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It’s the beginning of the summer holidays and, for some, the end of exams for a long while to come. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have anything productive to do during these school holidays! 

Now is not the time to get complacent! 

Conversely, by taking the gift of time as an opportunity to get ahead can be a game-changer. (Remember, too, that you can apply the principles in this article to any school break, not just the summer.) 

Do you not believe me? 

To demonstrate my point, merely look at all of the idiots who choose to spend their school holidays unproductively; you’ll find most people can’t get their priorities straight and thus don’t make progress in life. They may: 

  • Play video games all day long 
  • Take a full-on holiday away in a foreign country or some resort 
  • Socialise — excessively 

On the other side of things, you want to spend your holidays productively as a student — you’re ambitious. (Or, at least, I hope you have big dreams in your life if you’re reading this.) 

Anyway, as you can see, the competition is small. Therefore, it is very possible for you to achieve great things in your spare time. 

That is, as long as you are willing to put in the hard work and make sacrifices others aren’t willing to make. 

Studying ahead is a productive thing to do during school holidays for students

1. Study Hard When No One Else Is 

This is the obvious place to start, albeit perhaps the most disagreeable. You might say: 

“The holidays are not for full-time studying; they are for relaxing and resting.” 

However, life is too short to honour that statement blindly. If you think the knowledge you gain in school will take you far in life, you must spend hours studying each day. 

On one hand, you could see the holidays as a time to step back and make the most of the down-time. On the other hand, you could see it as an opportunity to make significant academic progress. 

After all, you’ve probably chosen your courses for a reason; therefore, you must enjoy them — there’s no other option! 

If you don’t like your academic work and it isn’t the only path to your success and you’re not in compulsory education, what are you doing? 

Get Ahead of Everyone Else and Make School Terms Easier 

Anyway, as I’ve said, you can spend your school holidays productively to get ahead in your academic course. However, don’t just revise and consolidate your knowledge, but be sure to put more knowledge into your head too. 

That is to say, read ahead and learn the new things before everyone else! 

And if you’re wondering how to spend your summer holidays after the exams (e.g. GCSEs) then you can get a head-start and make your next year easier. 

This is symbolic of an exceptional person, and your efforts will certainly pay off. Why? Because when you get to the lessons, you already know what to expect. 

As a result, you’ve essentially signed yourself up for a revision session, with the added benefit of a tutor. So, you have the advantage of knowing what to get help with. 

In addition, you could take your curiosity deeper into learning extra-curricular content such as how your subject applies to real life. For example, it would be useful to take a less academic approach to learning during the holidays so you can get a wider grip of your subject. 

Don’t be an academic robot that knows nothing more than how to take tests! 

Become powerful: Awaken Yourself to the Benefits of Computer Programming 

2. Learn Valuable Skills and Become Irreplaceable 

Undeniably, academic ability is not going to get you far in life alone. If you truly want to make progress, you must embrace an attitude that you should never stop learning. 

Therefore, a productive thing you could do during the holidays as a student is develop a diversity of skills. Preferably, these skills should be transferable — so not domain-specific. 

Also, to avoid wasting your time, I’d advise that you develop skills that are useful in life (your life). 

For example, you could dedicate more time in the school holiday than you could in the school term to: 

  • Touch typing 
  • Copywriting 
  • Marketing skills 
  • Programming 

The first three are pretty unignorable if you want to be successful as a business owner or freelancer. 

Although, I’d thought I’d throw in the last one because it is rarely reasonable to learn computer science in school. What’s more, programming is an extremely valuable skill if you know how to wield it wisely in today’s technological world. 

If programming is not your thing (despite how fun it is), I’m sure there are many other “hobbies” that will (literally) pay off later in life. What about 3D modelling, video editing, music creation, music performing, acting, or something else? 

Students could build a blog during the summer holidays

3. Seal Your Future by Building a Business 

A good fast way of becoming financially independent is by building a business. By not having to work at a salaried job, your income is theoretically limitless. 

If you knew how, you could develop a significant side-income for yourself, subsequently becoming free to do as you will later in life. 

To be clear, I am in no position to teach you how to build a successful business, not having done so myself. 

However, with all the time available to you, you have no reason to not get productive and follow in the footsteps of successful entrepreneurs during the school holidays. As a student, it may be more feasible to work on an online business because the Internet makes it easier than ever to teach people around the world! 

Oh, and remember programming? You could find a way to turn those skills into a comfortable profit. 

There’s no such thing as starting too early! 

No business was made successful overnight: it undoubtedly takes a great deal of time, sweat, blood and tears. 

So, cast your mind to later in your life… Will you regret not starting to invest in your future sooner? 

Time is valuable, hence time management of paramount. Moreover, the holidays, especially the summer holidays, are a blessing. 

Don’t waste time learning: My 3 Miracle Secrets to Absorb Knowledge [Super Quickly!] 

4. Attend the Neglected Areas of Your Life 

While you’re living an unbalanced life, studying like there is no end, you may neglect some parts of your life. For example, who has the time to think about diet whilst cramming knowledge in preparation for the exams. 

The reality is that diet, fitness, and your overall presentation are important things in life for different reasons. Furthermore, an improvement in these areas could lead to an improvement in your studies. 

This is because taking care in one area of your life promotes improvement in other areas of your life. 

Other reasons can also lead to you living a happier and more productive life, such as: 

  • Mental clarity as a result of improved diet 
  • Increased energy due to improved fitness 
  • More self-esteem because of a refined choice of clothing 

Unfortunately, though, like anything, these areas of your life involve quite a bit of research to get right. And that’s in addition to plenty of time devoted to gaining experience in these areas. 

So, the problem is that you can’t invest much (if any) time to the real-life stuff during the school term, when studying is a full-time commitment. 

By contrast, you have plenty of time to learn about this stuff in the school breaks. 

Learn the real-life stuff. 

People productively developing their social skills in the holidays

Socialise Less or More 

Speaking of real-life stuff, are you socialising too much? 

Don’t be mistaken, personal skills are highly valuable and should definitely be developed if necessary. For instance, you could conduct presentations and attend other events. 

However, I would advise you avoid “going out with friends” at night to party or whatever the “cool kids” do nowadays. For the most part, this is probably quite unproductive (perhaps unless it is an unfamiliar experience for you). 

This is because there are other ways you can develop your social skills. So, use your own judgement. 

5. Experiment with New Systems and Ideas 

Now is the time. 

Of course, you may be tempted to get complacent with a school holiday after exams, but don’t do it. Equally, don’t feel like you must maintain the same rigid routine throughout a long holiday. 

Perhaps what you’ve been doing so religiously in the past is quite suboptimal. 

While it might be painful for your ego, you should always take a step back and question whether what you’re doing is right. 

For example, you could drop the Pomodoro technique for a while and see what happens — does another method work better for productivity? Even if your productivity drops, at least it does not matter too much during the holidays for students. 

But remember that this stuff you cannot afford to do during the school term. 

Additionally, you could trial a new exercise or diet regime, when you have the extra time to think about it. 

Or what about a change to your workspace? Maybe there is a more efficient way of organising your equipment. 

Get your journey started: 55 Productive Things to Do in 2019 (The Best of 2018) 

Don't waste your time and make sure you use your holidays usefully


We’ve learned that if you exercise your discipline and study during the commonly-perceived relax time, your life will be easier: this is because, while you are doing extra work, you equally redistribute your study efforts. 

Consequently, you might theoretically study with less intensity during the school term compared to your similarly-performing peers. 

Another useful thing to do during the summer holidays is learning a new valuable skill. In addition, you should consider acquainting yourself with the ways of successful businesses. 

Moreover, you should take the opportunity to improve your less technical skills, such as a proficient understanding of diet. 

Finally, we discussed that the holidays are a perfect opportunity to question your systems and find what works. 

But remember, this stuff is challenging — and with an abundance of time, your motivation will falter. I, myself, have had issues trying to handle excessive time and freedom appropriately. 

So, don’t treat freedom as freedom; you must try relentlessly to stick to your own self-imposed rules. Otherwise, you would not be able to do many productive things during school holidays. 

My Book Recommendation of the Week 

With so much time on the table, you might be wondering how you can start improving your life tenfold. Today, I’ll show you the book that more or less kickstarted a lot of progress in my life as a whole. 

Even though it is targeted towards software developers, most topics apply to general life. (Not to suggest that you shouldn’t consider becoming a software developer — it’s a booming business!) 

Soft Skills by John Sonmez

Soft Skills by John Sonmez 

Next you can actually hold yourself accountable: in the comments, how do you plan to spend your school holiday? 

(This exercise evidently works best when you’re approaching a break in your academic term.) 

* * *

Questions? Thoughts? Suggestions? Please leave your ideas in the comments below!

Thank you for learning at Cryptic Butter!

5 Things That Will Make You Productive During School Holidays
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5 Things That Will Make You Productive During School Holidays
Faced with an abundance of time? Learn how to spend the school holidays usefully in order to get ahead in your education and your life! Then, you can be sure not to get complacent after exams.
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Cryptic Butter
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Posted by Luis Thiam-Nye

If you want to learn how to use technology to increase your productivity, you should visit Cryptic Butter! I also have a GitHub project.

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