Distance learning is a great opportunity to broaden your perspective of the world, increase your education, and learn new skills without worrying about high tuition costs. It saves up even more money as you don’t need to pay dorm rent or commute to and from campus daily.
Moreover, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, distanced learning is the safest way to continue your education without putting yourself or your loved ones at risk.
Whether you’re opting for online learning at the high-school level or working on a degree, you will need to take up some new habits to transition smoothly from the classroom to your computer. It will help you maintain discipline and create a productive learning space for yourself.
To help you out, here are some healthy habits for distance learning that you should incorporate into your lifestyle today.
Organization is essential
In traditional schools, we are pre-assigned classes and have to stick to a schedule. This makes for easy organization and allows us to stay on track. But when you opt for distanced learning, you will be in charge of your organization.
The flexibility that comes with studying online is truly a blessing, especially for those who are also working. However, you will need to take specific measures to ensure it stays a blessing a doesn’t end up with you cramming everything two nights before the finals.
Build a proper learning schedule for yourself and allow time for video lectures, assignments, and any other extra prep you may need. Consider the extra time some courses may require and do your best not to fall behind. Everything taught today should be covered on the same day, and try to revise it all during the weekend to ensure you haven’t missed anything.
It will also help if you keep all your documents, lectures, assignments, reading material, etc. in specified folders on your computer. Don’t let them accumulate in one place and create a big, confusing mess. Your concentration and motivation will take a significant dive if you have to rummage through tons of files every time.
Dedicate a work zone
One of the most common mistakes distanced learners make is casually switching up their work zones and taking lectures from the bed, living room couches, etc.
Although it’s quite tempting to wake up and attend your class while still in bed, it is highly likely that you’ll fall asleep again and miss out on some vital information. To avoid this, dedicate a particular area of your house to be your work zone.
It doesn’t have to be the entire room or a fancy set up; just a table and chair is enough. But make sure it has all the things you will require during your study period like chargers, cables, notebooks, etc. This will ensure you don’t need to leave the work zone until you finish studying and keeps distractions away.
Pay attention during the video lectures
It is a common misconception among distanced learners that live video lectures aren’t too important since you can view them later. However, that is not true.
Attending live lectures will help you understand challenging concepts a lot better. You can quickly request your lecturer to repeat a certain point or even clarify any doubts you may have. While it can be done over email, it is always easier to grasp new information when taught directly to you.
Also, making notes as the professor teaches is one of the most productive means of retaining knowledge. These notes will be your savior during finals week.
Multitasking isn’t beneficial here
Multitasking can be an excellent way of managing your time and energy efficiently. But when it comes you distanced learning, try to set aside your multitasking superpowers and focus solely on your coursework.
Since studying requires a higher level of concentration than our daily errands, it is near impossible to manage it effectively while also doing other things. Your brain isn’t programmed to deep-focus on multiple things at once, so your assignments will take longer, and you’re more prone to making errors.
It will also slow you down since your attention is divided between different things, and you won’t be able to do any of them properly.
So, keep the multitasking for cleaning, shopping, or other household errands. Study time is for the books only.
Bring Together a Group
Meeting up with friends, gossiping by the lockers, and study dates were some of the things we looked forward to the most at school. You may think distanced learning doesn’t allow for those things, but that’s not true!
Remote collaboration won’t be the same as saving your friend a seat in class; however, you can bring together a group of peers to study together, exchange notes, and even have some fun.
Try to reach out to classmates and determine who lives nearby. Create a WhatsApp group of your peers and keep in touch with each other. You can also arrange meetups and group study sessions, online or even at your favorite coffee shop!
Take Frequent Breaks
When you’re studying online, there is a lack of interaction and exposure to new people and places. The human brain isn’t designed to sit in one place and study for 7 hours continuously. You will end up exhausting yourself and barely remembering half the information you tried to cover.
To make sure you have a useful learning experience, take frequent breaks in between your study sessions. We recommend aiming for a 30 mins break after every 90 minutes of study time.
During this break, try to get a change of scenery. Go out for a walk, maybe stop by your favorite pizzeria for a bite to eat, and then head back to finish off your studying for the day. This quick location change and some fresh food will do wonders to help you focus, and your memory will improve too!
2020 brought with it circumstances that have altered the way we function entirely. From the way we study, how we socialize, and even just walking around the block – nothing is the same now. But we should remember that this is temporary, keep our spirits high and keep being our unique, resilient selves.