The lockdown poses many challenges but it can be especially challenging if you’re a student needing to continue your studies. You’re confined at home with multiple distractions, no set routine and little connection to your fellow classmates and teachers. Many things are out of your control at the moment, but it’s important to focus on what is in your control. Studying at home takes discipline, planning and good organisational skills. It’s important not to get overwhelmed and to remember that there is a way forward.
Here are a few tips to help you study at home:
1. Make a dedicated study space
The first thing you should do it demarcate a space for yourself that will be used exclusively for studying. This can be anywhere in the house. It should ideally have chair and a table, even if it’s a corner of the dining room table. Make sure there is enough space for your equipment and your reading materials. Really try to make yourself comfortable – this is where you’ll be going every day for large parts of the day so it needs to feel inviting. It’s important that this space is different from the space you usually relax in, like on a bed or on a couch in front of the TV. This way, when you’re done for the day, you’ll still have somewhere to go where you can relax. When you’re in your study area, try to switch off any electronic devices that might distract you and ask family members not to disturb you during study time, if possible.
2. Give yourself structure
A useful way of staying productive is to create a schedule or timetable for the day. Remember to stick to it! Some people like working early in the morning, other people like working late in the evening. Whatever time works for you, make sure you have built in enough study hours into your day. Don’t forget to factor in breaks into your timetable. Breaks are very important to keep you going. Regular short breaks can be taken every two hours with a big break for a meal and a recharge somewhere during the middle of the day. Ideally, during these times, you should remove yourself from your study area so that you can properly decompress.
3. Get organised
A nifty tool for staying on top of deadlines is a weekly or monthly planner. You could set up reminders on your phone or make a poster and stick it on your wall. It could include dates of assignments and tests that are coming up. And even topics that need to be covered during the semester to help you stay on track with the course work. It’s important not to lose track of what’s coming up so that you don’t get overwhelmed when deadlines are approaching. This way also gives you ample time to complete assignments and study for tests so you don’t have to rush or cram.
4. Use technology to stay connected
During this time of lockdown we have lost connection with many people. But when you’re studying it’s important to stay connected, not only to get study tips and ask for advice but also to lean on each other for moral support. You could set up WhatsApp study groups with your classmates where you post useful tips, create Q&A sessions and have general chats about how everyone is doing. These groups should have strict rules though so that they don’t get out of hand. For example, that chatting is only allowed after hours, no spam or memes, and you could schedule specific meeting times for different sessions focused on different topics.
5. Set goals for yourself
To help you stay on track every day it would be useful to set daily targets. How much do you want to get done that day? How many pages do you want to read? How many words do you want to write? How many practice test questions do you want to answer. Setting these goals will make sure you reach your longer-term goals on time but they will also give you a sense of accomplishment. Being able to tick things off a list is a very satisfying feeling and once you’ve met your goal you’ll feel really good about yourself.
6. Practise self-care
The work is not the only important aspect of studying at home. You are important too. And if you get sick or become exhausted because you’re not taking care of yourself, you won’t be able to do the work anyway. Make sure to get enough sleep. Try to go to bed at the same time every night to get your body into a good rhythm. Eat healthily. Filling your body with vital nutrients will give you the boost you need to keep going. Try to exercise within the confines of your space. Even doing simple things like running on the same spot to elevate your heart rate, skipping rope, or doing stretches in the morning can go a long way to helping you feel revitalised. And finally, stay connected. Don’t forget to talk to the people you’re living with and to your classmates online. Human connection is important during this period – it won’t do you any good to get stuck in your own head.
It might feel overwhelming at first, and it might take a few days to get started but with these tips, you are sure to find success. Remember to take it one day at a time and know that you are not alone. Reach out if you are feel like you’re not managing and most importantly, look after yourself.
Learn how to create a routine for kids during lockdown here
Tell us: How do you manage to study at home during this period of lockdown?