It’s no secret that everything gets harder in the wintertime. It’s cold out, and nobody wants to put in the extra effort to layer up and face the low temperatures outside to get to the library. So, you don’t. You stay in the comfort of your warm dorm room bed, a blanket wrapped around you as you tell yourself you’ll be just as productive in bed as you would be at the library. We all know this is a lie. You get too comfortable or distracted, and suddenly hours have passed by and you have a mere paragraph written of your paper due the next day. So, how does one escape this inevitable winter slump? Honestly, I wish I knew the answer to this question, but as a sophomore now at Holy Cross who has endured the winter here once before, I can at least offer a few tips that I have found to be (somewhat) helpful in promoting productivity when it seems impossible.
- Set plans, stick to them, and don’t do it alone:
It’s easier to actually do something when you know you have set aside time for it. Make plans with a friend or multiple friends to go to the library and do homework together, or take a study break by registering for a group exercise class together. It’s harder to bail when you know other people are involved in your plans too.
- Put your phone on DND:
I’m definitely guilty of not doing this when I need to, but if you have a huge paper due or a final exam you need to study for and know you’re going to be tempted to pick up your phone, silence all notifications, put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode, or just leave your phone in your dorm room altogether. Without distractions, it’s amazing how much and how quickly you can get work done.
- Avoid burnout, give yourself a break:
It’s hard to be productive when you’re tired, stressed, and overworked. Giving yourself time to rest and focus on something other than academics. Getting your mind off of that essay you’re stumped on may help to clear your mind so that newer, stronger ideas may be generated. Also, prioritizing sleep and health is especially important as winter (and cold season) approaches. I promise you it’s a hundred times harder to feel motivated when you’re sick.