Written by Hannah BA English and Creative Writing student
An endless supply of tea, easy access to peanut butter toast and the option to work in your pyjamas; studying from home can be great, especially when it means avoiding a soggy commute to the library and helping to reduce carbon emissions. An endless supply of tea, easy access to peanut butter toast and the option to work in your pyjamas; studying from home can be great, especially when it means avoiding a soggy commute to the library and helping to reduce carbon emissions.
However, speaking from experience, it can come with procrastination pitfalls; Netflix, sleeping and baking to name a few. If you are used to studying with friends home working can also feel a little dull and lonely. That said, when you’ve got a 3,000-word essay to write there’s no better place to get it down. Not convinced? I have nine tried and tested tips guaranteed to help you get the most out of studying at home.
1. Set up a separate study space – Keeping your work and relaxation areas separate can help you switch off at the end of the day. Try and set yourself up somewhere quiet, away from other people and distractions – ideally not in bed as this may cause your brain to associate bed with study not sleep!
2. Wear whatever works for you – A plethora of articles dedicated to home working claim that wearing workwear at home may boost your productivity. I can see the logic and if that works for you go for it! Personally, I like to be comfy when I study and relish the chance to wear outlandish, uncoordinated and oversized clothing.
3. Log out – Make it harder to procrastinate by logging out of your social media accounts and removing the sites from your bookmark toolbar.
4. Work out when you are most productive – I’m not a morning person, the alarm clock is my nemesis. Evenings, however, are when I find myself most inspired. I therefore plan my study schedule around this ebb and flow of productivity by setting myself easier tasks in the morning and harder stuff later in the day. If you are an early bird, make sure you maximise your most productive period by eating your frogs* straight after breakfast.
*In the words of Mark Twain: ‘If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.’
5. Take a walk – Because studying at home eliminates our commute it can mean we can spend less time exercising and being active. I combat this by getting out at lunchtime for a run or a walk – I find it really helps me to stay motivated and energised.
6. Give yourself screen breaks – Sitting in the same position and staring at a screen for too long can leave us feeling tense, tired and sluggish. Extend how long you can be productive for by getting up regularly from your desk for 5-10-minute breaks. (Don’t tell anyone but I find a burst of bad dad dancing helps to get the creative juices moving).
7. Reward yourself – Avoid the guilt inducing hole of Netflix binging by setting targets and rewarding yourself with an episode of your favourite show when you meet them. Be strict though, get back to work once you’ve had your allotted time out.
8. Let the people you live with know when you are studying – Tell partners, parents or friends when you are studying so they know when not to disturb you. Telling someone I plan to work also makes me feel more accountable and committed to getting my work done when I say I will.
9. Celebrate small milestones – Don’t wait till the hand in to celebrate, keep yourself motivated by setting and celebrating small milestones with chocolate* (*insert snack of choice).