How (And Why) To Stay Productive Over Winter Break

Posted on - in Productivity Hacks
how to be productive over winter break

After a heavy week of finals, it’s tempting to curl up under the covers and hibernate until next semester. But with all this free time available, it’s a shame not to take advantage of it and stay productive over winter break.

Thanksgiving break will be here before you know it, and winter break is soon to follow.  A lot of students don’t know how to be productive during winter break. This winter, try these ten things to keep you active, focused and mentally ready for the next semester:


Service opportunities abound during the holidays and are a valuable use of your time and energy. You can organize a Toys for Tots collection bin, help out at a local food bank or senior living community, or pick up trash from a highway or park.

Not only will you feel great about helping others, but volunteer work is also a great way to boost your resume, which leads us to my next suggestion….

Perfect your resume and cover letter

Depending on where you are in your college career, you’ll soon be churning these out right and left. Improve your writing skills by creating mock cover letters and editing your resume. If you’re not sure how to get started, research proper formatting and sentence structure online.

Create a portfolio

Don’t ignore all the hard work you did this semester. Creating a portfolio is a great way to be productive during winter break. Save the pieces you’re particularly proud of (reports, articles, research projects, etc.) and assemble them together in an appealing manner.

Scan and transfer them onto a flash drive as a back-up, and if you’re applying for jobs, make extra copies for employers to keep.

Work/Search for a job

If you’re looking for ways to make extra cash, start applying for seasonal jobs now. Most companies hire early for workers to help with the holiday rush.

If you plan on graduating next semester, begin your job hunt. Search online for hiring companies, create an online profile, and spread the word to any connections you have.


It’s tough to squeeze in work-out time when you’re busy with papers and tests. Take advantage and be productive during your winter break to get healthy and stay in shape for next semester. Think of it as getting way ahead of swimsuit season.

Purchase and skim your textbooks

With Black Friday and Christmas coming up, it’s the perfect time to start buying textbooks. You’ll often find them at discounted prices, and when you’re in college, any little bit helps.

By purchasing books ahead of time, you also have the opportunity to get ahead in reading. You don’t have to comb through each sentence, but skim to see what you’ll be learning. Then your mind is ready to go on your first day back.

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Keep your socially charged college experience alive by catching up with family and friends. Winter break is the perfect time to host dinner parties, movie nights, or go skating, skiing and other fun outdoor activities.

Attend events

Don’t let cabin fever creep up on you. Stay mentally stimulated by attending concerts, plays or art exhibits. Do your Christmas shopping at antique stores or auctions. Take a friend or love interest out dancing, and of course, celebrate the New Year!


Why not take advantage of your break to go somewhere new? Spend a week or two in a new country, or escape the harsh winter by visiting a tropical location. If you can’t travel abroad, make a day trip to the closest city or explore a state you’ve never been to.

This way, you won’t spend all winter break in your bed. You’re still expanding your mind by experiencing something new.

Plan out your next semester

Pre-conquer your spring semester by knowing exactly what you need to do and when. Review your class schedule, stock up on supplies, develop solid study skills, create a calendar of events, and make a list of goals you want to accomplish.

Don’t forget to relax

It is a break after all, so it’s important to set aside time to rest and recover between any fun activities you might do.

By staying productive until next semester, you’ll enjoy your break to the fullest and come back to school well-prepared.

Image by Steven Leonti

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Kayla Matthews writes Productivity Theory and is constantly seeking to provide new tips and hacks to keep you motivated and inspired! You can also find her on Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha, and follow her on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on her latest productivity posts!

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