The transition to studying from home means more flexibility, but can also mean more distractions. Our students share their tips for keeping focused with online study, staying healthy and how you can resist Netflix when studying from home…
With home study, your desk will become your classroom so it’s important to create a comfortable and practical study space. Try to set up your workspace away from communal areas in your house and be sure to reset your space at the end of each day so you can get focused quickly and jump straight back into your next study session.
Education student Chris says setting up a computer monitor on his desk was one of the best decisions he’s made and really helped increase his productivity. “A monitor gives you more space to open multiple files and brings a lot of clarity to your laptop – and there are options out there that won’t break the bank,” Chris says.
We’ve all had those lazy weekend days where a sleep-in turns into a Netflix binge. Law student Adelle says that starting your day the same way you would for physical classes is a great way to get motivated for home study. “Even though I’ll be at home all day, I know I won’t get anything done if I don’t get up, get out of my PJs and get ready for the day,” Adelle says. Simple things like making your bed in the morning are essential to get yourself into the right mindset – especially if your desk is in your bedroom.
One of the best ways to stay on track with your study is to stick to your current uni timetable. Many lectures of your lectures and tutorials will be running live at their usual times, but you should allocate times for extra study. Arts student Beth says planning your days and keeping yourself disciplined is the best way to make sure you don’t fall behind. “Write a to-do list each morning and make then make a timetable with all your schedule lectures, assignment due dates and add in your extra study time,” Beth says.
Medicine student Ethan mixes up his home study routine by combining mini work-outs with study. Making flashcards is great way to take your study outside. “Balancing time for multiple small bits of physical activity - walking around the backyard, up some stairs, push ups or even skipping - can break up study, keep you focused & help keep your body active,” Ethan says. Getting outside and getting some natural light is a great way to take a break from study without getting distracted by social media.
If you live with housemates or family, tell them what hours you’ll be studying so they know not to interrupt your flow and don’t accidentally walk in during one of your Zoom lectures! It’s also a great to tell them your study goals so they can keep you accountable each day. Switching off your phone or leaving it an another room for an hour or two each day is also useful to remove distractions.
If you’re the kind of learner who works better in groups and with classmates, there are so many online tools like Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate, FaceTime, Skype and more that you can use for study groups. “Working on my own it can be easy to get distracted or get flustered over some of the content, so it’s great to be able to jump on a Skype call with friends to talk it out,” says Education student Rebecca. “It’s also really important to check in with each other and make sure everyone is coping well with the home study.”
Taking regular breaks is super important to keep yourself motivated and make sure your work quality stays high. If you’re really struggling to focus, tidying up your study space or cooking something fresh for dinner could be a productive break to help you get back into studying mindset. If you work well with music, why not create a playlist of “quarantunes” to help you stay focused while studying at home.
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