Tips for studying from home

Studying from home can be a challenge - pets, family members, a refrigerator, a TV, roommates and a bed can easily distract you. Technical problems or limited access to equipment can also hinder effective online learning. For a number of reasons, you may not find yourself so motivated or productive. Some may also deal with COVID-19-related anxiety while facing school stress. Studying from home will require a stronger will than usual to stay focused and adapt to tried and true strategies in this new studying environment.

To make this difficult adjustment a little more manageable, we’ve included some distance studying tips below.

1. Establish a routine
Imagine studying from home as if you were going to a library or class. Set a time for waking up, refreshing, breakfast and getting dressed. If you have a regular routine, you can create the structure of your life and signal to your brain that it is “time to get the job done”.

2. Have a dedicated study corner
Creating a physical boundary between the learning space and the relaxation space could be very helpful if you stay focused when teaching from home. This can also help you keep school stress at bay in the study space.

3. Take notes from online lectures
It’s important to remove your phone, turn off notifications from messages and social media, and close irrelevant websites to distract as much as possible from these. Creating notes during online lectures can also take your hands and help you focus on the content of the lecture.

4. Maintain a physical activity routine
Set a break time for a study session (i.e., every 45 minutes) to get up, move, and activate different parts of the brain. You can stretch out, walk around the room, and take a little look out the window into the distance.

5. Remember your social time
Establishing some social time during the day can motivate you to stay focused while studying. You can set a time when you will be less productive to turn to friends and family. You can connect to them by phone calls or video chat.

6. Create a studying plan and share it with others
Write down what you need to accomplish in the next 3 days, and break it down into small tasks that you will need to do each day. Breaking down a big task into smaller pieces can make things less surprising and help you become more motivated to do them! You can also share your study plan with friends (study friends!).

7. Eat well, sleep well
While studying, choose healthy snacks and have lunches that won’t put you to sleep later. 7-8 hours of sleep at night should be enough to wake you up rested and ready to start learning during the day.

8. Avoid multitasking
You can set your own less productive time on the day you want to attend errands. Set your schedule so that you can focus on one thing at a time (i.e., learning, chores, relaxing, exercising) and know that you will later set a time for other things on your to-do list.

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