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How Students Can Stay Efficient During Remote Learning 25 November, 2020   

Learning online has never been easy. In classrooms, students are free from any distractions,

while there is also a strict teacher who motivates them and keeps them within the limits. Left to

their own devices, however, students are lured by so many things like popping up messages,

news, favorite apps that require immediate attention, whatnot. In the ocean of temptations, it is

easy to lose motivation and get carried away by absolutely anything but studying.

And although showing willpower and forcing yourself to work hard seems the most obvious

solution for many remote learners, it never works over a long time and only causes additional

stress. Luckily, there are a few productivity tips that may help e-learners open their chakras of

productivity and show discipline throughout long periods.

Build and Follow a Daily Schedule

This is a lynchpin of a remote learner’s productivity. You realize the importance of having and

obeying a daily schedule only when you don’t have one that is imposed on you.

In an ideal scenario, your daily/weekly/monthly routine should be visualized. If you don’t need

any complicated features and want to keep it simple, iPhone or Google Calendar will perfectly

cope with the task. You don’t want to go the path of having your every breath scheduled though;

life always happens and without flexibility, your plan will be doomed to failure. However, it is

important to outline your intentions so that you could refer to your default scenario without long


The best if you include the minimum you want to accomplish throughout the day, like a few

hours of studying, a workout, and a coffee-time with your friend, for instance. If your daily

meals have a fixed time, you can leave them out but take that into account when writing down

your other plans.

Make a deal with your conscience to have plenty of free time for loafing. This can be used for

watching your favorite TV-shows, playing video-games, or socializing. Whatever it is, make

sure it is planned. Our brain needs regular relaxation to restore its efficiency and it will have it,

whether it was deliberate or not.

As you start living according to your daily schedule, you may notice that some things work

better at another time than you planned. Don’t hesitate to move and mix them trying various

combinations. This way you’ll manage to optimize your daily routine and reach the best

productivity in learning.

Eliminate Distractions

A smartphone is the greatest time-killer for modern learners. Every time a new text or

notification makes the screen light up, it creates a distraction that can easily get you off the

course. The access-restriction apps and phone functions can help you return control over your

time and smartphone activity. Plus, you can always leave it out of your room, or in the pocket,

especially when you are using a computer to go online.

Turn off your TV, and make sure that you closed all the browser tabs unrelated to your studies.

Don’t pin too much faith on your willpower to stay concentrated, take measures to succeed.

And of course, even if you took these actions, there is no guarantee that an accidental thought or

an article you stumble upon won’t get your attention carried away. In such cases, make a

Notepad file (or whatever suits you best) where you can jot down your sudden ideas or add links

you want to come back to after studies. Thus, you will stay focused on your learning but won’t

lose the information that interests you. However, make sure that you clean and order it at the end

of the day to avoid cluttering.

Track Your Progress

To get the full benefit from online learning, you need to make sure that you track your to-do

tasks along with the amount of time you spend completing them. You don’t want to half study,

half relax without getting the boons of either.

To start with, list all your assignments, projects, and papers for the week ahead, as well as set the

deadlines for each of them. Next, break them down into smaller easy-manageable tasks and

allocate them right to meet the deadline for each of them. In the case you have the lecture to

listen, or a number of hours for reading, just schedule them as it is. This way you’ll have a clear

picture of what’s left to do, as well as will be able to track your progress, productivity, learning

speed, and lots of other factors. What can be measured can be improved.

Break Your Time into Work and Rest Bits

Our attention and productivity resources are limited. To stay on top of your learning, it is

important to combine highly-focused work periods with relaxation breaks. The Pomodoro

Technique is considered one of the most efficient methods of splitting your time and is widely

recommended by many time-management gurus. Although traditionally the work and relaxation

proportions constitute 25 to 5 minutes, this number can vary according to your individual

preferences, needs, and abilities.

In contrast to this technique, a Pro-papers writer Ellen Hunter invented

her own time-tracking way – work until you’re stuck. “I tried different combinations of

“pomodoros” and it never worked for me. Every time the timer started to ring in the least

appropriate moment, so I decided to work until I get stuck and can’t go any further. Then, I allow

myself a few minutes of rest. Magically, it’s enough to restart my brain and come up with a new

idea,” says she.

Whatever is your case, it’s worth taking some time to experiment and distinguish the most

optimal ratio exactly for you.

Be in Control of Your Breaks

You’ve built your daily schedule, and you’ve defined the most efficient work-and-rest ratio for

you – now, what to do with the breaks?

The worst idea is to leave them to a happy chance. Most likely you will use them trying to figure

out what you can do with this time or tearing yourself up between several urgent activities.

First and foremost, you should physically move away from your computer or tablet. Otherwise, it

won’t feel like a break at all. Switching to your phone is not recommended either; although a

quick response to the most important messages won’t do any harm.

What you really need to do is to make up a list of quick-to-accomplish activities to use during

your breaks. It may be a prompt workout or stretching, making some tea or coffee, completing a

chore (like cleaning one zone in your room), having a brief walk outside, or even preparing you

meal (yes, you can break it into bits so by the time you finish studying you’ll have a just-cooked

delicacy). Whatever it is, just make sure it takes your focus away from online learning and

everything related.

Switching between the activities is a great way to refresh and reboot while completing a lot of

other things you’ve planned for the day. Just keep in mind that your goal is to be 100% focused

during study time, and 100% distracted from it during your breaks.

Arrange Your Study Space

Learning from home is already a great enough challenge, so it is crucial to set up a designated

space for studies if you want to be productive. Ideally, it should be a separate office; however, a

desk in your room will do just fine. Clean it up, order your things, and prepare all necessary

materials and stationery before getting down to studies. The things you need should be easily

accessed if you don’t want your focus to drift.

Remember Your Goals

And with that said, always keep your goals in the background of your mind. Whether it’s a

college degree, or a better career opportunity, remembering your aspirations will keep you

motivated and disciplined throughout your e-learning journey.

Remote Learning

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