How to make studying from home effective?

Distance learning presents many new challenges to those who are in full-time education. Viktorija Gaina, a psychologist at Riga Technical University, summarizes the main problems students face and suggestions for solving them.

Arrangement of the working environment. It is very important to arrange the environment in your home for studying or working.
  • Think about which room and table you will work in, what materials you will need.
  • If you are sharing an apartment or a room with others, it would be desirable to arrange “quiet” hours for everyone to concentrate.
Clear rules. In an uncertain environment, it is important to follow or create rules ourselves.
  • Before you start, make a paperwork plan.
  • If you are pursuing a particular subject or a task, formulate what exactly you want to do in the next few hours.
  • If you are not clear about the course organization, the deadlines or form of the course, consult the Ortus, Estudies, contact the clerk or subject teacher. Productive action is impossible unless you understand and know exactly what is required of you.
System and regularity in learning are as important as training. Even if it is difficult, it is important to work on your study papers regularly and at about the same time. This time can also be seen as a wonderful opportunity to learn self-organization and self-motivation, which is so much appreciated by employers. General principles:
  • Work on one task in one go. Music or TV may not seem to bother you in the background, but learning from home disturbs us much faster than a face-to-face session.
  • Think about organizing incoming messages. At least while studying, if possible, turn off the sound and vibration.
  • When you start your work day, start with a job that you can do in couple of minutes or with some unpleasant work. This will help you warm up and give you confidence that you are working effectively.
  • Even when working from home, remember to take regular breaks and take care of yourself. A break is useful for some physical activity or a short walk in the fresh air. If this is not the case, ventilate the rooms where you are staying at least a few times a day. A warm, wholesome meal at least a few times a day and enough water will also help your thinking processes.
Here are some other tricks to improve your productivity:
  • In preparation for a workday, wear work clothes to separate your work time from your free time. If possible, the working space can also be separated from the lounge.
  • Make a to-do list because what you write down is usually different from the fictional and can be deleted. Write down the works to be delivered, the people to call or write, the e-lessons and meetings.
  • To-do list should be written in the evening for the next day – so you can get to work faster in the morning without wasting time planning.
  • Put together reminders for more important things.
  • Often, getting started is the hardest part. Leave the phone in another room and set the timer for 20 minutes. After the first 20 minutes, it will be much easier to continue. Take either the regular culinary timer or The Pomodoro Technique
  • Remember, not only do you have to start work on time, but also finish it on time! You also have the right to healthy laziness during self-isolation. A lot of free time can make you anxious about how to fill it in, but you shouldn’t overdo it.
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