It has definitely been a strange time for us all recently and as a student I have really noticed that my motivation to study has come in waves. Some days have been super productive and other days I have done absolutely anything else to avoid doing work. With an essay to hand in at the start of the pandemic and an impending medications exam as a student nurse, I have at times had to just get on with it and have picked up a few tips along the way which have helped me to study!
I will definitely be adopting these tips a little more as my next module starts soon and I get into the swing of a new type of learning through online lectures and seminars. I hope they help you too!
1. Make a list of achievable goals/to-dos for each week and day: Right at the very start of all of this I was making extensive lists each day which were just completely unachievable when my mind was so unsettled and focussed on all of the other things going on. I found that by breaking down these to-do’s into what I want to achieve each week and then breaking that down further into small day by day goals I was more likely to achieve them, the pressure on myself was less and I felt better for achieving those small things than constantly feeling like I was pushing back the long lists to the next day and then the next. Small wins are definitely better at this time!!
2. Figure out what time you are most productive and utilise that time wisely: I am not a very good morning person, never have been and don’t think I ever will be and I just don’t think at this time there is any point forcing that. So I enjoy a slow morning before settling down to do any work, allowing myself a window to do what I want most definitely helps me to focus when I need to. Of course I might have to start earlier if I have lectures, but I think for me when you have something scheduled with others it is slightly easier to get going compared to when you’re on your own timeline.
3. Get ready for the day: This is actually my number one tip for trying to get anything productive done whilst at home. I really do notice my mood drop if I just stay in my pyjamas all day. Of course some people can be productive in pjs and I don’t wanna be sat in jeans whilst at home, but I find even showering/washing my face and just getting into comfy clothes that aren’t what I just slept in makes me feel so much fresher and energised.
4. Find a dedicated work space: This one is really hard because we are working, eating, sleeping, doing whatever you do in the exact same space day in and day out. And we don’t all have the luxury of a separate office space or desk. But finding even one small space where you can set your work up and step away from it when you’re on your lunch or done for the day can really help to separate study from home life!
5. Take regular breaks, especially for food and drink! Breaking away from your computer definitely helps to keep energy and motivation up, but of course not too often because if you’re anything like me you will end up spending more time on a break than working ha! Keeping hydrated and eating well ensures energy levels are kept up.
6. Get a good night’s sleep: My sleep routine was absolutely awful when lockdown first started, but the novelty of later nights soon wore off and I was waking up everyday feeling groggy and lethargic. Trying to keep a sleep routine as much as possible helps me to wake up much more refreshed and therefore more energy/motivation to work.
7. Get outside: Obviously if you can! Fresh air helps my mind focus SO much. Whether that is a quick walk in the morning, or a long walk at night to help me sleep better that evening, getting outside and away from the walls you are in almost 24/7 at the moment just resets your mind.
8. Remember that not every day goes to plan: I am definitely a fine one to talk about this, but I think it is so important to remember that this is not a normal situation that we find ourselves in and having down days is a completely normal reaction. Some days I wake up and really cannot find the motivation for anything, and that is okay. It is definitely hard to stay positive, motivated and upbeat every single second of everyday. Trying to fight that feeling and forcing yourself to do work can often make you feel worse than if you just allow yourself that extra time to relax and start again the next day when you’ve reset and refreshed!
I hope these tips are somewhat helpful for you at this time! I think they can all actually be applied to studying from home at any time and in any circumstance, but a bit more motivation is definitely needed at the minute.
Would love to know what other tips are useful at this time as boy do I need all the help I can get!
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