I'm sure that everyone is having an interesting time adjusting to their new regimens. COVID-19 has quite literally halted how most of us proceed with our regular lives. While we are not able to go to work, to go hang out with friends or visit family (seriously, stay indoors unless it is an emergency or absolutely necessary), and while we are experiencing curfews and lock downs, we as students still have to maintain our academic schedules.
For us as a whole, the largest change that we have had to deal with is switching our studies to an online setting. Despite the difficulty that comes with our new reality, there are still ways to ensure you succeed in your classes and stay motivated.
Here are my top five tips to survive (and hopefully thrive) with online learning:
Join a study group!
Funnily enough, some of the old rules still apply. If you are in a class with someone you know, a friend or maybe even an acquaintance, it always helps to FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype call them to complete your assignments. It is easy to get off track and lose focus when you’re not in a classroom, at a library, or when the TV, Xbox, PS4, or Switch are right there. But if you have someone with the same goals working alongside you, it will be easier to stay on task!
Use headphones when in a class!
This may seem weird, especially if you’re in your room with your door closed. However, all it takes to get distracted is for a sibling to shout at their game or for the garbage truck to drive by. Block out the noise!
Ask or answer questions in class!
With everything going on around, setting a goal to ask a couple of questions will prompt you to maintain focus during the class. You won't know what to ask if you weren't paying attention, and you definitely can’t answer a question if you never heard it! If you can keep your video on, do so. This is not always possible and some devices lack cameras. However, knowing that your professor or teacher can see what you are up to during class is going to prevent you from doing things like scrolling on your phone.
Make yourself a schedule and stick to it!
It may seem tedious at first, but if you have a plan of what to do at each point during the day, life will feel a lot more structured. Plan when to eat, when to study, when to take breaks, watch TV, or take naps. Then, stick to this schedule and your productivity will definitely take a turn for the better!
Set major goals that you want to accomplish by the end of each day!
This will give you a solid target you can work toward. At the end of the day, don’t be upset or discouraged if you haven't met them all, but if you did… you will be very happy with the progress you have made!
I hope these were helpful to those of you struggling to find motivation and focus during your classes and studies.
Remember that it's possible not everything that has worked for me, will work for you. You may do better with an hourly schedule that you make at the beginning of every day, while others may perform better using morning, afternoon and evening to gauge their work efforts. I wish you all the best of luck.
And one last thing! For everyone’s sake, whenever you are on Zoom or whichever online program you use for your classes, please put on clothes. Even if you think your video is off, put on some clothes!