With classes finishing up at home, students must find new places to do their studying. Photo by Sonja Brandt.
By Janis Wagner
If you are having a hard time staying focused on online homework, here are a few ideas to help focus and make the most of your study time at home.
1. Establish a Routine
Keep or modify your old morning routine to help yourself get moving in the morning. Routines are a great way to plow through waking up without making a ton of decisions while you are still groggy. Some examples of things to incorporate into your online school day are:
- Wake up at the same time every day and shower
- Set out your clothes for the next day the night before
- Start writing a journal
- Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time every day
- Create a daily exercise time
2. Create a Study Space
Since campus resources are no longer available, create your own. Set up a space in your home that is dedicated for specifically school work. Clear your desk of all other distractions and arrange it to best suit your needs. Keep your notes and textbooks close by and organized by class time during the day so you don’t have to get up and leave to find them.
3. Change up your Study Music
Stuck in a study rut? Switch up your study playlists to a new genre to put yourself into a different headspace if you’re getting bored with the repetition. This is an opportunity to explore new music that normally you would not think to try. Plus, it’s a great way to branch out and keep things fresh.
4. Structure your Time
Since regular class schedules provide the most structure for our days, it is important to create your own schedule based around those classes. Use a planner to block out time dedicated to study, but do not forget to also block out time for fun too. Reward yourself with free time when you have been productive, generally around 10 to 15 minutes of break time before resuming your studies.
5. Take a Break From the News
While it’s important to stay informed, do not be afraid to remove yourself from the drive-by news cycle and destress. It can be easy to overload yourself with too much information, when in reality there is very little you can control outside of your sphere of influence. In addition, overwhelming amounts of news can create conflict within your family, so try to create a healthy exposure. Enjoy the moment, find pleasure in the little things. The press will be there tomorrow, but the time you have in the present is limited.
6. Stay Connected with your Friends
Being home away from campus and our friends can be frustrating, but make the effort to reach out and stay in touch. Although we can’t interact face to face, there are a lot of ways to have fun online. FaceTime or Zoom are great tools to chat, and lots of traditional board games, such as Catan or Scrabble, can be played online. Try to schedule a Bible study or get involved with Concordia’s online chapel services as well.
7. Take advantage of the Online Platforms
Although this is an entirely new method of learning for most of us, there are a lot of ways to make the most of the experience. Enjoy the freedom of online learning and take the opportunity to sleep in an extra hour. Work ahead if your professor posts homework early and do not be afraid to ask for help. Use online tools to meet up with your study groups and collaborate as well.
Getting your heartrate up a few times a week can help make you more alert. A healthy amount of exercise can shake off some of the drowsiness from being indoors and help boost your motivation to complete assignments. If you get bored of the same workouts, there are a ton online that can help you switch up your routine.
9. Eat Well
Just like exercise, a good diet can help you feel better and give you more energy to focus and power through each day. Try out new recipes, change up ingredients, and watch what you eat so that your energy levels and memory can stay well-trained for the end of the semester.
10. Take a Break from your Phone
With all the distractions present at home, it can be helpful to set aside some time away from all of the screens. Instead of picking up your phone when you get bored, find something else to rejuvenate yourself. Some ideas include:
- Read a book
- If you can, (obeying social distancing) take a walk in nature
- Play a board game
- Do a devotion
- Journal about your day
All in all, trying these tips will help you to organize your surroundings and make the most out of being home for the conclusion of the semester.