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Things have been evolving rapidly with the Coronavirus outbreak, and we realize the disruptions ­- including the switch to remote learning – may at first seem overwhelming. Online courses can be more convenient and are usually much cheaper than traditional on-campus options. However, concentrating can be difficult when you are in your own home. However, here are some key tips on how to keep your study focus while taking classes from home.


Stick to a schedule

It can be as helpful to separate your time as it is your spaces. You do not have to stick to a 9-5 schedule if it does not work for you but identify the hours you are most productive and centre your study day around them. You will want to keep interruptions to a minimum, so ask anyone you live with to respect your study hours. Be sure to take regular breaks, and once your study hours are up, put your work away if you can, and take time out. It might be tempting to keep going long after your scheduled hours, but your mind and body won’t thank you for it. Commit to switching off at a set time every day and establish boundaries for yourself. 

Create the right environment

Your study environment is an aspect that will impact your learning period.  Your study space should be tidy, quiet and away from distractions. If you want to succeed in your studies, it is crucial to discipline your work even at home.

Create a place that you only associate with studying or working; it will help you get into a productive state easier. Although it’s tempting, this should not be your bed or sofa. I know, they are pleasant places to warm up with your laptop, but they are anything but good for your productivity.

A simple table and a comfortable chair can make the cut. But make it hygge – light up a candle or find the spot in your home that has the perfect lighting and enjoy the sun. Don’t forget to personalize the study place. Add plants, your favourite figurines, pictures, or motivational quotes – if that is your thing.

Keep socialising

Although you may miss campus and socialising in person, reaching out and connecting with staff and other students can maintain a sense of community. Use the online systems to maintain social contact. Set up informal discussions via Skype or FaceTime if you can.

You can create a group chat where everyone can log in during breaks and make the most of your free time by talking to the people you miss. Maybe you want to show them your pet or your new funky quarantine haircut – just make sure you turn that camera on so you can keep it fun and personal.

Focus on nutrition and resting

Exams, cramming, and last-minute tweaks to assignments are enough to make the most levelheaded of us confused. Do not exasperate this by overloading with coffee and energy drinks.

Instead, select healthy snacks when you study, and prepare lunches that will not put you to sleep afterwards. Having at least 7-8 hours of sleep at night is the best way to help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start your study during the day.

With no trek to class or commute to consider, take advantage of the downtime and allow yourself to step outside, exercise, or find other ways to relax and regain your focus.

Focus on nutrition and resting

If you find that you need to tune out the noise being made by others around your home, prepare yourself with some headphones and your favorite studying music. Instrumental music—classical, jazz, lo-fi hip hop or synthwave, for example—is helpful as background music, cancelling out unwanted noise as well as providing a motivating soundtrack for studying. Experiment with different genres to see what works for you.

While the temptation may be there to bounce from your phone to laptop intermittently throughout the day, aim to stay off your phone for at least two recreational hours (two hours when you are not studying) per day. Another productivity tip is to use website blockers, and many offer additional productivity features and can cover multiple platforms and devices.