The Humbug Assignment
There are few experiences worse than having to bring work home over Christmas break. In the battle between writing your history paper and main-lining egg nog on the family couch, the paper usually does not fare well. Who wants to be holed up at a dark desk? You’re home! It’s the Holidays! It’s time to relax!
Fortunately, with some advance planning, break work does not have to pose a major struggle. Below are five simple tips to help keep your holiday cheerful and your professors impressed.
How to Work Effectively Over Christmas Break
- Cram before coming home. Choose one day before heading home for the break to really push hard on your work. When you leave campus, you should be exhausted, but also much less burdened.
- Work while you travel. Furthering our theme of finishing as much as possible before the break begins, take advantage of the time you spend traveling. Are you flying? Throw out your Us Weekly (yes, I know what you read), and kill time in the terminal and on the plane knocking off some class reading. Taking a bus? Your assignments will distract you from the odd smells emanating from multiple sources all around you.
- Schedule your work in advance. When at home, it’s easy for your time to be hijacked by an important family event that just can’t be missed. To prevent this from happening, call your mom before you come home, and schedule which days and which hours you plan to work. Have her write this on her calendar so nothing will be planned that conflicts with your schedule. As an added bonus, the fact that your mom knows your plan will reduce your urge to procrastinate.
- Work at the local library. It’s impossible to get significant work done when, in the other room, your siblings are in hour 4 of an all-day Wii marathon. To get things done: You have to get out of the house! A surprisingly effective place to work is the local library. They’re quiet. They have study cubicles. And they typically require a car ride to get there, so you are much less likely to stop working on a momentary whim.
- Return to school early. You don’t have to spend your entire vacation at home. If there is any sort of gap between New Years and the first day of classes, head back early enough so that you have a full day to do nothing but finish up your work.
Having work due right after Christmas break sucks. But with clever strategies, the suckiness can be reduced to a manageable level. As usual, the big picture ideas are simple: have a plan, work in chunks, and avoid distractions. Otherwise, have a happy holiday. Just don’t mix the egg nog with the Wii. Trust me. Bad things will happen…