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“This is not a normal situation. It’s not an easy situation, and so it’s okay to feel like you need support”
– Hope Mutua, ALC Graduate
Co-Founder of FemmePWR and recent ALC first-class honors graduate, Hope Mutua gives us some studying at home tips, as she speaks about how to remain productive, balanced, and supported during this time. Have you tried any of these tips yet?
Establish a routine: Do it as you do
With a different working environment, it is easy to lose track of your usual schedule. To maintain a working routine at home, you need to be realistic with yourself and “do things like you would normally do in normal cases”. Hope suggests a tool she uses, Pomodora, to help you establish a routine and keep track of your time. Remember to do what works for you.
Create a space
With your bed or the couch only a few meters away, it is easy to get carried away and establish a working space in these places that are a little too comfortable for work. Make sure to establish a comfortable space to work in where our mind knows that “it’s on for business”.
Set some boundaries
You are home and it’s probably a full house. You may have a list of chores, siblings wanting to spend some time with you, and endless distractions. It is therefore important to set boundaries. Communicating your schedule and routine early on to your family is essential in setting boundaries so that they understand when your blocked off times are.
Switch it off
This one is tricky for people whose jobs actually require their phones to be on all the time. However, for the periods of your study time that require your full concentration, switching off your phone is a major plus. If you cannot turn your phone off completely because work or even school, try turning notifications or limiting screen time. Build the discipline to be able to switch it off and generally limit what you take in and how much of it you consume.
Switch it up
If you especially dislike routine, this tip will speak to you. Studying can get overwhelming and exhausting, especially if it’s the same thing over and over again. Try and switch it up by changing your study space, or even your studying techniques- “don’t get fixed on one thing”.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Whether you are stuck on a topic or having an anxiety attack, always reach out to someone for help. If your school has support groups during this time, use them and also ask your teachers – they are also going through this time with you. Hope reassures us that “this is not a normal situation. It’s not an easy situation, and so it’s okay to feel like you need support”.
Don’t do it alone
You don’t have to go through this period alone. You can initiate video calls with your friends or even speak to your family members who are with you in the house (who knows, you could learn something new about your parents). Finding ways to stay connected and sane is important. Apps like Houseparty or listening to podcasts are cool ways to unplug and stay balanced.
Don’t just study: Find a passion to keep you balanced
Studying at home poses the terrifying threat of getting carried away with work, especially if you don’t keep track of time. Hope urges us to either return to our passion or find it during this time in order to maintain balance. Cook, draw, sing or even test out what you are studying- just stay balanced by harnessing your passion. This is the time for it.
Stay refreshed: Drink water & Exercise
Yes, that 8th cup of coffee is quite tempting because it’s free and the kitchen is just down the hallway, but, staying hydrated while at home is essential. Drink lots of water to keep refreshed and healthy and also try exercising because part of effective studying is a fit mind and body (also summer is coming!).
Shut down every night (or day)
Depending on how your sleeping pattern is, always remember to shut down. You need to rest and get ready for the next day of work. Some ways Hope suggests for having closure are:
- Taking stock of what you’ve done, and what is still missing
- Having a gratitude moment; having things to be thankful for
- Planning for the next day
- Finding bits of happiness
Have you tried any of these tips? Tell us in the comments if you have some more tips to share on how to study from home!