- Create a study space that is free of distractions.
Studying in the same space consistently conditions your mind to know that this is your place for studying. You should also avoid doing other things in this space, so that when you sit down, your brain knows that this is where you get your work done. If you have roommates or family at home, ask them to respect your study space to the best of their ability by not adding distractions to this environment. You may also consider not bringing your phone or food/drink other than water to this space, just as you would in a normal classroom.
- Stay organized!
This one may seem obvious, but it is even more relevant to stay organized when learning online because it is so easy to forget about due dates. Amidst all the daily emails from professors, you may find yourself losing track of what needs to get done and when. A classic planner may help you to keep track of assignments, or if you prefer to keep everything digital, popular apps like myHomework, Homework App, or Egenda may be great options for you.
- Set daily goals.
Someone once told me that “a semester is not a sprint, but a marathon!” You do not need to torture yourself trying to get everything done all in one day. Create a schedule that works for you and write down what you want to accomplish each day. Checking off each task not only provides a sense of instant gratification, but you will feel so much better towards the end of the semester when you aren’t cramming to get everything done at the last minute.
- Take breaks.
Similarly to the point above, don’t force yourself to study for five hours straight. The Pomodoro Method of study is a great way to maximize your productivity by allowing yourself to take breaks! The idea is that for every 25 minutes of productive work, you take a 5 minute break. You can time yourself with Tomighty. During your break, walk around, respond to a text from a friend, do some jumping jacks – anything that gets your mind off of work is perfect!
- Join or create virtual discussions.
Whether it be via Zoom, a WhatsApp group chat, discussion board or anything else you have access to, discuss the material with your peers, even if you can only talk to a close friend. Time and time again studies have proven that the more we repeat things, the more they stick, so this helps greatly with the learning process. Many professors have established their own virtual discussion spaces for this reason, but if not, reach out to your classmates! Everyone is doing the best they can, and are probably just as eager to discuss the material as you are.
By Adelaide Knight