Tips for Productive Studying From Home

Due to the coronavirus, students have to study even more from home than before. This can be quite a challenge, as it requires more discipline and motivation. Therefore, I will give you tips on how to improve your routine, time management, productivity and motivation.

Routine

Sleep schedule
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.

Tips for creating an efficient study routine
– 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.
– What is the most efficient way of studying for this course? Exercising, summarizing, something else? Keep in mind that active studying is more efficient than passive studying.
– Try to stay on top of lectures. Go to / watch 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 reading/summarizing/exercising a habit. Preferable a daily habit at a certain time, but this obviously depends on both your day and course.
– If you have more than one course, alternate with studying these courses to increase focus.

Separate studying from leisure time

Workspace
Make your desk really your studying desk and try to only study from it. Everything but studying is then separated from it, which could give less feelings of stress when not studying. After all, if you are just relaxing, but still do this in your ‘study environment’, you could think, well let’s do one more thing for university. No! It stays important to do other (fun!) stuff as well.
Something that can also be a useful tip, is to (if possible) switch workspaces once in a while. For example from your desk to the table in the kitchen. Sitting at one place behind your computer all day long can make you feel bored and tired, and just a tiny change in workspace could reduce this feeling.

 Dressing
Dress like you would normally do if you would go to university. If you normally wear make-up and/or put a lot of effort in your hair, you can still do this (to some degree). And at the end of the day, remove it and go back to your comfortable clothes, like you would normally do if you got home. This can give you a more ‘productive vibe’ and forces you to force studying more from your leisure and chill time.

Hobbies besides studying – not on your laptop/computer
It is crucial to also do fun things to distract you from (the stress of) learning. Being on your laptop or computer all day is on the long term not very good for your health. Therefore, doing other things is very important.

Exercising
Obviously good for physical health, but also surprisingly good for your mental health; it makes you happier (endorphin), more focused and it gives you distraction from stress.
– Take a walk frequently
Start running
Personally, I love going for a run since I was about 15. Living close to a forest at my student dorm, and in the meadows at my parents’, I really enjoyed going for a run, preferably every day, to be from home and just get some air. 
YouTube workout videos

Being creative
– Painting / drawing, for example painting on numbers
– Follow a Bob Ross tutorial; calming, a real challenge, fun and a nice result!
– Try new recipes. Eating is necessary and baking and cooking can be fun, so try some new recipes.
Challenge yourself
– Thirty days challenge in drawing, exercising, cooking etc. (lots to find on YouTube and the internet!)

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