There are heaps of benefits to being able to study remotely. You get to wake up a little later, save money on transport, and hang out in your pajamas all day. However, it’s easy to get off track with so many distractions.
It can be easy to take a nap if you’re feeling tired, or mindlessly scroll through your Instagram feed when you hit a wall—especially with no teacher around to keep you on track. That’s why we’ve come up with a few tried-and-tested tips to help you stay focused and get the most out of remote learning.
Set up a study space
No matter whether you live in a studio or a stately home, creating a specific work zone will help you easily get into “study mode.” For some this might simply be the kitchen table, while others might be lucky enough to have a home office. It should ideally be somewhere quiet and comfortable with natural light. That may not be possible for everyone, but keeping your workspace clean and organized certainly is.
Tempted to stay in bed? We all know that Winston Churchill used to start his work day there, but he wasn’t studying remotely all day, every day. We think it’s best to avoid using your bed as a study spot as it makes it all too easy to take an impromptu nap. In fact, it’s believed that studying from the comfort of your bed can actually lead to issues such as insomnia, as your brain no longer recognizes it as a place to switch off.
Scheduling is key
Managing your time can be tricky. Besides keeping on top of your studies, you’re likely to have other commitments, such as hobbies, social engagements, and maybe even a side hustle. Putting together a study schedule allows you to effectively organize your time, and ensures you’re setting aside enough time for all your classes and assignments.
Don’t set yourself up for failure though. If you’re not very switched on first thing in the morning, then schedule your study sessions for later in the day. The most important thing is to make sure your schedule works for you and your style of learning. It can also help to set super specific goals for each study session by breaking your subject content down into manageable chunks.
Get a good night’s sleep
Did you know that sleep is essential for learning and memory? That basically means that those late night cramming sessions really aren’t worth it after all. In fact, science says that a decent night’s sleep before an exam helps with memory recall and ultimately leads to better test scores.
It’s thought that students young and old should aim for around eight hours of sleep every night. This gives the brain enough time to rest, refresh, and reset. Sleeping also helps to boost immunity and stave off colds and flu during those winter months. Let’s be honest: minimizing your chances of getting sick when exams are just around the corner is a top priority.
Disconnect (well, almost!)
For most people, their phone is their own worst enemy when it comes to studying from home. If this sounds like you, why not consider getting an app that will actually stop you from using it when you hit the books?
One of our favorites is Moment. It allows you to schedule phone downtime every day and sends annoying notifications every couple of seconds if you try to use it when you shouldn’t be. Think of it as a nicotine patch for phone addicts.
Although you still need access to the Internet in order to be able to study, sometimes sticking with pen and paper is the best way to avoid distractions. Creating online flashcards might seem like the easier option, but the good old-fashioned handwritten one will give you some much needed time away from the screen—and stop you from checking your Facebook feed!
Eat for brain health
When exam season rolls around it’s tempting to stock up on snacks and baked goods. After all, you need something to keep you smiling, right? But if you want to get top grades then your body and your brain need to be on top form too.
Just like your study sessions, it can be a good idea to plan out your meals for the week. That way you can be sure you’re getting enough fruit and veggies to stay healthy. If you have a little extra time on your hands over the weekend, then batch cooking can ensure you don’t lose important study time in the kitchen. Plus, if you’ve got something ready to heat up in the microwave you won’t be as tempted by takeout.
When it comes to snacks, try to keep them as healthy as possible. Simply swapping that bar of candy for a few tasty cereal bars can make all the difference when it comes to nutrition. But whatever you do, don’t forget to eat! There’s nothing worse than trying to get your head around something when your stomach’s growling.
These are just a few ideas you can put into practice to help you make the most of your remote study time. Why not chat with your classmates and teachers to find out if they have any other useful tips for studying from home? After all, there’s no one-size-fits-all way of working online!