Five Tips for Online Studying

With many of us having to pack up our dorms and head home early this year, it can be daunting knowing you have to finish off your classes at home. Normally when we’re home all we have to do is watch Netflix all day and hang out with our family members because it’s the holidays; however, now we’re expected to write essays, read academic journals, and watch prerecorded lectures. These tasks are difficult on campus but at home they can seem impossible, so here are some tips to having a successful rest of the semester online!

1. Get on a Schedule

Although it may seem tempting, letting yourself sleep well into the afternoon every day is just going to make you less motivated and less productive as you go about your day. Waking up at the same time and having a succinct morning routine will do a lot to help you focus when it comes time to getting your schoolwork done. I find it helpful to distinguish the times throughout the day that I am going to do work and when I am going to have a break; by keeping these separate, I am able to maintain a work/life balance while still staying on track with everything I need to get done. 

2. Start a Bullet Journal

two yellow pillar candles with a bullet journal and art supplies

Now that classes are online it is even more important to hold yourself accountable and make sure you are accomplishing all of your work each week. Being able to watch lectures on your own time can make it all too easy to get off track with even just a little bit of slacking, so starting a bullet journal is a great way to organize your days and ensure you’re hitting all of your tasks. Bullet journaling is the practice of creating your own planner from a plain journal, which usually has some dots or bullets in it to help you have clean and evenly spaced layouts. It’s a really fun way to organize your life while also having a creative outlet. There are tons of YouTube videos on how to bullet journal with fun and easy layout ideas, so you should really give it a try!

3. Separate Leisure and Labor  

The Lalacandles Books Laptop

If you have the space available, try to separate where you do your schoolwork and where you lounge. Keeping this physical separation will enable you to be more productive and focused when you have a lot of tasks to complete because you won’t associate your “work area” with your “napping and streaming” area. I also recommend trying to work at a desk or table if you can, since forcing yourself to sit upright and being a little uncomfortable can actually help you concentrate. And since you won’t be too relaxed you will be less tempted to rest or nap. 

4. Install a Website Blocker

The hardest part about studying from home is the distractions. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter are our strongest opponents to getting our work done, so by installing a free website blocker and setting it for a couple of hours every day you’ll be forced to be productive. Some recommendations for free website blockers are: StayFocusd, Limit, Pause, and Blocksite. 

 

5. Try to Maintain Campus Connections

While obviously working from home is incredibly different than attending college on campus, it is helpful to try to maintain some of the practices with people you had on campus at home. For example, if you used to always do math homework with your classmate every week, you can still try to do that over FaceTime or Skype and if you used to attend your favorite professor’s office hours you can still try to do that over Zoom. While it will definitely not be the same, keeping these relationships can help make the transition from in-person to online classes more pleasant and make you feel less isolated letting you have a more successful finish to the semester. 

 

The road from in-person to online classes can definitely be bumpy, but hopefully with these tips it can be a little smoother. Let’s not stress too much though; we can all get through this together!