10 Tips to Stay Super Productive When Studying During Quarantine

Quarantine days are far from over, and as schools reopen online, it’s time to reframe and refocus. If you’re finding it more difficult than ever to get out of bed and attend your morning classes or the schoolwork and the stay-at-home situation seems to be so overwhelming, this article is for you. We will share some tips to help bring the positivity and drive back to your online learning experience while lowering stress.

  1. Avoid working in your pyjamas
    According to a study that was done by the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, out of the 163 people who participated, 59% who wore pajamas while working at home during the day admitted that their mental health deteriorated. There’s more research showing the effects of clothing on cognition and mental health. By getting properly dressed for the work you are doing, you can instantly boost productivity. Start your morning the same way you would when stepping out to go to work or school. Brush your teeth, make some breakfast and get dressed in clothes you would often wear when going to class. This small change could make a big difference in your productivity level when studying online.
  2. Plan your tasks in advance
    There are so many online tools that you can use to organize your days better. If you don’t have any, Google Calendar would be an excellent place to start. Think through and plan for all the activities and tasks you wish to accomplish throughout the week. If something comes up, add it to your daily planner and set deadlines for completing upcoming projects and assignments. Remember to maintain a clean and organized study area. Make your bed if you’re studying in your room and keep all your books and computer organized on the desk the night before to make it easier to start the next morning.
  3. Get rid of distractions
    According to a recent study, employers are losing nearly 8 hours a week on non-work activities, mainly on cell phones. It can be difficult to refocus after reading a text, answering a call or mindless scrolling. To eliminate this distraction, consider switching your phone off or placing it far away from your study area until you complete your task. Consider alternating your study locations to reduce that feeling of familiarity. You can study at home on some days and then on-campus if you have that option.
  4. Take scheduled breaks
    Research shows that the human brain can remain focused for an average of 50 minutes. This means that studying for extended periods will only reduce content retention levels for most people. To give your tasks 100% attention, study for shorter periods and take breaks that rejuvenate your mind and make you more productive. Use the 10-minute breaks to listen to your favourite song, stretch your legs or make a cup of tea.
  5. Reward yourself for completing tasks or assignments
    A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that 84% of participants who received immediate, frequent rewards for completing small tasks were more motivated and enjoyed their work more than those who received delayed rewards only given at the end of the long project. Knowing that you’re going to receive a reward for completing a task or assignment can motivate you to keep going. The reward can be something you like, such as watching your favourite show.
  6. Start with the hardest/most creative work in the morning
    Studies show that the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for creative problem-solving in adulthood and middle adolescence, is most active right after you sleep. This means that you are likely to be more creative in the morning when you wake up. Since your creativity may diminish during the day, you want to start your morning with those tough, creative tasks and assignments that you’ve been procrastinating.
  7. Break down projects into shorter and easier tasks
    Forget about to-do lists and start tracking your project based on tasks that are shorter and easier to tackle first. Whenever you check off a task, it releases dopamine, a feel-good hormone that motivates you to keep going. For instance, writing an essay involves several subtasks you may want to start tracking. You may need to begin by reading an article or two on the topic and writing down a few insights. The next step could be to work on your intro section. You can use an online tool to track your project and sub-tasks.
  8. Have non-zero days
    You’ve already set your goals and dreams – consider doing something daily, however little, that goes towards meeting them. These non-zero days help you keep the momentum going and can even help break the habit of procrastination.
  9. Take a coffee nap
    When you drink a cup of coffee, studies show that you can boost your energy significantly by taking a nap immediately after. Sleep removes adenosine from your system, which is the molecule responsible for fatigue, and it is replaced by caffeine, which boosts your energy.
  10. Your emotional health is a priority
    Working from home requires discipline and focus; the mental pressure is even more elevated in these uncertain times. That is why you must practice self-care. Understand that there’s more to life other than checking off boxes and tasks. Your mental and emotional health are important. We’ll share tips below to look after your mental health when studying from home:
  • Talk to someone: It is completely natural to feel the pressure of studying and exams, so don’t try and keep it to yourself. Talk to a friend, family member or teacher who can offer you the support or find free online support groups.
  • Keep active: Exercise, even if it means walking for 15 minutes. It will help you to feel better and concentrate.
  • Keep an eye on your alcohol consumption: Don’t feel like you must take a drink to have a good time. No one should pressure you to feel ashamed of yourself or lead a life you don’t want.
  • Find time for yourself: Do something you enjoy to take your mind off things, even if it’s just for 20 minutes each day.
  • Get some sleep: Try to improve your sleeping patterns. Go to bed early and try waking up at similar times every day.