Are your assignments taking longer than expected? Ever caught yourself staring at social media instead of studying? Skipped a lunch break to catch up on your workload?
You may have mastered the art of studying online, but there are plenty of ways to improve your productivity. Stay sharp and get the most out of each study session with these useful tips.
Make time for breaks
We’ve all had that urge to stay busy in order to feel more productive. The same impulse that forces you to read that textbook, power through a group project or keep revising for an exam for hours on end with no break. You may neglect taking breaks in favour of staying at your desk in hope of achieving a breakthrough. However, in reality, you are causing more harm than good as breaks are very important aspect of study. With them, mental fatigue causes decrements in efficiency, productivity and accuracy of work. Furthermore, the probability of burn out increases without planned intervals to break up the day. Try taking a 20 minute break away from your workspace every few hours and you’ll come back refreshed and raring to go.
Take a walk
Sometimes you may reach a stumbling block whilst studying. A puzzle that seems to become increasingly unsolvable the longer you stare at the screen. The solution. Take a moment to collect yourself and stretch your legs on a short stroll. This will make you feel more refreshed and thinking on the move can actually increase creativity. According to a Stanford University study, people who were walking had their creative output increased by an average of 60% compared to those sitting.
Turn off those notifications!
It’s no secret that communication technology is a useful and necessary tool in today’s world, especially as you are studying online! Unfortunately, this unlimited accessibility is a double-edged sword. Notifications via text, emails, Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media bombard us every day. The constant interruption has a negative effect on workflow and destroys your productivity. A recent Florida State University study reported that the reverberations of new notifications can distract us, even when we don’t look at them, as just being aware of an alert interrupts workflow and damages performance. So if you want the best results, put your phone on silent and avoid those distracting notifications!
Work smart, not long
The busier the better, right? Not always. Yes, being actively engaged in your studies is important but taking on a large workload and being too busy will affect you in the long run. While it might instinctively feel like you get more done if you work longer, the opposite is usually true. You will actually get more done by working less. This doesn’t mean doing less overall, rather breaking the workload into smaller segments. It’s about working smart, not long. Batch your tasks into small 60 minute sessions with a 20 minute rest in between. This way you can focus solely on the task and also monitor the amount of time you spend on each assignment.