If you’re finding it challenging to study from home during this unprecedented time, you’re not alone. I hope the tips here will be helpful to you, and please be in touch any time for support. We’re all in this together!
Identify Your Priorities – Check In With Yourself
As you attend to your academic work, remember your other priorities – like exercise, sleep, eating well, relaxation, and connecting with friends and family. Love to play an instrument, bake, or shoot hoops? Practice yoga, run, or hike? Make a list of what floats your boat and check in with yourself daily. If you’re not making time for a meaningful-to-you activity, do it now.
*First, See the Self-Reflect and Practice Self-Care Section below. Make self-care a high priority – of utmost importance all the time, and especially now.
Can’t figure out what to do first? Don’t worry: we’re all in this together! This quick 20 minute activity will help you identify and manage your priorities. Try it! For more, contact a SASC learning specialist for a checkup on your priorities and how you’re using your time each day.
Create a Study Schedule – Make a Plan and Monitor Your Progress
Create and post a master weekly schedule that includes specific times for courses, meals, exercise and other non-academic priorities. At the beginning of the week, note weekly assignments and schedule when you will complete them. Create reminder alerts on your device, including reminders to take breaks. Set some realistic goals for the day, write and post a mantra or two, or schedule a reward (see your priorities) to help you stay motivated.
Creating a reliable schedule and routine helps you maintain a sense of stability and control in your life. Add in your morning shower, breakfast, exercise, fun, and sleep and try to keep to a routine if you can. Be forgiving of yourself when you can’t keep to a routine, and reach out to a SASC learning specialist for help.
We need places to work where we can focus and be productive. Creating study spaces can sometimes be hard when we’re at home. Follow the link from College Info Geek for lots of advice on lighting, setup, location, and more. (Ignore the obvious parts of the video and article that mention setting up spaces in places other than your home environment.)
This handy worksheet helps you make a plan, monitor your plan, take control, reflect on how it all went, and repeat! Need help? SASC is here for you!
Follow the link for a presentation on time management I gave last fall. Skip the slides that are clearly focused on the fall semester audience. This presentation is focused on productivity, but also read my essay on doing nothing; “doing nothing” can help you be more productive, or just help you engage the joys of being.
Manage Distractions – Ask: Am I Progressing As Planned?
Your cat wants to play, your cookies just came out of the oven, or you can’t stop checking social media alerts. Identify your distractions and obstacles and how you will manage them when they emerge. Establish boundaries, and use apps like Freedom and Cold Turkey to help you focus. Stay flexible: hanging with your brother, cat and/or making cookies may be the break you need to help you focus on your work.
Need help motivating? Try Gabriele Oettingen’s well-researched WOOP strategy! And/or contact a SASC learning specialist. We’re here to help!
SASC’s Dr. Eric Drown to the rescue!
Watch this video and learn how to stop wasting time on useless clicks.
Reach Out – Ask: What Campus Support Do I Need?
All support services you’re used to accessing on campus are available to you online during the COVID-19 crisis. SASC content tutoring, writing support, learning specialist consultations, and digital project support are all available by Zoom appointment via une.tutortrac.com.
We’re here for you!
Watch this video and rest assured, SASC is still here for you! Make appointments via une.tutortrac.com. When you make an appointment, you’ll receive a confirmation email with detailed instructions on how to connect with your support person via Zoom.
Self-Reflect and Practice Self-Care – Ask: What Might I Do Differently?
Continue to check in with your priorities and add them into your daily schedule if you haven’t already. Be kind to yourself and try to find balance in your daily routine. Remember: support at UNE is just a click away.
Faculty, staff and students from UNE’s School of Social Work reflect on what they’re doing at home to take care of their mental health during this challenging time.
If you’re stuck, take a break and go for a walk, run or bike ride. You’ve got this!
These guided meditations from Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme) encourage calm, presence, compassion and wellness in body and mind.
I wrote this blog post last summer when “doing nothing” felt particularly apropos. In fact, it is always apropos.
Let me know if you’ve followed any of these tips and if they help you. I look forward to hearing from you!