Productivity tips for studying from home

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While the pandemic has compelled us to do all our work and study from home. But studying form home has many challanges. Here are some of the tips to stay productive while studying from home-

1. Create a Distraction-Free Study Space

The key to studying at home is to create a space within your home that has some of the benefits of a school or library, with as few of the distractions of the home as possible. In other words, you need a nook where you can work without a TV, bed, or other distracting objects near you. 

Some students have achieved this by setting up their study space on a dining room table in their home. Others have set up a desk in the hallway so that they won’t be tempted to go to their room and sleep. Some may be able to use the common computer room or study space.

2. Follow a School-Like Schedule 

The easiest way to mimic the focus and productivity that you have in school is by working on the same schedule you would when you’re in school. Similarly to how you spend consecutive periods in different subjects during the school day, you can set a schedule for yourself that has you spend a certain amount of consecutive hours studying each subject every day. 

This routine may seem a bit odd at first since you won’t be moving around like you do when you switch classes at school. However, much like you get used to the school schedule in a few days after summer vacation, you’ll get used to the new schedule you set for yourself as well. 

3. Dress The Part 

Remember the feeling of comfort and laziness you feel when you’re in pajamas (some of you may be feeling it right now)? Now think about the feeling of purpose and determination you can feel once you’ve showered and gotten dressed for the day? They’re very different mindsets, and you can probably guess which one is best for studying from home. 

Something as simple as getting ready in the morning as if you were going to school can really put your mind in a more determined, focused state. This can really help you get into that focused, productive mindset. In other words, if you dress the part of a focused student, you have a better chance of acting the part of a focused student. 

4. Avoid Your Bed At All Costs

Most students have fallen prey to this sneaky trap. We get tired in the middle of the day from being productive in the morning. We think we can take a small nap break. Next thing we know, we’ve slept most of the afternoon away and then wake up not wanting to do any more studying. It is so easy to do, and it can ruin what could have been a very effective study day. 

So, as a general rule, when you’re trying to study, avoid your bed as much as you can. Try to study in a chair or at a desk, where you have to sit up and pay attention. If you let yourself lie down or try to study in bed, you are guaranteed to feel sleepier and not be as productive. If you don’t really have any other space to study, try to sit on your bed a different way, away from your pillows, so you’re less tempted to fall asleep.

5. Take Breaks

There is no sense in trying to study for 10-12 hours straight if your body and mind can’t handle that. After the first few hours, you are going to get tired, and your brain won’t be able to absorb and retain information as well as it could if you were rested. At this point, you can study all you want, but you will not be studying productively. 

It’s okay to take periodic breaks during the day as often as you need to. Mind you, these won’t be long breaks. You don’t want to lose your motivation! But you can take 15 minutes here and there to clear your head, recharge, and be ready to tackle those books again at full force. 

6. Form Virtual Study Groups

Who says that study groups need to be in person? In this day and age, with technologies like Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, or just a plain phone call, you can connect with your fellow classmates from the comfort of your home and help each other learn just as if you were together in class. 

There are several benefits to virtual study groups. Some video conferencing platforms allow you to record your meetings, so you can look back on the study session you and your peers had if you ever forget what was said. You can also mute yourself whenever you need to so that you can multitask, if needed. Finally, the home environment seems far less lonely and maybe even more fun when you have students like you to talk to you and compare notes with. 

7. Get Your Other Chores Out Of The Way 

One of the most annoying things that can happen to a teenager is to be working in the zone, then to be distracted by their parents asking them to do the dishes, laundry, etc. Taking unplanned breaks during your study time to do something else can really mess up your concentration. It’s hard to get back in the zone once you’ve been pulled out of it. 

So if you know that you also need to do some household chores in addition to your math homework, try to knock the chores out either before or after your study session. This way, you won’t be constantly worried about getting them done, and you’ll be less likely to be distracted while you’re trying to study. 

8. Set Boundaries For Yourself 

If you find that you’re going to be working from home for a few days or even a few weeks, you’re going to need to make sure that you’re setting boundaries for yourself that will allow you to keep your sanity while not leaving the house. For instance, if you let yourself study for 12 hours a day for days on end, odds are that you are quickly going to get really sick of studying at home. 

Set time limits for yourself each day. Maybe you won’t start working until mid-morning so that you can go for a run and eat a healthy breakfast. Maybe you won’t work best at 6 PM since you want to spend that time with your family. If you set these boundaries for yourself, you will help keep your mental health in check. You may also find that placing time limits on your study time helps to motivate you to get more done during the hours that you are studying. Generally, the more time we give ourselves to do something, the more time we take.

9. Exercise Regularly 

It is well known that exercising can give your body the endorphins and serotonin that it needs to be relaxed, focused, and more productive during the day. The downside to studying at home is that you probably don’t have a gym inside your house where you can get in an intense hour-long workout. While you can’t necessarily do a full workout if you’re stuck at home, there are little exercises that you can do at home to help you be more productive. 

10. Give Yourself Something To Look Forward To 

At the end of the day, if you’re truly not feeling like you’re studying your best, try to set some goals for yourself and reward yourself for hitting those goals. For instance, you can set a goal to memorize 100 flashcards by the end of the day. If you do, you’ll reward yourself with an hour of watching your favorite show. 

When you have to study from home for a while, it can be easy to fall into a rut. After all, you’re in the same place day after day, and your days aren’t that varied. So positive reinforcement mechanisms like this can really help to keep you going and give you a reason to keep studying. I hope these tips help you.

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