Worried about getting distracted during your distance learning? Want to get as much work done as possible without getting tempted by the TV? Here’s how to make sure your distance learning is as disciplined as possible…
Having a coherent plan is underrated. It can feel like you’re wasting time, but the reality is far from it - spending hours planning now will save you days later on.
Buy a diary and get your lecture plan for the semester. Sit down and spend some time going through and making a day-by-day plan of your work, making sure you cover all materials and leave enough time for revision or coursework throughout the semester. Don’t just do long blocks of single subjects – you’ll get bored of a subject after a couple of hours and your attention span won’t last! Rotate subjects, do a couple of hours here and there.
And importantly, factor in plenty of regular breaks: allow yourself to go for a cup of tea every couple of hours and take an hour away from your laptop at lunchtime. Breaks are arguably as important as the work – you need to give your brain time to recharge.
Once you’ve made a plan, stick to it! This is the hardest part and is often where people lose their way with distance learning. Having a coherent plan is your solid foundation, and then you simply need to get into a good routine.
It’s often much easier if you separate work and leisure, so be strict with yourself: the library is for work, your home is for leisure. Doing your work in bed is a bad habit to get into, it just blurs the lines between work and rest and your productivity will plummet!
Also, remember: a healthy body = a healthy mind! Eat your meals at regular times, maintain a consistent sleep schedule, and exercise regularly. This is all basic stuff but being strict with yourself in other areas of your life will help you follow your work schedule as well.
You need balance in your week. As long as you stick to your schedule, you’re allowed to take time off!
The best technique is to have a strict finishing time for the day, say 6pm, after which you’re not allowed to do any more work. Kick back and watch some TV or go to the cinema, remember your brain can only absorb so much information in a day. Spending 12 hours in the library every day for a couple of weeks will not benefit you as much as a well-planned work schedule over a whole semester. Try to keep weekends free as well. Go out on Friday night – you’ve deserved it!
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