Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of views on a theme. If you’re a university student, the gift guides all recommend people get you backpacks and fancy stationery; when you study from home, gifting is a slightly different ball game. Forget the pretty pens—what do you really want?
I’ve tried to be practical in this guide, I really have. But sometimes you really do need someone to send you to Hawaii for Christmas. It’s to prevent burnout, of course. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t really care about presents but people keep asking you what you want for Christmas (or Festivus), maybe one of these will do?
1. Noise-cancelling headphones
No, they don’t cut out the sound of whinging siblings or kids, but they do cut down on white and ‘grey’ noise like traffic. I bought a pair for travelling on aeroplanes and never turned back. I hate using anything else, even if I’m just sitting at my desk listening to music. If you have online tutorials that have a sound element—videos, podcast, films etc—you can certainly get a lot of mileage out of these. Looking to put them on your list? Start with PC Mag’s picks.
2. Tech accessories
So maybe Santa doesn’t have the budget to get you a new [insert gadget here] but what he can do is jazz up the things you already have. Trying to learn via tablet? A cover with a built-in stand should be on your ‘want’ list. Lame looking laptop? A nice laptop skin, case or carry bag wouldn’t go astray. Here’s how to choose a laptop sleeve to suit your needs and some ideas for the different designs.
3. Novelty kitchen timer
What the..?! you ask. Hear me out. One of the most popular modern time management methods, the Pomodoro Technique, started with a novelty kitchen timer. The premise is to work in ‘sprints’ so that you can focus on the task at hand (avoiding distractions) and then reward yourself with a break (to prevent burnout). The timer apportions however many minutes you assign yourself to do something. This makes a great inexpensive gift; maybe try dropping hints to your Secret Santa about the kind you want?
Where would you be without coffee? If you’re Grumpypants without a hit of caffeine, maybe this is actually a gift for your family or your workmates. A pre-loaded coffee card is simple but appreciated for at least a week after Christmas. If coffee isn’t your beverage, there’s always beer, wine or spirits—choose your poison. Personally all I want is for someone to make me a cup of tea every now and again. That’s not too much to ask, is it?
If your family or buddies are stuck for an idea, let them know what your favourite magazines are and let them get you a subscription. Voila! A whole year of gifts! But did you know you can subscribe to just about anything these days? Oh maybe you could be practical and get a healthy snack box sent to you, or maybe a membership to some cool courses that can help you with your current studies. Or would you rather a stuffed toy squid every month?
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at CoursesNow.
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