How to study productively from home
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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 learning and studying at home is becoming part of our normal routine these days but it is important to keep healthy habits and take care of yourself while having a productive workday at home. Here are our top tips for online learning at home from the Geneva Business School Academic Department.

1. Get a good space set up and make sure you've got the right tools

Set up a 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. Get your tools together, a desktop computer or laptop, webcam, microphone, a quiet room, 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. 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 achieve some goals by the end of the day and feel good about what you’ve accomplished. Be realistic when you plan your time out, don’t say you will study early in the morning if you cannot get up early. Don’t leave things until late in the evening if you know your concentration wanes at night.

3. Know who to ask for help

  • Your Instructors: Your teachers 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 Services: 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, whether it be motivation, 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: Look at that essay, work out what is required to write it, 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

Take short breaks to stay active. It will help you concentrate during the time you are studying online. When you start to lose focus on the screen, make a point of moving around by stretching, walking for 10 minutes around your building or up and down the stairs. It will refresh your mind and keep you focused for 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!

Staying put and keeping your focus in a new learning environment is difficult. Be sure to reward yourself for sticking to your schedule and for actively participating in class. 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. With mindfulness, you can take a moment to experience your environment without dwelling on what has happened in the past or worrying about the future. Studies have shown that mindfulness increases learning ability and memory - two very good takeaways for studying online at home. Join our mindfulness sessions online in November, sign up here.

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How to study productively from home