College Students

5 Ways Distance Learning College Students Can Stay Productive

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Productivity and focus are not always the first two attributes associated with college students. The excitement of youth, an active social life, and the challenges of first-time independence make productivity a challenge for most students. This year, the whole game has been changed with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For many months, the lives of every citizen around the world have been affected by the pandemic, and none more so than students. College life has been abruptly interrupted by strict social distancing restrictions and quarantine orders. Many first-year students have not been able to step foot on their new campuses and enjoy any aspect of college life due to pandemic closures.

Although these strict measures are in place to protect staff and students, converting to attending college through online classes and lectures is proving to be a challenge for students. Working from home can be convenient, but staying focused when you aren’t on campus can be difficult.

Productivity is essential for all college students whether they are distance-learning or working on campus. Creating a solid work schedule that will allow time for assignment completion, classes and lecture attendance and an active social life are tough to balance in normal times. Let’s look at a few ways distance learning college students can stay productive and successful.

Create a Work Schedule

Setting aside some time in your day to study and work on assignments is a normal part of every college student’s schedule. However, when students aren’t given the focus of an on-campus environment and become completely in charge of their own time through distance learning, staying on schedule isn’t always easy.

Students can benefit from setting up a weekly or monthly schedule planner. A formal schedule should include all classes, online study group meetings, study, and assignment completion time. It’s also important to remember to schedule a time to enjoy life as well as make time for part-time work.

Get In the Zone

Attending college via distance learning can be convenient, and there is nothing better than attending an online class whilst lounging in your pajamas from home. However, being productive often means that you need to have the right mindset. Distance learning college students need to get in the right zone to be at their best for their classes and studying.

It’s recommended that after you make your formal schedule, you treat your school time the same as you would if you were going to campus. Get up, eat a healthy breakfast, and get dressed before you sit down to work. These simple acts can help create a more serious attitude towards learning.

Create a Workspace

It may be comfortable to work on your online classes while lounging in bed or splayed on the couch. For casual online surfing, this is fine, but for getting the most out of your learning experience you need to set up a more formal workspace. 

Carve yourself out a space in your home where you can focus on your work and lessons. A desk in your bedroom or a space in the living room where you can work without distraction is perfect. Keep all of your school-related texts and information in this space so it is close on hand when you need it.

Stay Connected

The social distancing regulations that have been in place for several months can have a dramatic effect on mental health. This is especially true for college students whose social interaction is an important part of their lives. Thanks to technology including social media platforms and video conferencing sites, it’s possible to stay connected without getting too close.

College students often feel isolated and homesick when away from family and friends at college. Distance learning eliminated that kind of separation but with the pandemic restrictions, students can still feel alone. Staying connected to friends and family provides an important emotional boost that can help increase productivity and focus.

Take Breaks

Although it will take focus to stay on an independent study schedule, there should always be some time set aside for a bit of fun. Working and studying too hard can create too much stress which can affect productivity. When creating a study schedule, it’s important to not take on too much. Make a point of adding in several study breaks throughout the day to provide a break to recenter focus. Taking a short walk, doing a few minutes of exercise, or making a snack are all great study break activities.

We are all learning to deal with the changes and challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has created. College students are under a lot of stress to succeed in spite of these roadblocks. Creating a dedicated workspace, getting in the zone to focus on work, and taking time to have some fun are all excellent ways for college students to stay productive during distance learning.

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