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Transitioning from traditional in-person classes to the world of online learning can be quite a challenge. The comforts and familiarities of our homes can sometimes turn into distractions that hinder our study efforts. When we’re surrounded by family members, pets, comfortable beds, and tempting entertainment options like Netflix, maintaining focus and productivity can become a struggle.
As someone who used to frequent libraries and coffee shops for studying, I can relate to the shift and the effort it takes to adapt to studying from home. Over time, I’ve honed some strategies that have proven effective for me in this new environment.
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1. Establish a Consistent Routine:
Just as you would prepare for a day of studying at the library or attending classes, create a schedule for yourself. If you’re naturally a morning person, set a specific wake-up time and get dressed. Having a daily routine helps signal to your brain that it’s time to buckle down and accomplish your tasks.
2. Designate a Distraction-Free Space:
Identify a dedicated study area in your home, whether it’s a quiet corner, a desk, or a dining room table. To ensure a clear separation between work and relaxation, avoid studying in bed. I made the mistake of studying in bed and found that it compromised both my ability to focus and my quality of sleep. Keep your study space organized and tidy so that you can maximize your study time.
3. Minimize Digital Distractions:
In the age of smartphones and social media, it’s easy to get sidetracked by notifications and endless scrolling. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode and close any social media tabs on your computer. By doing so, you create an environment that’s conducive to focused studying.
4. Adopt a Productive Study Method – with Breaks:
One technique that has worked wonders for me is the Pomodoro method. This involves dedicating 25 minutes to focused studying, followed by a 5-minute break. After completing four cycles, take a longer break of about 15-30 minutes. There are apps and timers available to help you manage your time effectively. During breaks, feel free to engage in guilt-free activities like scrolling through Instagram or checking out your favorite profiles. Remember, breaks are meant for relaxation and rejuvenation.
5. Collaborate Virtually with Study Groups:
While physical proximity may not be possible, technology enables us to stay connected virtually. Don’t hesitate to continue studying with your friends through video calls and virtual study sessions. The power of collaboration remains strong, even in an online setting.
Ultimately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to effective home learning. Experiment with different strategies to discover what resonates with you. Learning how to optimize your study environment and habits is a journey of trial and error. So, whether you’re a current nursing student or aspiring to be one, keep these tips in mind as you navigate the world of home learning. Your determination and adaptability will undoubtedly contribute to your success on this educational path. Happy studying, future nurses!
Tips for Studying at Home
As many of us are transitioning from in-person to online classes, studying at home can be very challenging. Our homes can be full of distractions: family members, pets, fridges, beds, Netflix… Altogether, you might find yourself less motivated and productive than usual.
As someone who used to spend all of their time studying in libraries and coffee shops, I have had to put in a lot of time and effort into learning how to study from home.
That being said, here are tips that work for me!
- Establish a Routine.
Prepare to study in similar ways that you prepared to go to the library or class. Especially if you are a morning person, set a specific time to wake up and get dressed. Establishing routines can help signal to your brain that “hey, it is time to get work done.”
- Have a Dedicated Space.
Whether it is a dining room table or a desk, have a designated study space. Try to reserve your bed for sleeping and avoiding studying in it. I used to make the mistake of studying in bed but I found that I could not focus while studying and, when I wasn’t studying, I was not able to easily fall asleep. Don’t do it, friends. Lastly, keep your study space clean and organized – that way, you’ll spend more time studying and less time trying to find a pen that works.
- Shut Off Unnecessary Technology.
Put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode. Turn off social media on your laptop. Try not to distract yourself while you are trying to focus!
- Find a Study Method – with Breaks!
I love to use the Pomodoro effect to guide by studying, which involves 25-minute work intervals with a short break (~5-minute) in between. After every 4 work intervals, you take a long break (~15-30 minutes). Bonus: I use an app on my phone that helps me and, as per above, not use my phone for other reasons while I am studying. However, you can use any timer to help keep track of time and to make sure you stay focused. Lastly, when you take breaks – make them guilt-free. Scroll through Instagram aimlessly . These breaks are not meant for you to be productive so keep them that way!
- Study Groups.
Technology is amazing, hence why we are learning from home. That being said, there is no reason that you cannot continue to study with your friends! We all know that nursing students who study together, stay together.
I know there are dozens of different tips out there, which leads to my last tip: personalize your study habits to you. My tips are not going to be helpful to everyone. Finding what works for you may be trial and error and that is okay.
Happy studying, future nurses!
Written by: Bailey Thom
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