Studying from home really has been a challenge for most students due to the coronavirus. Because of this, it is very useful to create a productive online study routine, to still get stuff done from home. I will give you tips on creating a routine, improving time management and study productively from home.
Creating a productive, online study routine
Try to go to sleep and wake up around the same time every day. Depending on the amount of work you have to do in the weekend, look if you want to continue this then. It makes it easier to continue the routine on Monday.
Include breaks, both short and long breaks
Breaks, both short (5-10 minutes) and long (30 minutes – 1 hour), are necessary to clear your mind and increase productivity and concentration after the break Try to avoid your computer during these breaks, as you probably are already on your computer all day long.
Ideas for long breaks: take a walk or go for a run, cook/bake and eat with someone (or alone of course), read a book or magazine, (less fun) do chores (needed to be done anyway)
Ideas for short breaks: get some fresh air outside, drink a cup of coffee or tea, do some yoga.
Are you a morning, afternoon or evening person?
The advantage of studying from home is that it gives you more freedom in studying in when to study. This could also be a pitfall as it requires more discipline, but still can be seen as an advantage of well, mainly when you are not a morning person. Of course, this also depends on your university and course, but if you have more freedom in managing your study time, adapt this to the time of the day you are most productive.
Look at your current schedule
This could involve some confrontation with yourself, especially when it comes to social media.
A more extensive way to take a good look at your current schedule, is to write down every half hour what you’ve done the past thirty minutes, for the whole week. At the end of the week, so can see how you are arranging your time; what goes well? What could go better?
Making a good planning – Time Management
A good study routine starts with a clear planning. Begin with taking a good look at the important dates of the course/subject. When are deadlines? When is the exam? Write these down in your planner for a good overview. After that, take a look at and plan the lectures, group work, etc.
Plan the readings, summarizing, exercising, writing the assignments globally (preferably on the computer). This does not have to be really precise, as you do not know how much time all the tasks are going to take. Still, it is important to have a global overview of what your upcoming weeks are going to look like. While planning, be realistic and rather plan too much time for tasks than too little
Plan activities unrelated to studying
Also plan and do activities unrelated to studying between deadlines, study days and in the evening. Alternating with studying and fun activities will keep you motivated and will avoid getting overworked.
At the beginning of every week, make the tasks for the upcoming week more concrete and make a clear planning. While doing this, take a look at the previous week: what did you not finish last week and do have to catch up? Does the planning have to be more realistic or not?
Of course, you can also make a planning per day. However, it is good to keep an overview of the entire week, so in my opinion weekly plannings are the most effective.
– Not too big tasks; split one big task up in smaller tasks, so that you will feel less overwhelmed
– Not too many tasks, not too less; find the balance, although this is difficult and takes some time
– Make priorities and underline them
– Find out what is best for you: starting with an easy task to get into the ‘zone’, or starting with a difficult task to just have that done.
Studying productively online
Look at your most efficient way of studying
What is the most efficient way of studying for this course and what is the learning style you work the most effectively? Exercising, summarizing, reading or something else? Having this figured out, can save a lot of study time. Keep in mind that active studying is more efficient than passive studying. In this article, I give you tips on how to study productive and active. Productive studying: study active
Set study goals
Setting goals increases productivity, as you work towards something, which gives motivation. Setting goals also gives more structure and therefore discipline in our life. If you would like to read more tips on how to set (study) goals: read this article. Setting (study) goals
Stay on top op lectures
Try to stay on top of lectures. Go to all lectures and make sure your notes are clear and complete. If not, do some research yourself at the internet after the lecture or ask someone.
Make studying a daily routine; study habit
Make reading/summarizing/exercising a habit. Preferable a daily habit at a certain time, but this obviously depends on both your day and course.
Alternate your ways of studying. For example, one hour of summarizing followed by one hour of exercising, a break, and then the same over again. In this way you get less bored and more focused. If you have more than one course, alternate with studying these courses, also to increase focus and avoid quitting studying because of the boredom.