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Top tips for adult learners on managing their workload over the holiday season

Paul Lewis

It is officially the holiday season! And while this means there is undoubtedly a reason for people to be merry, for adult learners, it can be a chaotic time of year if they do not plan accordingly and manage their workload.

Fortunately, Paul Lewis, the MD of Pitman Training, has some simple steps you can take to lighten the load in your sleigh this year. Here are his tips for managing your workload during the holidays so you can ring in the new year (a little more) stress-free.

1. Set yourself clear goals

There are many benefits to goal setting. Students that set goals tend to have more focus, be more productive and have increased motivation levels. So, before the holidays, get ahead of the curve and set yourself a list of attainable objectives to complete, and find a way to break these up into smaller daily tasks. Identifying these smaller tasks can transform your habits, mindset, confidence, and your daily actions. I recommend prioritising any crucial tasks, such as assignments with early January deadlines, getting them out of the way early so they do not hang over you. Once they are completed, nearer the end of your break, re-read your work and go over what you have learnt so the information is fresh in your mind once you are back into a regular routine. 

2. Block out time for studying

If you are lucky enough to have the family around this Christmas, time blocking the days you plan to study into chunks is a great way to help you minimise distractions and stop multitasking. Time blocking will help you to plan how your day will look. When it comes to your work slots, you can arrange for someone to look after the kids for a few hours and focus on studying. Scheduling time into your day specifically for work will lower your stress levels and help you sleep better because you will know you did your work when you were supposed to! 

3. Take a break!

During the holidays, staying on top of your learning schedule is required, but allowing yourself to recharge your batteries is essential, and there is no better time than a Christmas break to do so. Allowing yourself a couple of days off will massively benefit your work over the Christmas period because it will enable you to reset and return to your course full of energy. If you are someone who finds it hard to stop working over the holidays, I recommend breaking up your learning schedule with something you enjoy doing – this will motivate you to keep to the break.

4. Keep in contact with course friends

Whether you are going through corporate training with people from work or are studying privately and have made a friend, it is always a good idea to drop them a message now and then. Chatting with your peers on a weekly call over the Christmas break can reduce stress and help you solve assignment-related problems. You may find that you have the answer to someone’s question, which can ignite a new idea of your own. You can even ask a friend to help test your knowledge of a subject area. 

5. Be positive

You will find it much easier to challenge yourself and complete your work when you are in a good mood. If you are in a bad mood, you will find it increasingly difficult to concentrate and be much harder on yourself if you are having difficulty. If you find yourself getting consistently frustrated, take a little break from your workstation before returning. Also, take the time to see what study method works for you. This could be listening to audio versions of your course online or highlighting keywords in a book. You might find that your original method was not bringing out the best in you.

At Pitman Training, we provide students access to learning coaches who are trained to ensure they get all the motivation, support and guidance they need throughout their time with us. So, no matter the time of year, students will never be alone.

By Paul Lewis, the MD at Pitman Training

Paul Lewis is the MD at Pitman Training, a leading independent training provider, offering world-class office and IT skills in modern training centres to thousands of students across the UK – making a real difference to the lives of people in their local areas.

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