Universiteit Leiden

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Education

9 tips for studying at home

1 April 2020

  1. Structure your time. Try to act as if it’s a normal study day. Go to bed on time, get up on time, get dressed as usual and plan your day. 
  2. Create a quiet place to study, insofar as this is possible. Only study in this designated place, not in bed or on the sofa. Make sure there are as few distractions as possible. Put your telephone elsewhere and ask housemates not to disturb you. 
  3. Manage your time. Spend time thinking about your weekly schedule. Make sure you can achieve your learning goals and balance your time with other activities.
  4. Set goals. Look at your study guide and set clear, achievable goals for the day. Make sure that you break your objectives into digestible, small steps. Be realistic and remember to allocate a suitable amount of time to planning your schedule.
  5. Plan and take regular breaks. Taking regular breaks helps you process what you have learned and concentrate better. Use a tomato-timer (a web app based on the Pomodoro Technique) to help you focus on your studying while ensuring you take appropriate breaks. During your breaks, walk away from your computer. Get some fresh air, take some exercise or do something you find relaxing. 
  6. Stick to your plan. By making and sticking to a plan, you will work more productively and be able to relax better. If you find it difficult to stick to your plan, ask housemates or other people to help you. 
  7. Connect with your fellow students. When there are no online classes to attend, it is still important to be part of a learning community. Arrange virtual study sessions using Skype or other video-calling technology, or arrange remote coffee breaks to catch up with your peers.
  8. Be kind to yourself. Spending a whole day interacting with people via your computer can be more intense than going from class to class. Don’t overdo it! Make sure to take regular breaks, exercise and drink lots of water.
  9. Find support! Is studying from home not working out and are you worried that you are falling behind? Discuss this with your study adviser. You can also contact a student counsellor for advice on studying from home.
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