Tuesday, March 06, 2018

At Home Student

As an off-campus student, I have certain responsibilities that regular first years do not. A big responsibility is finding the energy to study and work when at "home" and not at a library or study space.  It can be hard to draw the line between work and your personal life. 

Here are ten tips to help you work more effectively at home!
I have spent a great deal of these past months auditing my time and making better use of it. In two classes, I had to audit my actions and review my inactions which were terrifying but eye-opening. Skip the audit and go straight to stage one. Prioritize everything in your life each day using a list, spreadsheet or planner. By maintaining a short to do list, you won't sink into the "what to do" phase. I am very accomplishment oriented so the pleasure of checking things off a list makes it all worthwhile - even vacuuming.  But seriously, do not make a monster list and end up losing to it. Keep your short list of prioritized tasks on hand each day and smile when it is all accomplished. 
Secondly, truly block off time that is dedicated work time. I have to set a schedule that I abide by. I have to state that "from this hour to this hour I will work on this".  Turn I turn on Spotify and start whatever it is. 
Should I complete the task earlier than expected, I peak at my go-to list and see if there are any short tasks that need to be done.   All this being said, do not do the dishes in the middle of your homework though! Yes taking a break can be wise if you are working hours on end, but do not start a different task! 
For external distractions such as unnecessary notifications from social media and other apps, just turn them off. I use my work time to charge my devices, not in use. Also, forming a dedicated workspace in your home that is free of distraction is key. I have a table that is my "war desk". It houses my laptop, writing utensils, printer, binders, speaker, textbooks and everything else. Homework does not go into the living room or bedroom... ever!
In short, dedicate yourself to your work! Let it have your undivided attention and thought. If you try to do everything, you will not do it to the best of your ability (Jack of all trades, Master of None). I encourage you to try different ideas when it comes to studying and staying on track. See what works best for you, and be flexible as your priorities change.
Now get to work!