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How to be productive and study at home

Rejoice Mawire, 26th Apr 2020
Tags: Life Blog Education University Work

I remember when I first started uni. It was so different from sixth form, and I suddenly had all this time on my hands.

To be honest, at the start, I didn’t manage my time very well. I found that it would slip past me, and before I knew it, I hadn’t done any work and all my deadlines were in my face. I bet that’s how some of you might feel in all this.

Dog surrounded by fire and says this is fine
Image Credit: Giphy

Now that schools, colleges, and unis are closed, we have all this “unscheduled” time on our hands and have to find the motivation and willpower to use it wisely.

Thankfully, I learned a few different tips over my uni years that helped me manage my time and study. Here are a few of them:

Create a schedule

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by all the things that I have to do, and creating a schedule or timetable really helps me out.

Image Credit: Cathryn Lavery

I make a list of everything that I need to do, then allocate a set time in my weekly schedule to do each thing.

Doing this means I have a dedicated time to do everything that I need to do. And all I have to do now is focus on what’s in my current time slot.

Do the hardest / most important thing first

I heard of this great concept called “Eat the Frog” (by Brian Tracy), and honestly, I can witness that this works.

It basically means that you stop procrastinating, and do the hardest and most important thing first on your list. The “frog” is the representation of that thing.

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When you get the hard thing over and done with, it lifts the weight off your mind, makes you feel like a boss, and you get motivated to continue working on the smaller things.

Whenever my mind starts to procrastinate from doing the big thing, I remind myself: Eat the frog!

Put your phone away

This seems like such a small thing, but really, it makes such a big difference.

I like to put my phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ and leave it in another room.

This helps me stay focused on what I’m doing, because I don’t get interrupted by any notifications. And the thought of having to get up and walk to another room just to look at my phone isn’t worth the effort at the time.

That leaves me with some lovely, uninterrupted, and intentional time of working.

Respect your ‘me time’

Having time to rest is so much more important for us than we think. When we constantly think about studying or doing work, it can actually wear us out and have a negative effect on our performance.

Taking study breaks, and having some fun ‘me time’, is super helpful to give our minds some time to rest and think about something else.

I like to get outside, go for a walk or run, watch a fun YouTube video, chat with my friends, or even take a nap, to give my mind a break.  And when I do, I feel refreshed and actually work much better, after I’ve had that time away from it.

These are some of the things that have really helped me out. If there’s something from this list that has really stood out to you, give it a try this week and see if it helps you too!

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