How are the final weeks of the semester going? As a lecturer, things are starting to wind down for me. But if you're a grad student, Thanksgiving break is likely the calm before the storm that is the final weeks of the semester. Whether you are a grad student or a new faculty member, I want to help you make the most of your Thanksgiving (or Fall) Break.
Typically, when you set out to be productive during a big break, one of two things will happen. You will be so focus on your goals and being productive that you don’t enjoy your break and you come back to school completely drained. Or, you have every intention to get stuff done but you spend all of your time with friends and family or just watching Netflix and then you are forced to do all of your work the night before school starts back.
I want to help you find a balance between the two. Because, I truly believe that you can be successful in academia and live a fulfilling life at the same time! So, here are my tips.
How to be Productive During Thanksgiving Break
I shared a video on my YouTube channel all about how to do this! Here are the highlights:
1. Make a plan to be productive.
You know I love a good planning session! Before you start your break, take out a notebook or a planner and write down all of the things you want to get done during the break. Then condense the list to only the things that are a priority. The key is to be realistic. You don’t want to come up with a plan that is too overwhelming.
2. Choose the days you want to get stuff done. Try to choose no more than 2 days.
It’s so easy to say that you want to get stuff done and then just sit on the couch and watch Netflix all week. Just me? Something I like to do is to choose 2 days during my break that I want to be productive. That way, I can mentally prepare myself and hopefully not procrastinate.
Related video: The only way to Beat Procrastination
3. Choose the tasks you want to get done...before the break, so you don't waste time deciding what you need to during your productive time.
Now that you’ve decided the days you want to work. Go back to your to-do list and schedule which tasks you want to get done on each day.
4. Try to spend no more than 3 hours per day getting stuff done.
You really don’t need all day to get work done. I recommend 3 hours of working time per day. If you are productive for 3 hours, there is sooooo much that you can get done. And you still have the rest of the day to enjoy your friends and family!
5. Schedule time to enjoy yourself!
Don’t forget about YOU! Is there a movie you want to see, or friend you want to visit? Make time in your productive Thanksgiving schedule to do something that fills you up!
I hope that this post was helpful and that you enjoy your break so that you are ready to conquer the remaining weeks of the semester!