Staying On Top While Staying at Home

How to be productive, even as you’re taking classes in the confines of your home


Graphic made on Canva by Natalie Lu/SAC.Media.

With most students now transitioning or currently studying online, here are some tips to maximize productivity while learning from home.

Be sure to regularly study in a central location, away from your bed or couch.

Studying away from your bed or couch can make you more productive as you will focus better in spots you routinely do more work in, and vice versa with locations you sleep or relax in. While it may be tempting to take that 8 a.m. in bed, you’ll also be a much more efficient and effective learner from a desk or sitting upright. Some people find that they learn better by studying in the same place routinely, so consider trying that if you’re in need of a productivity boost.

Make daily goals, and follow through with them.

Daily goals don’t have to be tasks like curing cancer and developing a vaccine for COVID, but can be items as simple as “Completing Module 3 for Biology.” Clear, simple goals can help to keep you on task.

Try to eliminate distractions and limit social media usage during your study time.

One way to do this can be by setting aside time for dedicated studying. Consider turning off your phone to concentrate. Let family members know when you will be occupied with class, so they don’t disturb you.

Be sure to actively take notes during online lectures, rather than just passively listening.

It’s easy to just chill and scroll through Twitter during lectures, but you’re bound to learn much more by taking notes and engaging with your class on the topic.

I’m not sure who needs to hear this but if you aren’t speaking, mute your microphone! Your classmates probably don’t want to hear your mom yelling (or handing you bowls of fruit) in the background.

Try to minimize the reliance on wireless internet.

This can help when classes and calls drop due to a poor connection. Consider downloading course materials beforehand and using an ethernet cable to avoid latency drops.

And as always, be sure to take time out for self-care. Let’s not forget we’re in the midst of a global pandemic; it’s okay to not read 100 books or learn 100 languages. Rather, settle for taking care of yourself and coping with all that is going on.