The new academic year is in full swing. Yet, the pandemic continues to be relentless. At this point over here in Czechia, with stiffer measures being implemented, I must admit, any hopes I had that things would get back to "normal" have officially flown right out the window. But again, in the past months, I've heard many people talk about embracing the new normal with regard to social distancing and mask-wearing, so perhaps it's time to embrace this change in our studies, too, and, might I add, with the golden touch of optimism.
This hasn't been the easiest to implement in part just because I'm not the biggest fan of online learning. Needless to mention that face-to-face interactions have advantages that far outweigh their virtual counterparts. But we should never, after all, be subject to our circumstances, and the good news is that there is a way to make it work and make it work well.
Here are a few tips I have found helpful that you could implement to brighten your online learning experience.
1. Manage your time intentionally
If you've read a few other of my posts, you'll notice that I'm a big advocate for good time-management and goal setting. It applies no less while studying at home than when having face-to-face lessons. I would suggest that it is even more critical now because the temptations are everywhere. For some its the lure to watch Netflix, or take a nap, or scroll endlessly through their Instagram feed-- you get the idea. Having a concrete plan for the day can help to weed out a large portion of these time-consuming activites we are prone to engage in mindlessly. It creates space and time for studies and space and time for leisure activities, ( temptations when ill-timed). Try to stick to a regular schedule, like waking up early and having a regularly programmed day, essentially, similar to what you would have if you had to physically attend classes. You'll find that you're a lot more productive (and happy) this way.
2. Don't neglect your health.
Take care of yourself in a holistic way; from guarding your mental health; this could be done in many different ways: being mindful of what you're exposed to digitally, staying in touch with family and friends, taking needful breaks, and even finding time for hobbies. For your physical health, in addition to the safety measures against the COVID-19, have enough rest, eat well, and don't forget to get active. Taking care of yourself in a holistic way will help you get the most out of your time indoors and all the activities you engage in throughout the day. Including your studies. Moderation is key here!
3. Have a designated study spot
This may seem like it's not that big of a deal, but having a designated place for the study will put your mind in the right state when you need to get down to business. It will put you beyond the reach of the many distractions that come along with studying at home.
These times are challenging in many ways, and these tips only scratch the surface; but incorporating them into your daily routine will help you get settled in with the new way of doing things, and propel you towards success in your studies too, remember that taking even small steps every day counts-- a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Happy online learning!