Because of the current COVID_19 pandemic, many schools, universities, and training programs are switching over to virtual learning options as an alternative to the traditional classroom setting. While this choice keeps both students and staff safer, it can be a difficult adjustment for a student who is accustomed to in-person learning. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do from home to make remote learning easier and stay productive. Here are our favorite tips on how to make this new and unfamiliar situation work better for you and your schooling goals.
1) Designate a Specific Study Area
The first and possibly the most important step of remote learning is to make sure that your setup is conducive to a productive mindset. Set aside a place in your home away from the hustle and bustle of high-traffic. Perhaps a separate room away from the common areas is best for focusing. Setting this area apart from the rest of your home will help your brain switch to work mode when you settle into it, which can be good for school/life balance. Finding a place without built-in distractions such as other people, noise, or a television will be a big step in preparing your mind for the task ahead.
While you want this space to feel work-appropriate, be sure to make it comfortable and personalized. You want to make it somewhere where you enjoy spending your time. Make sure you have a comfortable seat and any fun additions you want to make it an enjoyable environment. Many people enjoy having some personalized touches such as a small plant or favorite mug to make the space feel homey and pleasant. On the same note, keeping the space clean and tidy will make it easier to keep your thoughts organized. Take a few minutes every day to pick up any accumulated mess and refresh the area.
2) Plan Out Your Daily Schedule
Establishing a good routine can be really helpful for your mindset and work ethic. It’s easy to sleep the day away when you don’t have a physical class to show up to, but try to avoid this in excess. Wake up early, pour yourself some coffee, go for a walk outside, and prepare for your class the same way you would if it were in-person.
Decide first thing in the morning or night before how much time you’re going to devote to reviewing the material before the lesson or exam. This will prep your mind to build on to that knowledge with the upcoming class. If your class or test is later in the day, use alarms to help you stay on track. If you decide that you need to review for an hour beforehand, an alarm will remind you to start your prep work.
3) Coordinate With Your Household
One of the hardest parts about trying to study remotely is that your ideal routine often clashes with that of the other people in your household. Your family, partner, or roommates might not be operating on the same schedule as you, which can lead to absolute chaos. Have an honest conversation with everyone in your household about mutual expectations. You can request certain quiet hours and try to match them up with what they need for their work or school schedule. If you need particular technology accommodations, such as access to a printer, account, or desktop, make sure to address them upfront to avoid issues. Cooperation will be the key to finding harmony for your households’ new normal.
4) Eliminate Potential Distractions
Another common issue for people trying to learn from home is that it can be easier to get distracted when you are thrust outside of the structured classroom setting. Huge offenders of this are your phone and social media in general. If you don’t need your phone for your schoolwork, try keeping it in another room while you try to study to help you focus better.
If you’re someone who tends to browse too much while trying to work online, there are tools that can help you stay on track. There are browser extensions that you can download that are created for students trying to study. Download an extension that blocks certain sites, such as Facebook, Netflix, or YouTube. That way, even if you get distracted and try to fool around, it blocks you and recenters your focus on the task at hand.
Finding Your New Rhythm
The most important thing to remember when trying to adjust to studying at home is to not be too hard on yourself. This is an immensely stressful time for many of us, and it's a complete uprooting of your usual routine, which can be jarring. Fully adjusting might take some time, but these are just small steps that you can take towards academic success.
This is not a time to surrender to pesky unproductive thoughts or urges. You can still reach your goals and build a better future for yourself while learning from home. If you’re interested in learning a new career skill-set, Woodruff Medical Training has you covered. We have programs for Medical Assisting, Nursing Assistants, and Patient Care Techs! We can help you get started on your career path, leading you into a new and brighter future. Contact us today to find out how Woodruff may just be the helping hand that you need right now!