Studying online gives you more freedom and flexibility than studying in a physical classroom. It also comes with the challenge of staying organized and on track. This can be difficult with all the distractions of home and the demands of family life. Here are seven ways to organize your workplace so you can maintain your focus while studying at home.
Create a quiet space for online classes
You will need a quiet space for your online classes. Avoid an area with potential distractions such as noise and foot traffic. An area set up beside the kitchen, for example, doesn’t give you the optimal environment for your classes.
You will also need enough space to take notes. Having an electrical outlet nearby will ensure you can keep your device charged while attending class. Your online classes may be live or recorded. If they are live and you use a webcam, pay attention to what the lecturer and other attendees could see.
Have a dedicated space for studying
Home is usually associated with activities like eating, sleeping, and watching TV. If you want to study successfully at home, you need a space you can dedicate to your work. When you go into that space, your only purpose is to study. You can keep everything you need for studying in the space, so as soon as you sit down, you can start to focus.
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Organize your materials
An absence of clutter in your workspace facilitates a more productive workflow and helps you to concentrate. All your course materials should be readily available when you need them. You will waste valuable time if you have to search for them all the time. When you study online, most of your materials are likely to be digital. Keeping all your digital files well organized in folders with descriptive names is important.
Schedule your time
When studying online, it is essential to familiarize yourself with all the class requirements, the syllabus and dates when assignments are due. Using an online calendar or organizing apps and setting alerts can prevent you from missing any deadlines.
You can include blocks of time for studying and reading, as well as time to prepare for tests and projects like research papers. It is vital to have a schedule when studying from home, or the days can fly by, and you may accomplish very little. At the end of each week, sit down and take a look at the next week’s schedule so you can prioritize what you need to do on each day of the week.
Establish a routine
Start with setting a specific time when you will get out of bed every morning, so you don’t end up sleeping late and losing precious time. Make sure you take routine breaks while studying or researching.
Sitting in front of your computer for long hours without taking any breaks is not good for your mental or physical health. Routine breaks of five minutes every half hour to stretch, walk around and get your blood flowing means you can return to your studies with renewed focus.
Make your space comfortable
Comfort is important when studying, but that doesn’t mean lying on your bed where you are more likely to fall asleep than studying. Make sure you have a good desk and a chair that supports your back. The desk surface should be large enough to accommodate all your supplies.
A good chair can minimize back discomfort, and good lighting can help prevent eye strain. Modern ideas for designing a student’s room can help to create a study space that’s comfortable and yet conducive to studying.
A learning space that’s noisy, uncomfortable and filled with clutter won’t allow you to be as efficient as you could be when studying from home. The way you organize your home workspace can optimize your productivity. It should be comfortable, quiet and clutter-free. Having a study schedule and establishing a regular routine of studying and taking breaks can help you to study successfully at home.
James Collins works for an AI-based software firm that helps companies digitize their processes. He’s been part of the startup as a content creator for many years and also has deep experience in academic paper writing. His hobbies include shooting DIY videos for YouTube, fly fishing and kayaking.