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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

10 Tips to Stay Productive When Studying From Home

March 17, 2020

With the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, many companies are suggesting—even requiring—that more employees work from home. Many colleges and universities are also shifting to online instruction for all courses. While some college students may find this to be an easy transition, the consequences of shifting to online instruction isn’t the same for every student.


At SJVC we are proud to provide hands-on instruction that prepares students for real-world scenarios. As a family-owned college that offers a career-focused education, we have a history of working with technical, trade and medical students that enjoy working with their hands and getting real-life experience in a physical classroom.


Yet the COVID-19 outbreak has changed the lives of billions of people worldwide and continues to shift the way students learn and pursue their educational goals. If you’re new to working online and pursuing an education in the virtual world, it can be a tough learning curve to climb. However aside from the obvious health and safety benefits, there is an upside to learning online and working from home. Here are some tips for a more comfortable transition:


  1. Start with your regular morning routine. Where you study doesn’t have to impact how you get ready for studying. Keep to the routine of waking up at the same time, making your bed and eating a good breakfast. These are established habits you can maintain to help keep a productive rhythm.


  1. Try to follow your regular school schedule and stick with it. Studies show that people generally do better in a structured environment. Along with keeping your regular morning routine, it’s important to set a schedule you would normally maintain if you were going to school. Stick to your class schedule and study hours as much as possible to prevent getting behind.


  1. Make sure to schedule time for lunch and 2-3 short 15 minute breaks throughout the day. Set aside personal time to step outside and get some fresh air or do a productive task. This will help keep you from getting distracted and maintain your focus throughout the day.


  1. Create an agenda to help organize your time and scheduled breaks. It is especially useful when you have multiple subjects to study. Set reasonable limits for how much time you spend studying each day, and break your study session up into manageable chunks of time.


  1. Have a designated work space. Set up a work space that has all your essentials for a successful school day. Have your notebooks, writing utensils, chargers, coffee, tea or water all set up to help get you through your studies.


  1. Maintain a supportive environment. Listen to soft music such as nature noises or classical music to help tune out outside distractions. Studies show this can help you concentrate.


  1. Stay away from personal distractions such as Netflix, social media or chatting with friends. Try to keep your school time as similar to what you would do if you were going to class in-person.


  1. Use your online resources! Your teachers are here to help. Communicate with them as much as you need to make sure you are understanding your school work material. You are not alone in this!


  1. Try to limit how much you multitask. This may seem like a convenient time to catch up on chores around the house, but it’s easy to get distracted. There’s nothing wrong with taking a little break, but don’t let chores distract you from being productive. You wouldn’t be doing these chores if you were at school. So don’t let them stop you from being productive now that you’re at home.


  1. Stay connected with your instructors and colleagues. If you work on a team, make sure to check in regularly just like you would at school. Create to-do lists and share the status of projects with your instructors so they know you’re on top of your work. You can even utilize email and messaging programs like Slack, Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom to stay connected. Remember, you are all in this together!

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