In London the evenings are cold and dark, mulled wine is simmering, and yards and yards of Christmas lights are appearing as if by magic. The UK, along with many other countries around the world, is gearing up for the start of a season of food, fun and festivities – be they for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Hogmanay or one of many other celebrations.
During this period most of us get time away from work or university and we all intend to put this time off to good use – but it’s not always easy. To help, we’ve had a good think about a few ways to keep up with your courses, as well as the celebrations.
1. Create and stick to a schedule
When you’re in holiday mode it’s easy to lose track of the hours and days – before you know it, it’s the New Year and you’re back at work. To avoid this, try to plan your schedule beforehand. Mark certain days, or hours, as learning hours and set reminders on your phone or in your diary so that you stick to them. By doing this you can easily space out your learning and balance it with festive activities.
2. Think of a goal
What do you want to have achieved by the end of the holiday period? Or by the end of December? Try setting yourself a goal. It might be something practical like ‘finish Week 5 and 6 of my course’, or it could be learning-focused like ‘understand conversational Italian’.
Write your goal out nice and big on a post-it note or piece of paper and stick it somewhere you can see it, so each day you’re reminded of what you’re working towards.
3. Take it step by step
A key thing to remember over the holidays is that you can learn in really small chunks – learning doesn’t have to take over your whole day. All FutureLearn courses are split into steps so you can do a little bit here and there. If sitting down for a solid hour of learning isn’t working for you, try 10 minutes at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
4. Don’t forget to reward yourself
If you’re still struggling to keep going with your learning, try making sure you have rewards for when you complete some learning. For instance, if you finish five steps of a course you could have a one-minute scroll through Twitter. Or if you finish 20 steps you can have a cup of eggnog or hot chocolate. Little rewards can help keep you motivated if you’re struggling.
Got any other tips on keeping up your learning during December and January? Let us know in the comments below.