I’ve been doing online school for two and a half years now so here’s some tips I’ve figured out to help me be productive at home:
1. Have a routine
Having a routine really helps my brain be more productive. It doesn’t have to be super strict; I just have a general schedule. I wake up at about 8:00ish, stretch, eat breakfast, give myself some relax time to help me wake up, and get to work by 10:00
2. Create a separate workspace
I have a desk in my room that is exclusively for working. Lately I have been using it to sew as well, but I make sure to clear all of my sewing stuff in the morning before studying. Try not to work in bed! If you don’t have a desk in your room, try the kitchen table. If you have neither, sit on the floor! You’ve already conditioned your brain that bed = sleep, so trying to study in bed will lead to less productivity at best and at worst falling asleep during work. Also, set rules for this space. No random scrolling or texting at your desk/table/whatever. If you want to go on your phone, read a book, or watch netflix, you have to get up from where you are working and go to someplace else. 9/10 times you’ll find that you don’t want to put the effort into getting up, you just wanted an easy distraction.
3. Get ready in the morning
This goes back to having a routine, but I decided to make it a separate point because I wanted to discuss why it’s so important. Similarly to how your brain thinks bed = sleep, it also thinks that pajamas = sleep. Staying in your pajamas all day will not only make it harder to be as productive but also might take a toll on your mental health. So before you start studying, hop in the shower, put on the same clothes you would go to school/work in, and go to your dedicated workspace. But, while you should strive to do this, I understand that sometimes there are days where even getting dressed seems impossible. As I’m writing this, I’m still in my own pajamas. So try to get ready in the mornings, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t.
4. Take set breaks
I’ve seen lots of different ways to determine when to take a break, from the pomodoro method to setting timers to having a schedule. Whatever works best for you, do that. Try different ways to see what the best option is and stick with that. Because my classes are through Florida Virtual and I’m only taking 2 classes right now (hooray for overacheiving every other year of high school!), I take a break every time I finish an assignment.
5. The five minute method
Lets be real: there are plenty of days when you just don’t want to work but you still have to. So try using the five minute method. Don’t set a timer, just sit at your workspace and decide to work on something for at least five minutes. Lots of times, you’ll work on it for longer than five minutes, but if not you’re five minutes closer to being done!
6. Make sure you eat!
A car can’t run on empty, and neither can you. Eat something before you work, even if it’s something small like an apple or yogurt. Don’t just let yourself be fueled by coffee; it’s not healthy! Also, make sure you eat lunch, too, especially if you’re studying all day.
7. Set up a rewards program
Studying and working for hours on end with no reward is exhausting. Set a goal and then give yourself a reward when you reach it. It can be as small as a quick stretch or as big as baking cookies. You can also combine this with an accountability program if you have trouble getting work done; I take pictures of my assignments when I submit them and send the pics to my mom, which is my accountability, but I also then set up small rewards for every assignment I submit.
8. Take care of yourself
While school is important, your health is more important! If you are pulling an allnighter, get some sleep or you won’t retain any knowledge
. If you are skipping lunch to study, stop on your way to the library and pick up a sandwhich. If all you’ve had is coffee today, drink a glass of water. Your best isn’t your best anymore if your health is suffering to do it.