With the holidays and winter break approaching, it can be easy for students to lose drive and motivation at school. Curling up with a good book, playing in the snow, spending time with family, shopping for Christmas presents, or making seasonal treats may suddenly seem more appealing than finishing an assignment or project.

If you’re finding your students are losing momentum this holiday season and want to up your productivity game, here are five tips for helping them stay motivated.

  • Schedule more breaks. It may seem counterintuitive, but if students are feeling tired, unmotivated or distracted, they may need more time away from their desk or computer. Schedule breaks for stretching, art or creative activities during the school day.
  • Try mindfulness or meditation. The holidays can be a socially busy time and highlight the complexities of interpersonal relationships. Family stress and holiday events can cause high levels of distraction. Meditation and mindfulness practices help clear the mind and improve focus on the task at hand.
  • Encourage self care. Schedules can be thrown off during the holidays, but it is important to maintain a self care routine that refreshes your mind, body and spirit. Encourage your students to get enough sleep, exercise and nutrients to keep them feeling healthy and motivated.
  • Don’t multitask. Juggling too many tasks at the same time can sometimes lead to burnout and stress instead of improving productivity. Encourage your students to focus on one task at a time to improve focus.
  • Try work sprints. Sprints are short, predetermined windows of work or study time with high energy and focus. The concept behind sprints is that it is easier to produce high quality work in small, dedicated chunks of time with breaks in between. Try breaking school work into sprints instead of asking students to focus for multiple hours at a time.