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How to stay motivated over the festive period!

The following blog post was written by our wonderful Residence Life Mentor Rosie:

I hope you’re all enjoying being home for the Christmas break. Perhaps you’re eating far too many Quality Street chocolates, spending time with your loved ones and watching Love Actually for the third time in a week? That might just be me. Without putting a dampener on the festivities it’s important to remember that university doesn’t just stop when you’re not there. Don’t do a Ross this holiday season and forget your deadlines just because we were on a break.

So here are a few of my top tips to staying motivated:

Buy a diary or calendar
If you haven’t got one already, these are essential. A lot of the time it’s easier to visualise how long you have left to complete an assignment if it’s written down. It’s also a great way of tracking all the other things you have planned, so you don’t forget you have something on when you were planning to sit down and do some work.

Set aside an hour a day

Now this might sound like a lot of time to put aside- but think how often you were in university for most days. A good 4/5/6+ hours at a time, right? Instead of falling to a habit of last-minute revision and essay writing, by working an hour a day you’d be surprised how much you get done in that time. One day it might just be doing some reading, another your references, and soon enough you’ve nearly hit the word limit. If you can’t set aside an hour some days that’s ok, just try and create your own routine so you stay motivated!

Take revision breaks

If you are going to revise and do your work nearer to the deadline, it’s important to take rest breaks when revising. It’s easy to want to get all your work done in a 14-hour stint. I do not recommend this. However I know we all work differently but if you like working in chunks take some time out. Go for a walk (even if it is cold), go and watch some TV or read a book, something that will let yourself escape the workload for a while will do wonders for you.

Consider coming back to university earlier

Controversial I know. Why would you want to come back to uni earlier? There are some perks to coming back earlier- often the libraries aren’t as busy, so you can get in before the crowds of exam period. Often people find working at home isn’t the right environment for them, so coming back to Sheffield might be a better option if it means you’ll concentrate more.

Keep in contact with your course mates

A few weeks off and a lot of us will want to avoid talking about that module deadline and burying our heads in the sand. However, by chatting to those on your course about it, it won’t seem so daunting. It’s important not to compare yourself to others on your course but instead ask advice about certain topics or what books they found useful, or not so useful. Chances are this will help the both of you tackle the assignment or exam prep better.

Reward yourself!

Lastly and arguably most importantly, recognise all the hard work you’ve put in. You’ve finished your first semester and over the holiday season you’re going to finish all these other deadlines! When you’ve hit a word count aim (let’s say 1000 words), go and treat yourself. This doesn’t mean treat yourself for writing 25 words a day, be realistic with your rewards. Whether this means a hot chocolate, going out for the day with some friends, or binge-watching Black Mirror for a third time. It’s important to recognise your hard work.

I hope these tips are helpful for you and everyone enjoys their break from university. There are a number of support services at the university if you are struggling. Such as the 301 SSiD, CWAG and SAMHS. If you do need more support, get in contact with your module leaders and let them know.

Have a wonderful Christmas.


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