My top tips for studying at home

Who would have thought our last term would’ve ended like this? It seems like a sci-fi film to me at times. But I hope you’re all keeping safe and trying to maintain some normality in your day-to-day lives.

As a third year, I’ve been trying to do assignments and my dissertation to the best of my ability. But it hasn’t come without its challenges. So, I thought I would compile a list of helpful tricks and top tips that will hopefully get you through the lockdown blues and motivate you to do your work as best as you possibly can in these trying circumstances.

Find a space you can work in

It may be difficult for some of you but try your best to not work from your bed. If you’re living somewhere with a garden maybe set up something in the fresh air. Or bring a table up to your sofa. Comfort is key for some and others prefer a desk and chair situation. Whatever it may be, have a dedicated ‘workspace’ and then your mind can associate that with productivity.

Have a hot beverage or something sugary to keep your brain focused

My drink of choice is either a big cup of tea or some orange juice. Whether you like a caffeine kick or some natural sugars (or even the added ones) it doesn’t matter. Anything that will help you keep focused and relaxed is key.

Reward yourself as you go with some left-over Easter chocolate or a snack

Set yourself a target of achieving a certain amount of work (tell yourself after 10 minutes I get a bit of chocolate then more after another ten minutes). At the end of the day we’re working during a global crisis therefore we deserve some sweet treats. Rewarding yourself is a great tool for positivity whilst getting assignments done.

Set yourself achievable daily targets

I don’t set myself more than three tasks a day. Yesterday was editing a chapter of my dissertation on paper and then make the changes on my laptop. After an hour that was enough for the day and it felt good to start, get into a productive session of study, then stop and reward myself with Netflix.

Chose some music to accompany your studies

I find classical playlists or white noise can really help me with a constant sound. Listening to songs with words in can stop your productivity. But if you’re able to concentrate with them then you create that playlist!

Talk it through

Talk to friends and family about what you’re struggling to achieve or if you want them to keep the noise down then just let them know

Maintaining some socialising is a really good boost for keeping on track.

Draw up a weekly timetable

Don’t overwhelm yourself with work. Having an end of week goal is a helpful way of knowing where your studying is taking you. It also should help motivation.

Reward yourself

Whether it’s an activity, or food, or even a nap. Whatever makes you happy always have something to look forward to at the end of a study session.

Have a goal or aspiration poster to look at as you work

This is so you know what you’re working toward. Whether you’re doing a history degree and there’s a photo of a museum you’d like to curate in or if you’re doing a science degree and there’s a photo of a laboratory. Something simple but is a little push to keep chipping away at the work.

Remember 15-30 minutes a day is better than nothing at all. Do what you can.

top tips for studying at home - create a workspace

Try not to overwhelm yourself with one massive study session, break it up into small daily blocks and you may find that more gets done over the course of 5 days then 2-day bursts of productivity.

I hope some of these top tips will help any studying mind blocks. Motivation and rewards are the two key things to remember when you have assignments to complete. Keep that chocolate next to you and I hope it all goes well.

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I'm in my final year of an English Literature degree. York is my favourite UK city and I love studying here.

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