I don't think a single person on the planet could say that they weren't somehow affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the big shifts we saw was people working and studying from home. Either for brief periods or time or permenantly.
Before the pandamic began (for about 25 years in fact) we've had students and staff working and studying from home.
Over the years, these are some of the tips we've learnt.
#1:Create a regular routine with study hours - and stick to it! Block out certain days or times in your calendar specifically set aside for study. Keep walking past those dirty dishes, other household chores or distractions and just tell yourself 'Now is my time to work'.
#2:Ask for help - from help creating space in your schedule to asking your Trainer a question. Don’t hesitate to speak up if you’re struggling to figure something out. Sometimes you can save yourself extra work in the long run if you get things clear from the get-go.
#3:Look after your metal and physical health - studying from home can often require sitting for long periods of time. If you hit a slump in your day, try going for a short walk to clear your head and get some fresh air. Exercise has been extensively proven to help with physical health, mental well being and productivity.
#4:Make yourself a to do list - write down a list of what you need to get done and prioritise what is most time urgent. Regularly review the list and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when you cross something off.
#5:Avoid distractions and focus - step away from the smartphone! Turn your phone off or on silent so it doesn’t interrupt your train of thought. It can be tempting to have a peek sometimes, but try not to touch it in the time you have set aside for study.
#6:Have breaks - whether it is to check your phone, have a lunch break or even a holiday! Make sure you have some life balance so you can avoid burning out and feeling like your chained to your computer.
#7:Have a dedicated work space - this doesn’t necessarily have to be at home. It could be in a local library, park, coffee shop or on your favourite lounge chair, as long as it's somewhere you go with the sole intention of working on your course.
#8:Reach out to others around you - it can get a little lonely studying from home. Try to regularly reach out or responding to your Trainer. Even just a short email to your Trainer telling them what you've worked on this week and what you plan to do next week can help keep you on track and provide a great opportunity for connection. Or you can even reach out to friends and family to talk to them about what you're learning. Talking and explaining what you’re working on can help keep you focused and give you direction.
#9:Do a daily devotional or pray before you start - take a moment to connect with God and pray. It doesn't have to be long, just a small amount of time to bring your relationship with God front and centre before you study.