By Becky Firth
For many university students, working from home is becoming part of the new normal. A lot of students are trading busy lecture theatres for online classes, meaning studies and coursework now have to be completed from home. Working remotely brings a new set of challenges for students - it’s a new way of learning and distractions are more readily available at home. Here are HYBR’s tips for adjusting to remote learning.
Create a routine
Creating your own routine is a great way to stay motivated. Try waking up at a certain time each day and have dedicated times for exercise, studying, meals and self-care. Make sure to write down what you want to accomplish that week. Having a calendar or planner detailing your classes and coursework deadlines can be really helpful when it comes to staying on top of things. Set clear boundaries for yourself - choose what hours you will spend on university work and when you will take time for yourself. Having a set routine can make sure you stay on top of your work whilst avoiding burn out.
Have a workspace that motivates you
Having a set area in your house where you can focus on your university work is essential for working from home. Make sure to have a desk with room for a computer or laptop for your online classes. Have enough stationary - buy yourself some notebooks, pens and pencils. Having a good set up can help motivate you to do your work! Try to avoid doing work from your bed, as it can make it harder to focus as you’re used to sleeping there.
When working from home, it can be easy to get distracted. Make sure to have a quiet work environment - let your family or flatmates know when you’re in lectures so they know not to bother you. Turn off notifications on your phone, or put it across the room so you’re not tempted to check it. If you know you need to spend a certain amount of time on coursework or revision each day, there are apps you can use to track how long you have spent on work. Forest is a great app - if you stay focused and commit to a task, your virtual tree grows. If you use your phone, your ‘tree’ dies. It’s a great way to stop obsessive scrolling and increase productivity.
Set time aside for fun - but limit distractions when you know you should be in class or studying independently.
Take regular breaks
Make sure to take regular breaks when studying from home. Don’t overwork yourself - it’s important to set time aside for socialising and hobbies. Spend time outdoors and with friends, or take time for a nice lunch or an episode of your favourite tv show. Again, having a routine and a good balance between work and play is essential when working from home.
Stay in contact with your university
Be sure to maintain communication with your university and course leaders. Make sure to check your student emails and web pages for updates on your work and classes. If you have any problems with work or content, reach out to your lecturers and advisors. Working from home might make the content feel more overwhelming, but your university will have support available.
Keep in contact with university friends
Working from home might mean you don’t get to spend as much time as usual with your university friends. Make sure to stay in contact! Host fun quizzes or study groups over Zoom. Work together on coursework or arrange meet-ups for food and drinks. If this is your first year of university, join group chats for your course to get to know your classmates. Working from home doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the social side of university!
Those are HYBR’s six key tips for working from home. Although it might be different from what we’re used to, it’s definitely manageable. For more advice on adapting to a new style of university, check out this article on what 2020 freshers might look like!