How to Stay Focused on School during the Holidays

Stores are jammed. Everything smells like evergreen and peppermint. There’s a party every weekend. These signs can only mean one thing: The holidays are here.

While it’s certainly a festive time, the holidays can make it challenging to stay on track with your coursework. Fortunately, you can still make the grade and make merry. The following tips can help you stay focused during the holidays.

Make a (To-Do) List

Put a to-do list and calendar with everything you need to do all season, including homework deadlines. And remember to schedule out blocks of time for schoolwork so you can see when you’re hitting the mall and when you’re hitting the books.


As your schedule will be crowded this time of year, you must be able to prioritize your activities and obligations. What’s more important: the Hallmark movie or the course assignment? (Answer: Your assignment.)

Make Use of Free Time

Watch videos, study and post to discussion boards when you find a moment of downtime. One of the best things about an online degree program is not being locked into fixed class times, so a few minutes here and there can really add up.

Take It One Day at a Time

Remember to focus on what needs to get done today, instead of worrying about all the tasks that need to be handled in the coming weeks. You may be less likely to become overwhelmed and frustrated.

Ask for Help

Don’t try to be a superman or superwoman during the holidays. Ask family and friends to help out with holiday tasks, such as cooking, baking and shopping. Explain that you’re very busy with schoolwork and would be happy to return the favor when you complete your degree.

Work Ahead

Do what you can to get ahead with your coursework if you plan to be busy over the holidays. And take care of personal tasks, such as shopping, as soon as you can get to them, so you’ll have less to do once the holiday season heats up.

Take Care of Yourself

You probably know from previous years that the holidays can be stressful. Try to set aside some time to do things you enjoy, such as meditation and exercise, and eat healthy. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. A short walk can help you clear your head and put things in perspective.


Of course, don’t forget what the holidays are all about – spending quality time with the people who matter the most to you. While there’s a lot to do this time of year, make sure there’s plenty of time to relax, relate and recuperate. Remember to have fun!

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