How to study productively from home
Follow these 8 tips to get more out of your days at home.
8 study tips for online learning
We know that online study has become part of our ordinary routine these days but it is important to keep healthy habits and take care of yourself while having a productive day at home. Here are our top tips for studying remotely from home from the Geneva Business School Academic Department.
1. Get a good space set up and make sure you've got the right tools
Turn your house into an effective remote learning environment. Make sure to have a clean and dedicated study area, with natural light and good airflow where possible. Don’t study in bed, on the couch, or outside in the wind and sun. Having a productive work environment is important. When having online classes, get your tools together, a desktop computer or laptop, webcam, microphone, a pen and paper, any assigned materials, and make sure you have some water nearby to stay hydrated.
2. Plan Plan Plan
Fail to plan, and you plan to fail. Remote study is an opportunity for you to learn and practice self-discipline! Write a to-do list at the start of every day. Include the things you have to do, class times, etc. Then add the things you need to dedicate some time to, such as assignments and projects, or research. Make the list realistic with the time you have, so you can complete some tasks by the end of the day and feel good about what you’ve accomplished. Set your study time sessions by working 30 minutes or more straight, and then take a 10 -15 minute break.
3. Know who to ask for help
- Your Instructors: Even when there are no face-to-face classes, there's still plenty of support available from your teachers. They are the best source of support for you. Ask them questions about things you are unsure of as soon as they arise, so you don’t impede your learning. Make sure you research your question’s answer first though!
- Student Experience: These people are here to support YOU and love to help find solutions to your problems or fulfill your needs.
- Fellow students: A problem shared is a problem halved. You will find that your classmates are most likely to share the same problems you encounter, so don’t forget to ask them if they are experiencing the same problem as you. They might also be facing some challenges in motivation with blended learning, time management, or a specific subject you both study.
4. Set goals
- Break up big assignments into small tasks - don’t set yourself short time frames for big tasks, break them down into bite-sized chunks and mix them up with other assignments or reading so you don’t get mentally fatigued working on one area of study.
- Set mini-deadlines: Break up your study into tasks. If you’re working on a big assignment, you can try to break it down and give yourself a good amount of time to complete it in stages, with concrete deadlines for each stage, so you can constantly monitor if you are on track.
5. Get your crew onboard
Talk to your support network! Friends and family are great motivators on a tough day. During these challenging times, it is important to stay connected with your loved ones, stay healthy, and keep positive. If you need to speak to your parents, siblings or friends why not set up a regular games night or Zoom dinner once a week? Talking about what is going on in your life and at school can help things feel as normal as possible and help you stay focused on your study and the bigger picture even if the world is a bit complicated right now.
6. Move around at break time
Break up your study sessions with short five to 10-minute breaks, to recharge your batteries and refuel your brain! This will help to increase your productivity during the time you are studying or having online courses. When you start to lose focus on the screen, make a point of moving around by stretching, walking, or doing any short physical activity breaks, it will refresh your mind and keep you focused on the tasks ahead. What’s more - studies have found that people who take walking breaks feel more enthusiastic, less tense, and more relaxed.
7. Reward yourself!
It is difficult to focus on your schoolwork while learning from home. Be sure to reward yourself for sticking to your schedule and for actively participating in hybrid classes. Examples of rewards could be making a delicious meal, playing an online game with friends, listening to your favorite song, or anything else that helps to motivate you. When you have something to look forward to it makes you more inclined to stick with the task at hand.
8. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is about learning to train your attention to the present moment. It is easy to get distracted when studying at home, especially with the negative news and uncertainty right now. Find activities that give your mind a break and allow you to breathe deeply, laugh, move your body, be creative, or “zone out” on purpose! Studies have shown that mindfulness increases learning ability and memory - two very good takeaways for studying online at home.