheer!

Bring the Holiday Spirit to Your Study Area

One of the biggest reasons that students struggle to stay focused during the holiday season is the undeniable appeal of a festive environment. By adding a few holiday touches to your study area, you can stay in that festive mood without neglecting your studies. Let's talk about a few tips that will spruce up your study area and spread that holiday cheer.

Add Some Holiday Decor to Your Study Room

Whether you study in your bedroom, your home office, or in a quiet corner of the kitchen, it's time to brighten things up with some holiday decor. Pick a few of your favorite holiday decorations from around the house and put them on your desk or next to your computer or head to the store and buy a few decorations that are just for you.

Breathe in Some Holiday Scents

If you want a full sensory experience that will make you feel cozy and focused at the same time, light some candles or turn on your essential oil diffuser. If you love a good craft, you can even create a fresh wreath out of pine branches and hang it near your desk. Scents like mint and cinnamon are great for boosting focus and concentration, so keep an eye out for those scents when shopping for candles or essential oils.

Play Holiday-Inspired Music for Focus

If your favorite holiday carols are too distracting (after all, you know all the words and have to belt them out), consider finding a few videos or playlists of holiday-inspired music that will keep you focused. Many students benefit from playing instrumental music while they study because the sound is soothing but there are no lyrics to distract from reading or writing. Thanks to platforms like YouTube, you can also find tons of playlists featuring holiday-inspired smooth jazz, binaural beats, and more.

Keep Up the Hard Work This Holiday Season

Getting an online education is a great way to pursue your dreams without giving up the things you care about most, including time with family. This holiday season, we're here to help you create more balance between sticking to your studies and taking much-needed breaks to enjoy the festivities. At California Coast University, we're committed to your success.

Do you want to learn more about our online programs? We'd love to hear from you, so contact us today and we'll be in touch as soon as possible.


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