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How to stay on top of schoolwork during distance learning

by Junior Nyemb

In the more-isolated world we’re temporarily inhabiting, sometimes it can be tough to organize and motivate yourself. But as we enter the homestretch of the academic year, now is not the time to stumble.

Here are a few tips to make sure you remain as productive as you were on campus:

1. Make to-do lists your best friend

The best way to stay productive is to create a list of tasks for the day. Doing so immediately gives you clarity and focus. Making a to-do list before going to sleep has proven even more effective, because it ”programs” your mind the night before.

2. Control your environment

If you want to eat fewer snacks, don’t bring them into the house. Similarly, if you don’t want to be distracted while studying, make your work space free of any distractions. Create an environment conducive to focus and learning. Don’t overburden your willpower with competing demands.

3. Know when you’re most productive

Bulldog taking a nap

Are you a morning person? Or are your synapses firing on all cylinders in the afternoon? Recognize the time of the day when you are most productive and take advantage of it.

4. Go for depth

In terms of productivity, depth is a lot more effective than width. In other words, 1 hour of deep focus and uninterrupted study usually yields greater results than 2 hours of study punctuated with multitasking. Look up the Pomodoro technique for more.

5. Prioritize sleep

It’s tempting to stay up all night binge-watching your favorite shows, but if you are going to have a productive day, you absolutely have to prioritize sleep. Make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep each night. The less sleep we get, the weaker our willpower will be.

As you know, we’re in uncharted territory these days. But keeping these five tips in mind should help you finish the semester strong.

April 7, 2020