While we all had the best of intentions at the start of the school year to wake up early, participate in our online classes, and go to sleep at a reasonable hour, we’re now more than halfway through the semester and feeling a little burnt out. Online classes have their perks (tuning in from bed and muting yourself for a snack break will never get old), but they also make it a whole lot easier to slack off. With finals approaching and this semester winding down, it’s the perfect time to reestablish some healthy study-from-home habits and get yourself back on track to a balanced and productive semester.
Get dressed every morning (or at least partially)
If you’re wearing your PJs to every virtual class, you’ll end up feeling like it’s time to take a nap instead of work on your history presentation. Motivate yourself to get into a work mindset by getting dressed every day. Your outfit need not be fancy or manicured, in fact, throwing on a cute shirt is often enough to feel put-together for your day. Stay comfortable by pairing something nice on top with a pair of leggings or sweatpants. Sometimes, doing your hair or makeup can also add a special touch to your look and encourage you to successfully tackle the day of classes, meetings, and work.
Use your workspace
When you’re studying from home, it’s definitely tempting to crawl into bed to do your readings or write your papers. However, it’s incredibly important to keep your bed separate from your workspace. Head back to your desk, and remember to use it for all school-related activities, no matter how cozy your bed or couch looks. Make your bed the authorized relaxation zone. After a productive day of school at your desk, it will feel even more rewarding to climb into bed for a good night’s sleep.
Invest in some study-from-home products
At this point in the semester, your study space might have deteriorated a bit. That candle that you bought back in August is all used up, you have snack wrappers littered around your desk, and papers are scattered everywhere. Start by cleaning up your desk area, and then purchase a few items to improve the space. These can be functional, like new pens or notebooks, but they should also make you happy and excited to start working every day. We suggest candles, a good desk light to illuminate your readings, a cute mug to hold your study beverage, and a good planner to write down your schedule.
Structure your days and weeks
Using your academic planner, structure your days and weeks with an established plan. Schedule specific times to work on specific tasks, such as an hour on Monday to do your english readings and two hours on Wednesday to work on your paper. Don’t forget to schedule in your classes, deadlines, reminders, and self-care time too!
Take breaks and daily check-ins
The most productive study days are those populated with little breaks and personal time. Following the Pomodoro Method, take a five-minute break every 25 minutes to refill your water bottle, stretch, get outside, or talk to a friend. When you sit down again for your next work session, you’ll be even more focused. After a long day of school, check in with yourself. What worked from your plan for the day? What might you change about your approach in the future? Journaling or jotting down some notes and lists in a notebook is a great way to reflect on the busy day.
It’s never too late to implement new healthy study habits or refresh study habits from the beginning of the semester. With the end of the semester looming, make the last few weeks the best that they can be by holding yourself accountable to these healthy study-from-home tips.