Corona& uni: 5 tips on how to be productive when studying at home

[email protected]: no contact, home office, [email protected], event cancellations – the COVID 19 forces us all to rethink our daily routine as we are used to it. For us students, it wasn’t an issue until recently, it just interfered with our travel or changed the way we worked.

But now with Start the semester we also have to reschedule: Uni from home? How to do it? How can we be productive despite the distractions of "home study"? We’ve put together 5 tips to help you make good use of your current home-uni time.

1. Create a good working atmosphere

Although it may be tempting to chill in bed all day, not even take off your pajamas and simply attend the online lecture from bed – this certainly does not promote learning success.

Therefore our first tip is:

Pull yourself sensible on, as if you wanted to go to university. This way your body gets a different posture directly, you don’t think about relaxing all the time because you don’t have the very most comfortable clothes on.

Make your bed: so on the one hand you prevent your bed from calling you temptingly, on the other hand you have already done a first deed – this small step can give you a first moment of success that motivates you!

Create a fixed place for the university. If you have a desk in the apartment or your shared room – use it! Make room for your laptop or your Ipad, your university documents and for you still necessary utensils. Make sure that you use this space only for university. Here’s how you’ll be much more productive and better able to focus on uni in this place. No desk there? Then use another suitable table – but don’t swerve to the couch or bed. Your body should, if feasible, sit up straight while studying – this is not only much healthier for your back, but also helps concentration additionally!

Last Tip: If you ever have a long uni day ahead of you, grab your favorite snacks and pack them near you so you can reach them from your seat. Of course, it’s better that these snacks don’t contain too much sugar – this will only drag you down even more in the long run (and reduce concentration). But also Water is important – put it close to you, so you don’t forget to drink!

In general, everyone is different: some people can study better sitting in complete chaos with sweatpants – you have to find out for yourself where you can concentrate better.

2. Plan your day

Yes, I know it sounds super stuffy and rather only something for exemplary students – but it can also help you a lot! What exactly is meant?

Since you are at home all day, some lectures are only available as recordings, others can only be viewed live at certain times, it makes sense for your learning success if you plan your day.

Meant is: When do you get up? When do you have breakfast, when do you start to study?? When is which lecture? When do you take time for sports? when do you go shopping, when do you cook lunch/dinner for yourself? From when CHILL you really and do nothing more for the university?

From my own experience, I can only recommend you to do everything Detailed to plan. This way, you won’t be stuck in the university material forever, even though you’ve been hungry for a long time.

Again, it depends on each individual: you are an early riser already productive in the morning? Take advantage of this and actively set an early alarm, even if evtl. getting up in the morning is not so great. You are rather productive in the evening? All right, then study more in the evening and do the cooking and shopping beforehand!

Your day could look like this, for example:

7:30 a.m.: alarm clock rings – get up& wash/ shower

8:15 a.m.: eat breakfast and do the dishes/clean up

9:00 a.m.: First learning sprint for university

10:00 am: online lecture starts

11:30: If you still have to: go shopping, otherwise cook or study some more at university

12:00: Cook, eat, take advantage of the break

14:00 o’clock: Online lecture the 2. starts

15:30: Make yourself a coffee, use the break

16:00: lectures continue/ you have to do exercises

6:00 p.m.: Time to work out at Home Sport

19:00: Cooking/dinner& Break = or closing time

As said, this is only an example – Just adjust your day to suit you. For such a planning it is recommended to use a calendar – for example Google Calendar, so that you have everything available online.

Last Tip: Use the break time as a real break, the study time for studying. We get distracted easily and then want to do many things at the same time – that goes? At the expense of your productivity yes! You end up doing a lot of things halay and not really getting anything done.

Additional: You need real breaks. Your head sits all day in front of the laptop, trying to listen intently and still learn something – at some point you need to switch off. Then just sitting in front of your cell phone or watching TV might help you. mentally switch off – but again you are sitting in front of a screen. Therefore times go out for some air – Topical, clear, alone – good to just switch off and get your focus back.

3. Make a study plan

Especially in the time when you sit at home all day, don’t really have contact to others and have to motivate yourself to get up every day anew, a study plan can help you. By having a plan where you set daily goals, you’ll get more structure as well as Feelings of success at the end of a good day. Even if you set the schedule yourself and thus set your own goals/deadlines, this kind of stress or pressure can help you really get your stuff done.

For the plan you can, for example, first write down what you need to do per university course: Exercises calculate? Exercises and lectures possibly. Repeat weekly, since you have not completely understood the material? Make flashcards or summarize each lecture? For sure there are a lot of other tasks – especially if you have courses with group work or assignments. So from my own experience I can really advise you to use such a plan – it will give you a clear overview and you don’t panic because you have to do so much and don’t know where to start.

Now that you know what you have to do, you can plan when you want to do what – ideally also according to the lecture schedule. Based on this you can then Daily goals set: Today you want to calculate that exercise, summarize everything for that lecture or manage that part of the term paper?

All right – when you reach your goal at the end of the day, you’ll feel super productive and motivated for the next days! Without a goal you usually don’t know if you have done anything at all – make yourself aware of your success.

And if you ever have days where you don’t reach your goal – bygones be bygones. Don’t let it get you down and just try to rework your university schedule. Of course you should not constantly reschedule, but to be constantly behind the plan is not really motivating, so try to estimate your productivity well – this can also help you in the future in the job very well.

4. Enjoy the extra time

Depending on how far away you live from the university, how much time you need to get to class or to your part-time job and to the gym: you have all this extra time now, because you unfortunately stay at home the whole day. But it also has something good – you have more time!

Even though it may not seem like much at first, if you do the math, it’s certainly not a little extra time that would otherwise be "lost". So use this time, but please not to hang out on Instagram 24/7.

Do the things that make you happy (Insta makes you happy)? Okay fine, then go on Insta). What I rather mean is: listen to music, read a book, cook elaborately, exercise more than usual, call friends – whatever gets you happy makes! But switching off is also a part of it – so what helps you to relax?? Get some peace and quiet and do something completely different? Now you have time – so don’t waste those extra hours in bed or on social media.

5. stay in contact

During the semester break you lost contact with your fellow students, because many of them were traveling or staying with their parents? You were looking forward to seeing everyone again in college? Yes, unfortunately that can’t happen currently – but still it makes sense if you expand the contact again. Not only so that you are socially active and exchange with your university friends, also simply to deepen the learned material of the online lectures among each other.

You wonder what I mean? Well, normally you talk with your fellow students after a lecture or exercise – maybe about the content or just like that. That is currently not possible, so just talk to each other on the phone, even if it’s just about how much material the course is or how boring the lecture was. Contact helps you to have a normal university day and you motivate each other to attend lectures from home.

Pro Tip: Make appointments for the online lectures – call each other beforehand, be on Zoom Call together – whatever, but do it together. So you can endure the bad lecture together, chat about it and have the social contact that is really missing in the current time.

Bottom line: make something of it!

As you can see, you can use the current stay-at-home time to be really productive and start your semester successfully right from home. Don’t just sit through the time – afterwards you have to catch up a lot and fall back into university stress. So make something out of it!

PS: If you’ve ever wanted to work in an online team, manage your time better and become more efficient, JOIN THE TEAM. AIESEC currently has open positions in the teams – apply and learn about working in an international online team!

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