For Students: 4 Ways to Maximize Your Learning from Home

By Brooke Tyzka, Academic Counselor, Falk Student Services

Brooke Tyszka
Brooke Tyszka

Doing your schoolwork from home can be difficult.  It’s hard to find the right balance between academics and personal life and it can be very challenging to stay on task. Here are four tips to help you hit your stride.

1. Keep it consistent

As much as you can, try to keep yourself to a routine. Go to sleep at a reasonable time each night, wake up around the same time in the morning. Get dressed every morning as you would if you were going to a physical classroom. Set up a schedule for yourself that includes time for schoolwork, time for exercise, time to check your email, and time for virtual socializing as well! Setting aside time to connect with others in your support network is just as important as setting aside time for your academics. They key is to plan ahead. A planner or desk calendar can be very helpful tools! Routine and schedule will help keep you going and ensure that you are accomplishing all of your goals.

2. Find a quiet workspace

This can be tricky especially as many of us are sharing our spaces with others. Find or make a space that is yours for work and set this area up in advance with any supplies that you will need during your study session (your pens, notebooks textbooks, laptop). Try to avoid crowded areas where family congregate as well as areas in front of a television. Find ways to minimize distraction and noise. A good way to make a noisy area a little more calming is to put in your earbuds and play quiet background music.

3. Limit electronic distractions

It is so easy to let electronics get us off track, especially now when we are relying on them for our academic and social lives. In order to do your best work you need short but uninterrupted blocks of time to focus and concentrate. Interrupting those times by checking your phone every time it dings or popping on Instagram every few minutes will make it more difficult to absorb information and to do good work. Considering turning off notifications on your devices while working or put your phone in another room if you can. There are also plenty of apps out there that can block your electronic devices for a time that you specify so you can focus on your work and not worry about your group chats. Use electronics as rewards for when you complete your study time.

4. Remember to use your resources

Don’t forget to keep connected to your resources while away from campus this semester. Be proactive in using campus tutoring services and the writing center. If you have questions about your coursework, ask your professors! Don’t let yourself fall behind if you’re having difficulty learning something new or completing a difficult assignment. Reach out and ask questions. You may not be in a physical classroom this semester but remember that this is still a virtual learning environment and you still can and should reach out when you need to.