In what is the first quarantine for a lot of us below the age of 30, the COVID-19 pandemic has practically brought the running world as we know it, to a stand-still – and never before has the need for practical productivity tips and tricks, been this high. As teams all over the globe try to fight this virus and more enthusiastic martyrs gather to chant, hoping that the virus “goes” away soon, the only thing we know for certain so far is this: we could be confined to the (dis)comforts of our homes, for a while.
And yet, there has never been a time where we’ve had a greater itch to “get things done” as most millennials call it. This is why we put together a few tips that you can use to boost up your productivity – no matter which corner of the world you are working or learning from. So, without further ado, here we go:
1. Engage in Active Learning (or working)
While a lot has been said and written about the benefits of actively engaging in your learning process, much of it we find – is focused on learning in a classroom. When studying at home, make the most of the time and effort you dedicate to your learning by being mindful of what you are doing, giving it your absolute focus with as few distractions as possible and most importantly, never losing sight of the purpose of your continued learning from home.
An easy way to ensure that your learning is active and effective, includes asking yourself specific questions at the different stages of your learning. Some examples of such questions include –
Questions to ask yourself before you study:
● What am I about to learn?
● What do I already know about this subject?
● Is there anything about this subject that I have had to seek help with in the past?
Questions to ask yourself while you study:
● What does this explain to me?
● How much have I understood what I have just learned?
● Can I paraphrase it in my own words to explain this to someone else?
● Are there any key words or ideas that I need to write down or mark? Why are these words and ideas important?
Questions to ask yourself after you study:
● What did I take away from this study session?
● Is there any additional research or information that I need to gather to understand something better?
● What do I need to review or learn next time? Is there something I can do better, the next time I study this subject?
● When will I revisit what I have just learnt?
2. Find the Discipline to Regulate your Periods of Work and Rest
Oh no! We used the “D” word!
While most of our parents might use this word more in talking to us than our own names, we hate to admit that they might be onto something. Although no one expects you to have an inflexible, strict or unforgiving regimen in your daily activities, it does help to chart out how much of work you have pending, the amount of time available and thereby, the periods of work and rest you will have to put yourself through, to meet your goals. Whether it is about finishing half a chapter a day or revising all three chapters that you are going to be tested on in the upcoming assessment, planning ahead and sticking to that plan as best as you can – may seem like an uphill journey with no support now – but we promise you, you will thank us we pushed you to do it, soon enough.
Looking for some ways to easily chalk out your periods of work / rest? We suggest using the alarm / clock utility on your phone / learning device to remind you of the time you have allocated to learning or rest as the case may be. Just as most schools have a bell ring to signal the end of a period, your alarm clock is your best friend if you wish to learn (or work) efficiently from home!
3. Mind what you Eat
To many of us, staying at home is that one excuse we need to subconsciously get into “Let me snack however much I please” mode. While there is no harm in indulging yourself from time to time, in this phase of the #quarantine, the obvious decline in physical activity when combined with unhealthy eating habits, could make you lethargic without your knowledge. At the other end of the spectrum, not eating enough or a grumbling stomach could turn into your single most annoying distraction when you sit down to study.
Essentially, all we’re trying to say is – be mindful of what you eat, eat as healthy and clean as you can, prepare snacks and brain fuel for breaks in advance and you should be able to breeze through your study time.
4. Make the most of your Community
One of the worst side-effects of not being physically around the people you are used to being around on a daily basis – is that undeniable sudden pang of loneliness. Trust, we know what we mean when we say that learning can be a little draining – especially when you have to do it all by yourself, even though you have virtual classes, assignments and more. Well, here is where we recommend tapping into the community of your closest friends and family – and taking their support, virtually!
Not sure what we meant? Allow us to explain.
While social distancing is a necessary measure for our health and hygiene at this point, being lonely is not. Above and beyond the virtual classes and learning tools, gather a few of your closest friends and classmates and use tools such as the GSuite to help each other study. Form a buddy system, check in on each other virtually in your breaks, share notes, research and resources and help cheer each other on in your learning from home – and we promise you, it’s a win for everyone!
Do you have some tips and tricks that work for you while you’re studying from home? Share them with us and we’ll help you share them with the world! We look forward to hearing from you.