The holiday season is filled with endless activities that make it difficult to keep your eye on the prize. With all of the family dinners, friend gatherings, and parties lined up, you may struggle to make time for studying. Instead of going into vacation mode and losing momentum with your studies, take advantage of the extra free time you have for studying during the holidays.
Follow these tips to learn how to make time for board preparation during the holidays without missing out on the festive fun.
1. Schedule Study Time in Advance
There are countless festivities going on during the holiday season. How can you find the time to study while fitting everything in? Taking a few minutes to plan out your schedule will go a long way towards helping you achieve your goals without skipping out on the fun. Schedule out some time for study sessions in your planner, smartphone, or calendar.
Once you have a plan in place, follow it! Stick to your study times like you would any other important meeting.
2. Find a Study Buddy
Two heads are often better than one. If you know a friend or classmate who is also studying over the holidays, reach out and plan a study session together. You may find that it is easier to master difficult concepts when you can discuss the information with someone else. And by having someone to keep you accountable for your study times, you are less likely to skip out on your test prep.
3. Study During a “Golden Time”
Medical students are used to pulling all nighters. However, research shows that this may not be the most effective study strategy. According to sleep doctor Dr. Michael Breus, author of The Power of When, working with your body’s natural clock is the key to achieving success. Learning is most effective while the brain is in “acquisition mode” during the hours of 10:00 am to 2:00 p.m. and then again from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Take advantage of the times when your brain is at its peak. Map out a schedule and study during the times you are most productive.
4. Prep for Studying on the Go
Are you traveling this holiday season? Don’t spend these hours just staring out the window. Take advantage of any downtime by preparing your study materials in advance. Whether you are flying, taking a train, or hopping a bus to your destination, you can get a head start on your studies by packing flashcards, practice questions, and any other study guides.
5. Refresh and Recharge
Passing your exams is important. However, you don’t have to sacrifice every moment of this special time of year. Limiting the amount of time you spend with friends and family members can cause unnecessary stress and frustration. Studies even show that working or studying too long without a break can lead to burnout.
By balancing your studies with other activities during the holiday season, you will go a long way towards achieving success. Make sure to relax, unwind, and enjoy time with your loved ones. A short break can be just what you need to come back to your studies with recharged energy.
6. Limit Your Distractions
Having family or friends stay with you during the holidays? Any potential distractions can hinder your study abilities. Limit these distractions by finding another spot to do your work. A local coffee shop, bookstore, or library can be the perfect spot for you to study in peace and quiet. By having a quiet study environment, you’ll be free to focus on your readings and test prep.
7. Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Passing your exams takes long hours, endless dedication, and a lot of sacrifice. It is important to remember the reasons why you are putting in so much work. When you are struggling with motivation to study over the holidays, picture yourself not only passing your exams, but also achieving your career goals. Imagining future success can help you stay focused in the present.
The holidays are a time for family, friends, and traditions. By taking the time to plan for studying during the holidays , you will stay one step ahead of your test prep without skipping any of your favorite activities.