Last year was a groundbreaking year when it comes to distance learning, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So many students and learners had to switch from in-person lessons to online ones. Hence, they changed the way they interact with their teachers and the learning materials. While we’re lucky to have the internet and access to learning even from our homes, productivity comes as a challenge in this new setting.
Learning from home without the physical presence of a teacher or your peers can cause loss of motivation and a productivity decrease. But there are tricks you could apply to help yourself stay productive and still achieve maximum learning results. Here’s how to make it happen.
1. Set Up the Right Learning Space
The setting you’re in while your distance learning can make a huge difference in your productivity levels. If you move from one room to the other carrying your laptop around, you won’t be able to build that sense of focus and concentration.
But, a designated study space will contribute immensely.
It should be:
- in your room or a remote part of your home
- simply equipped, with a desk, chair, and a computer
Make sure you have everything you need in your study area- your books, notebooks, pens, pencils, calculators, and other tools you need during the lessons.
Also, personalize it a bit by adding some motivational quotes or educational posters you like.
Even if it’s just a corner of your bedroom, your study space will make you feel more inspired and willing to study, do homework, and pay attention during online lessons.
2. Remove All Distractions
Another challenge that distance learners are facing is the number of distractions around their house. Without official supervision or any strict rules, things can easily get out of hand.
And, it’s the small things that can significantly decrease your productivity:
- chatting with your family or roommates
- using your phone
- playing with your pet
That is why you have to remove all distractions before you enter your learning space:
- leave your phone in the other room
- tell your family not to disturb
- bring in a bottle of water
- eat before you start
This will allow you to focus on your learning and stay productive.
3. Create a Study Schedule
Procrastinating is the enemy of any learner, but it can seriously influence distant learners’ productivity. The home-studying atmosphere and the ability to plan your study hours can lead to too much freedom. As a result, you might get too relaxed and lose your productivity.
This is why you need to be a bit stricter with yourself. The best thing to do is create a study schedule and respect it.
A study schedule will define:
- daily goals in terms of homework, school projects, and studying
- study & learning hours
- break time
Nancy Howard, a psychologist, and editor at Supreme Dissertations says:” We’re all responsible for our learning and study experience. If you want to stay productive, create a study calendar and stick to it. Don’t just wing it, since you’ll end up with poor results.”
4. Take Productivity-Boosting Breaks
Boosting your productivity during distance learning isn’t just about your study hours and daily goals. It’s also about making yourself feel good and sharpening your mind.
If you’re stuck at home all the time, studying and learning, you’ll soon get worn down. That’s why you need to take productivity-boosting breaks every day.
These breaks are supposed to be outside your home, engaging your mind and body in something fun, enjoyable, and completely different from studying. Here’s what we suggest:
- do any form of exercise, such as outdoors yoga or jogging
- spend some time outdoors, in nature
- meet up with a friend
- practice a hobby such as gardening or photography
- do some physical work in your backyard
Make sure your breaks are 30-60 minutes long, and you’re able to get back to your studying all freshened up and focused.
5. Find Helpful Learning Resources
If your productivity is not at the level you’d like it to be, the problem might be that you lack the right study tools and strategies. You should explore different learning resources to see what fits you the most and helps you focus.
You could use different study techniques such as:
- mind mapping
- mock tests
- color-coded notes
You can also find online help with assignments and homework. For instance, TrustMyPaper can help with your writing assignments, while Canva can assist you by creating visual notes and study materials.
Explore different options and see what helps you stay productive the most.
6. Manage Your Stress
There’s a strong connection between increased screen time and an increased level of stress or anxiety. Studies have shown that exposure to computer and smartphone screens is associated with a plethora of stress-related symptoms. For distance learners, stress can negatively affect productivity since it comes with numerous health problems.
This is why stress management is essential for distance learners and has to be a part of your productivity-boosting strategy. Here’s what you need to know:
- you have to make room for self-care
- stress won’t go away on its own
Some of the best stress management techniques and prevention methods include:
- getting enough sleep
- eating healthy foods
- staying well-organized
- listening to relaxing music
- practicing progressive muscle relaxation (PMR)
If you start feeling overwhelmed, you can turn to a professional and get help or advice from a therapist. The important thing is that you actively work on taking care of yourself. When you feel good, you’ll be far more productive.
Distance learning comes with multiple psychological and sociological challenges. Lack of productivity is among the most common ones.
The tips shared above will allow you to regain control over your productivity and make sure you make the most out of every study or learning session.