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Work it right - how to successfully study from home


Studying from home sounds great, right? Wake up when you like, wear your pyjamas all day, eat what you like and watch TV as you please.  All seems great until that sudden grey cloud appears over you and you realise; you’ve got no routine and productivity has hit an all-time low. 

Don't worry. There are a few things you can do to help this temporary transition from university to home studying go smoothly and keep you on track for a successful re-transition back to your normal routine when the time comes.  

1. Stick to a routine  

Love it or hate it we all need it. Maintaining some sort of routine is key to most situations in keeping your mind active and your studying going in the right direction. 

This might seem obvious but simple things like starting the day as you usually would, can have such a positive impact on your mindset. Get up, get dressed, look the part. 

Take your lunchbreak at the same time and stop studying at the same time your classes would usually end; sounds basic but it’s a mentality that will make such a difference to your daily productivity. 

Write yourself a timetable and stick to it. Colour-code it, make it fun, but keep structure. You are the boss of your own day, the organisation alone will give you a sense of achievement. 

Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash
(Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash)

2. Discipline yourself

Now comes the real test. Maintaining a routine naturally comes hand-in-hand with discipline.  

Everyone loves to sleep and it’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing this period as one big holiday. Tempting as that may sound (to some more than others) do not fall into this trap!  

Stick with a routine. Use the time wisely to stay on track with your studies, keep focused and complete any work assigned to you as you normally would.   

Set yourself up somewhere comfy (not too comfy – Must. Resist. Sleep) with good light and as little distraction as possible. Set yourself a challenge to keep focused and stay away from the TV and other hobbies until you need a break (which is equally as important). This is then far more rewarding - everyone deserves a treat. 

As part of the process, why not set yourself a daily to do list using the ‘rule of three’? Write a list of three things you want to have completed by the end of the day. Imagine how great you will feel when you achieve these mini daily goals.  

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash
(Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash)

3. Take breaks 

Keep on moving, get out of your cave and get outside, socially distancing of course. As important as it is to keep focused on your studies, it is equally as important to make sure you are being kind to yourself and your own wellbeing.  Call a friend (you could use an app like House Party to feel more in touch), do an online workout, go for a walk, do something to clear your mind from your studies. Maybe now is even the time to take up a new hobby? You’ve got plenty of time to practice. 

Make sure there is a clear difference between when your working day starts and finishes and when your personal life begins. No one is superhuman and it’s important to protect your mental health. 


4. Stay connected  

Keep in touch with other students and key figures at the university. Everyone is in the same boat. Your tutors are working from home just as you are. Communicate with them, they still want to do their job of helping you learn, even if it can only be in a virtual environment for the time being.  

Just pick up the phone, Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp you know the drill, all great forms of communication to keep you motivated and reassurance that you are not alone. Why not even set up a study group with other students? 

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
(Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash)  

5. Leave all the chores (aka classic procrastination)

Yes, you did just read that right: leave the chores alone. Keep the household stuff for the evening and weekends. It’s amazing how many of us put off studying by doing the washing or cleaning the kitchen. Before you know it the whole day has passed, and no work has been done. Stick to that timetable, stay focused and reward yourself in the evenings. 

Ultimately, keep going, you’ve got this. Just remember routine, discipline and breaks make the perfect sandwich to healthy home learning! 


Stay up to date with all the latest information from DMU about COVID-19 here:

Posted on Monday 13th April 2020

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