6 Tips for Staying Productive

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6 Tips for Staying Productive

Being a distance learner has its benefits. You get to wake up, make some coffee, stay in your pyjamas or onesie all day…Okay, perhaps this isn’t reality for the majority. If this was the case, I doubt if much work would get done!

There are many obvious benefits to being a distance learner. Studying from home makes it possible to study whilst holding down a full time job, looking after the home and children etc. It does however require a good dose of self-motivation, focus and dedication; it can be all too easy to get side-tracked.

Here are some useful tips to help you get the most out of learning from the confines of your home.

  • Not all noise is good noise

You might be tempted to fire up your “go to” playlist, but this can often be more of a hindrance than a help. Similarly, trying to find a space with no noise at all can be counterproductive (as it makes any small noise all the more prominent).

White noise has been shown to improve both memory and concentration, so why not try using an ambient noise app? Birds chirping, the sound of a fan, rainfall, waves crashing on a beach…the list is endless! Having white noise in the background will help you to stay focused on your studies much better than any dance party playlist that you might have in mind.

  • Time for a brew?

Caffeine is a powerful stimulant, and although it has been known to help with concentration in small doses (one to two cups of regular strength coffee or tea), having too much caffeine can be detrimental. Not only will it dehydrate you, but in higher doses it has been known to cause palpitations and is likely to disturb your sleep.

Try to spread your caffeine intake over the course of the day and always avoid caffeine products close to bed time.

  • Make your housework work for you

It can be really tempting to reorganise your sock drawer instead of completing “that” assessment!

Your washing machine, your slow cooker, your dishwasher; they all have timers, so why not make them work for you? Pop your coloureds in and make this your study timer!

As your machine starts, so should you. You can take a break to switch loads, or check on how your meal’s coming along in the slow cooker, and then the timer begins again.

  • Take notes, then take more notes

As a distance learning student, it can be tempting to stay on your laptop throughout your study period, but don’t forget your physical course material, or your notes! When using laptops over a prolonged period, it’s easy to get distracted more and remember less (especially if you have the likes of YouTube open on another tab!). Multitasking during study causes productivity to fall by up to 40%.

It’s also important to reflect on what you learn; whether it be a new topic in your course book, an article you’ve read in the press or even your own revision notes. Reflecting can often help to cement those points, ensuring they stay with you.

If there are any topics that you feel are weak, try rewriting them in note form so that you understand them better. Tab your books, highlight specific areas etc.

  • Three…It really is the magic number

The Rule of three suggests that you just focus on three things that you want to complete. Make a to-do list and only put three things you have to do on it. As you complete each one, scrub them from your list. Once you’ve finished those three, create your next list of three.  Completing these lists will keep your motivational levels high (as you are seeing constant success as you move through your day).

  • Dress for the occasion

We know…wearing your ‘jammies’ all day can be one of the best parts of being able to study at home, but by getting up and getting ready for the day, you can help to set the tone for making it a productive day.

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