8 Great Tips for Studying Online From Home
Whether it is an online class, a shared project, browsing your favorite social media platforms, ordering your groceries list, or simply watching your favorite movies on Netflix, today, it is all done online.
Since the internet became the main medium for work, pleasure, running errands, and more - we decided to put together this list of 8 tips that will make your experience of studying and working online from home way more effective and rewarding.
When COVID-19 hit us swiftly, it changed many of our daily routines too quickly, and many of us found ourselves stuck in vicious long cycles of useless online content consumption. This article will highlight the tricks and tips you can use to make the most of studying or working online remotely.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Good night's sleep is fuel to our bodies. Each person’s body is different and needs a different sleep schedule ranging from six to eight hours of nightly sleep every day.
Sleeping at night allows our brains to digest all the material/information it has been introduced to during the day – this process supports our system for much better receptivity and productivity the next day.
This means that going for an all-nighter studying for an exam or preparing for an important meeting does more harm than good to us – no matter how tempting it might appear to us as an idea.
Basically, to be able to give your best every day, you have to put rest high up on your priority list.
2. Eat Well and Get Active
Just as rest is important for the brain to digest and function best during our studying/working hours – a nutritious diet, as well as a workout routine, is highly advised to fuel the brain with the energy it needs to properly function during studying/working hours.
Waking up early and replacing that early morning coffee cup with a large glass of water would be much better for your body to naturally secrete the hormones it needs to wake up and function at its best.
Avoiding intake of processed sugars for the sake of a temporary energy boost is also advisable; as these sugars require more energy to get processed in the body than they actually provide.
So, replace that protein bar with a banana and a handful of nuts.
Carving time for exercise on a daily basis is also mandatory for better mental health.
Sitting on a chair for long hours every day stresses the major muscles in the body making us feel more tired and lethargic.
Practice chair yoga during your break and go for an early morning/evening run would prepare your body for the best productivity during working hours.
3. Dedicate a Space Only for Studying/Working
It is important to set a space that you can call your work/study zone.
It is also better that the corner you choose to be your work/study space is an encouraging one. For instance, as tempting as turning to your bed for studying or working might be, you’ll always end up dozing off or scrolling down social media if you would choose to work from bed.
So, it is always better to choose a table preferably with access to natural light.
Keeping your study space organized and clean also encourages being more focused on getting work done rather than wasting time fetching your laptop charger or notepad during a virtual meeting.
While working/studying from home can get tedious and/or lonesome at times, these sessions can get you more productive compared to a school classroom with your best friend by your side.
It is always optional to leave your home and work/study somewhere open on your own or with a friend. This, nonetheless, does not mean losing track of the daily tasks at hand or turning the whole thing into a friend's day out instead. Only go out to that one place when you are bored of working/studying from home and remember to maintain the social distancing measures, even if they’re not required by law, for your own safety and the safety of others.
Finally, note that getting work done in public places means there might be more factors to distract you from getting the work done. This means it would be better to use this time for revising notes rather than engaging in an online learning/working session.
4. Manage Time Effectively
Now that you have a study environment that suits you best, you need to make sure you are putting in the time to study.
Keeping everything until last minute will be your worst enemy. So, creating a timetable is very helpful. Whether you use your phone, tablet, or the calendar, as long as you write down important times and due dates, actively following a calendar will up your study/work skills.
Also, use your calendar to set different times for studying different subjects. This time should coincide with your preferred study environment as mentioned above (morning or night), but more importantly, should be achievable and reasonable.
If you fear that you might have missed some information related to assigned work or upcoming exams, check class forums, ask your classmates or email your instructor. Be proactive in asking questions and be sure to jot down anything you might have missed on your calendar.
5. Find out When You’re the Most Productive
working or studying online from home means there will be times when you have to attend live sessions, pre-recorded sessions, watch YouTube videos, and more.
Here, it is important to identify whether you are a morning bird or a night owl.
Will it be more productive for you to wake up early and get the work done or would you get more done staying up late to view the pre-recorded material and finish the online work?
Would it be more efficient to print the material or is it better to listen without watching? Are you more of a visual person or do you need to do things hands-on? Each has its pros and cons and you need to figure out the right balance for yourself.
Your work or study online setting is also important. Does playing music in the background help you concentrate better or do you prefer complete silence? Do you prefer to be in a bright room or is it better for you to dim the lighting?
6. Take Breaks
Just like real-life classes and work sessions, virtual classes and working from home consumes your body’s energy, for this, taking sufficient but calculated breaks is a must.
Your eyes may suffer because of glaring at the screen or you might not be able to solve an issue. Here, you can stop your work for a while, re-energize and refocus.
You can talk to a friend over the phone or go out for a stroll in the park. Nevertheless, make sure your breaks are timed and that you are not spending more time on breaks and less time.
7. Actively Engage with Peers
Engagement could be either verbal or silent.
The former means engaging in classroom discussions while online. This form of online participation should be permissible on most occasions, but it remains important to do the latter as well.
This is achieved by actively taking notes during online class time. Taking notes boosts active thinking, promotes comprehension skills, and allows you to stay more focused. In addition, you can refer to your notes later for personal review, to ask your teacher/professor about an item of study you did not understand or to help you participate in online class forums.
Online discussion forums also offer great aid to make your online learning experience more effective – you can share course materials, ask questions about homework, offer your own insight and maybe make friends.
8. Learn Basic IT Skills
Studying online requires knowledge of basic software and technical skills. Creating new documents, sending email attachments, and submitting homework through the school portal are among the few things that you may be required to do. It is important to remind yourself of how to do these things or to learn how to do them if this is a first for you. Many schools may have introductory courses to IT skills needed by the student but you can always seek the help of the IT department at your school, or your instructor if you are struggling.
One common problem that students encounter during online classes is having a reliable internet connection. As such it is vital that you know where the best internet signal available in your home is, and to have a backup plan for when this fails. Here, you could head out to your preferred outdoor study place or set up a hotspot using your phone's internet service.
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