Student Life July 09, 2020
Quarantine mode is still on.. How to stay productive?

Quarantine mode is still on.. How to stay productive?

Currently, in most countries around the globe, the spread of the coronavirus is decreasing. But it is not over yet. Being at home and performing daily tasks in a different environment than usual can be challenging, especially over such a long period of time. But although we are all stuck in quarantine, there are still plenty of opportunities to learn. Of course, these conditions became a real challenge for teachers, students, and everyone else around the world. We have all had plenty of online Zoom lessons by now, and it seems, we have adapted to the current situation in terms of studying. But some things are still new.

So let’s treat this training format as a new challenge. 

As online education is new to thousands of students, their main task is to create a work-at-home atmosphere and focus on the result. They need to find the right balance between being efficient at home and still enjoying some leisure time. You may have heard that Shakespeare wrote King Lear during the plague quarantine. So it is vital to turn social distancing into new opportunities.

Create a learning environment

Now that all of your educational activities are moved to your home computer, the matter of organizing your study space comes to the fore. A traditional checklist will help you equip your personal corner:

· Table order: Create the right working atmosphere with neatly arranged textbooks and stationery, and organized folders. A clean desk decorated with some flowers and pictures will contribute to productivity.

· Silence. It is ideal if you have a separate room for studying. If this is not possible, ask your family not to distract you while studying or use earplugs. 

· Gadgets. At home it can be hard to resist the temptation to check your social media feed every 5 minutes, but constant distractions negatively affect the ability to concentrate. Therefore, it is better to spend some time without gadgets, especially if you do not need them for studying.

As quarantine is not a standard situation, you are free to experiment as well. There are no right or wrongs here – just try out what works best for you! If you find it more interesting to read your material in the living room or on the balcony, give it a try. Habits will help you consolidate workspaces in your home. But keep in mind to have “non-study” areas at home. Those areas should be for relaxation only since there is a danger of falling into the routine of working non-stop when you are at home. 

Find a balance between study and laziness

A well-planned day is a successful day. The best way is to make a list for the next day, determine how much time will be spent on each task, and distribute them by the hour. Perhaps it turns out that the day is entirely free, and you can add tasks from other days or just to relax and reward yourself with your favorite Netflix show. If it becomes clear that you are not coping, then the planning is too tight. The task-managing tools like nTask, Clockwise, and Riter will help you be efficient. But at the same time, do not overload yourself.

Quarantine is a perfect time to form useful life habits, which can become essential later on.Recently, thirty-five students from IE University participated in an experiment to learn how behavioral science can help overcome global pandemic challenges.

Identify the best sources of information

There are several ways to gather information, and different channels are suitable for different people. Some prefer listening to a lecturer, and others memorize information faster when reading it. If you are a visual learner, you can record the lecture and transfer it into a text format or an info-graphic. If you receive information better verbally, discuss an article with your friends, or find an audio version of the book.
Every education institution recommends an e-learning platform for its students. These modern resources allow all types of interaction between teachers and students. You can also use additional resources such as an essay writer, and science sites like Kolibri or Khan Academy to further your knowledge.

Every education institution recommends an e-learning platform for its students. These modern resources allow all types of interaction between teachers and students. You can also use additional resources such as an essay writer, and science sites like Kolibri or Khan Academy to further your knowledge.

Take breaks

There is no need to study continuously for hours. Everyone needs a recharge of batteries to avoid reaching a zero-energy level. A break will let you refocus without burning yourself out. Overall, small breaks can eventually increase your productivity. It is vital to add some time for rest to your schedule. You need to decide how much time you are ready to devote to a particular lesson. Usually, it takes 45-60 minutes. Set your clock for this time and allow yourself a 15-minute break once it is over. This time is good for a coffee break, workout, or some routine household chores. It is also useful to fill the breaks between distance learning classes with something informative and interesting.

Do not neglect physical activity in quarantine

Constantly staying at home is not a reason to give up and forget about your health. Studies show that physical activity is beneficial for our psychological state and self-esteem. Why not take advantage of online resources offering a range of workouts? Many of them are freely available during the quarantine. This Youtube channel offers beginner exercises as well as advanced training.

Say no to multitasking

Recent studies show that the human brain cannot function correctly in multitasking mode. When a person tries to concentrate on several things at once, they have to constantly switch. Such activity slows down productivity and consumes more power. If you try to jump between exam preparation, reading a book, chatting with a friend, and watching a video, you spend more time changing activities and there is no full focus. It is much better to concentrate on one thing at a time, finish it, and then move on to another. It is the only way you can get into the essence of the task and do it well.

Moreover, if you stop clinging to everything at once, the feeling of never-ending haste and lack of time will disappear. And your chances to achieve the goal will significantly increase.

Do not blame yourself for failures

Psychologist Lisa Orbe-Austin emphasizes: “Listen, if at this time of an unprecedented crisis you are coping with your main tasks, that’s enough. This is the period in which you must keep the base level. It is the most important. Do not expect innovation from yourself – this is an extra burden now”.

If you are overwhelmed by experiences now, Orbe-Austin suggests a meditation of 5-4-3-2-1: look and fix on the five objects surrounding you; on 4 objects that you can touch; at the three sounds you hear; on the two smells that you feel; on one taste that you can feel. “Before you begin this exercise, pay attention to breathing. It must be slow, deep so that you calm down”, the psychologist advises.

5-4-3-2-1 Grounding | School psychology, Mental strength, Mindfulness

Every long journey begins with the first step. Every novelty, sooner or later, becomes a routine. We all withstand stress differently. It is crucial to accept situations in which, due to quarantine, you were unable to fulfill a task you actually wanted to achieve in the first place. Praise yourself for your progress, even if it seems small. You will develop your own learning strategy and the long-term benefits will be worth it.

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