Whether you’re working or studying from home, we all face the same challenges – how to stay motivated and focused, without face to face interaction. Here’s some useful tips to keep you going!
Get enough sleep
Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete all the work you intended to do and it’s very tempting to stay up late to finish a task. However, sleep researchers have demonstrated that sleeping well plays a great part in successful learning, especially in order to process the information we’ve gathered during the day and turn it into lasting memories. Find out how to get better sleep at No Sleepless Nights and switch off your screen!
Your brain needs fuel to concentrate. Arrange some healthy snacks in advance so they’re ready to eat without having to be too distracted from your work. It’s definitely difficult to focus if your stomach’s rumbling, so make sure you’re well prepared! Healthy snacks may include; blueberries, dark chocolate, nuts, blackcurrants, pumpkin seeds and keep hydrated with plenty of water.
Create your work space
You might be sharing your study area with other members of your family so it’s really important to be comfortable, to have the right equipment next to you and make it your own, even if it’s just a dedicated corner of your kitchen table. “Even if this is temporary each time you use it, place some physical objects around you to customise it. Make it comfortable,” says Martin Weller, Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University.
Plan your day
Create a timetable for your day and decide what you’re going to study and for how long . It’s very easy to put off a task to the next day. Remember your tutor sets you clear deadlines for work to be submitted, so plan carefully to meet those deadlines. Think about the length of time a task should take and plan your day accordingly. Recognise that different activities take a different amount of time and/or concentration levels. Make sure you take a break from the screen every 20 minutes or so, have a quick stretch and come back to it!
Prioritise your workload
Think about tasks or activities you need to complete. Make a to-do list to prioritise which tasks are the most important. You can also divide a page into two columns, an urgent/not so urgent tasks list. Make sure you set yourself a realistic amount of work and time to achieve your goals.
Make time to think about your course and ask yourself
What am I about to learn? What do I already know about this topic? How does this information fit into my overall course? Do I understand what I have just read? Are there any key words or ideas I need to write down? Why are they important? What can I take away from my study session today? What do I need to review or learn next time?
Forget about the daily chores
Do everything you can to get any daily chores out of the way first. Give your brain a chance to concentrate on the task you’re trying to complete without having to worry about them. If you get the chores out of the way first, you can relax once your work is done.
Take breaks and exercise
When you’re studying and concentrating, your brain needs to rest and recuperate at regular intervals. Taking a break, moving around and having some fresh air will increase your productivity. After exercise, your ability to prioritise improves, allowing you to block out distractions and concentrate on the task at hand.