The past five weeks have been an absolute whirlwind with transitioning from the in-class learning environment to online. As a student, the sudden change meant having to figure out how to learn in a virtual environment, how to facilitate presentations through new tools, figure out a way to stay focused on school work, and manage the stress of a being a student during a global pandemic. It’s no easy feat adapting to this amount of change.
So, like any challenge, I think it’s important to celebrate the victories when they come. Here are some of the things that helped me stay focused during this trying time.
Create a Work Space
The first week that we started classes online, I felt displaced and couldn’t quite figure out a way to stay focused on my studies. I recognized that I was struggling to balance my study time with my home time and as a result, I felt quite restless. By the second week, I recognized that bringing my laptop with me as I moved around my home wasn’t working, so I decided to set up a work station. I cleared my computer desk of all things not school related and set up a second monitor to attach to my laptop, which created a dynamic work space with two screens.
“Setting up a work station created a dedicated space for me to focus on my work, and the result has made a drastic difference.”
Setting up a work station created a dedicated space for me to focus on my work, and the result has made a drastic difference. When I am done my online classes for the day and I’m no longer working on homework, I can turn off my computer and step away from my work station. This gave me the balance I needed to separate my time spent on schoolwork and my downtime.
Build a Schedule
In the second week of online classes, I was fortunate enough to have my husband start working from home too. I decided that setting up a schedule was my next step in staying focused, and since I was waking up to his alarm anyways, I started mimicking his work schedule for my classwork. Luckily, his schedule fit perfectly with my class times and forced me to take proper lunch breaks. I have found that since working with a dedicated schedule, I can set clear goals for what I want to accomplish in my day, and I’m more productive because I set these parameters.
“…with a dedicated schedule, I can set clear goals for what I want to accomplish in my day, and I’m more productive because I set these parameters.”
These are only two small steps that made a significant impact on my learning from home. If you are looking for ways to keep focused while studying at home, check out the Working from Home – Students guide.
It’s also important to recognize that everyone learns differently, so if you want to share what has helped you study in the COVID-19 pandemic, we’d love to hear from you on Twitter or chat with a library staff member using our online service desk.
Online Service Desk Hours
While the Library’s physical doors are closed, the online service desk is still running and ready to serve you. Staff are online during the following hours:
Written by: Meagan Acquisto, Library Information and Technology program