Online learning has become the new normal for students due to the Coronavirus pandemic. As everyone has been required to stay at home to lessen the spread of the virus, people need to adapt and be creative on how they can continue with their lives while staying at home. The adjustment is extra difficult for students as learning new lessons is a big challenge, especially outside the university environment. Distance learning requires discipline—something that is not easy to achieve when you are adjusting to a new setup.

Studying at home can be difficult as there are a lot of things that may distract you from focusing. Finding the motivation to study alone can be hard when there’s the temptation to just go back to bed or play video games. We know that having the self-discipline that is required to succeed in this kind of setup is challenging. However, just like any other challenge, all you have to do is conquer the first steps, and everything will follow! In this guide, we provided you with the first steps you need to accomplish to adapt better due to the online learning setup.

Organise your work and manage your schedule.
The best way to become more focused and motivated to study is to become organised. Having several tasks or assignments on your table without the proper plan to accomplish them can be overwhelming. To avoid stress and unnecessary pressure, organise your work by having a clear schedule. With an organised study plan, you can easily keep track of your tasks and take note of the deadlines. Laying down all of your tasks can also help you decide which ones you should prioritise. This way, you can also find it easier to get things started and plan your week ahead of time.

When planning your schedule, make sure to set aside a specific time for learning. Studying on your own may take longer than face-to-face learning, so consider putting in some extra time when learning a new lesson. Invest in an actual board or planner where you can list down all of your tasks and assignments. You can also use calendar apps such as Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook Calendar to efficiently organise your schedule. Remember that being able to actually see your tasks on a planner can help you better manage your thoughts, which can ultimately motivate you to stick to your schedule.

Establish a dedicated studying area.
One good thing about learning inside a university classroom is that your studying environment is different from your resting and recreation areas. When you study at home, these areas get blurred, making it more difficult to focus on doing school work. To boost productivity and help yourself focus on learning, you need to create the ideal learning environment for your online courses.

If you are studying inside your bedroom, make sure to separate your study station from your sleeping area. Avoid reading and doing your assignments on your bed, as doing so will mix your studying and resting habits. It is also essential to keep your bedroom neat and tidy to avoid distractions. 

A messy and cluttered bedroom can cause stress and uneasiness. If you want to have an environment conducive to learning, make sure to clean and declutter your bedroom. When decluttering your room, display only the essential ones and hide or store those items that you do not use often. Ensure that your study area only includes things that are related to studying to avoid distractions. Consider renting a storage facility to store those excess items. If you live in a large city such as Crawley, find a good and accessible self storage unit in Crawley to free up as much space as possible in your bedroom. 

Keep gadgets and other distractions away.
Seriously, you need to hide those gadgets away from your studying area. Do not be confident that you can control yourself from the temptation of using those gadgets and playing those video games. There is nothing wrong with de-stressing yourself with social media and video games, but you need to manage your schedule wisely. Chances are, if you experience a bit of stress while studying, you’d get distracted and turn yourself to those gadgets. If you want to stick to your schedule and get things done, hide those gadgets and possibly log yourself out first from your social media accounts when studying.

Do not be afraid to ask for help.
It may feel like online learning means studying on your own, but there are actually several ways you can ask for help and participate in discussions. You can now easily reach out to your professors when you have questions through online meetings and consultations. Social media also has made it easier for people to collaborate online. You can collaborate with fellow students through messaging apps, such as messenger and discord, and office tools, such as Google Docs. You can also post questions on question and answer websites such as Reddit, Quora, Facebook groups, or Stack Overflow if you are a programmer.

Prioritise self-care.
All of these tips are useless if you do not take care of your well-being. Your physical and mental health should still be your top priority. You need to have a healthy body and mind to focus on your studies properly. Ensure you stay healthy while studying at home by keeping a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and regular exercise. Your mental health is also just as important. Avoid overworking yourself, and spend some time relaxing and rewarding yourself after a busy day.

These tips are only the first steps on how you can help yourself adapt to online learning at home. If you want to develop that discipline in studying, you need to do these tips regularly and motivate yourself to stick with a clear schedule. Ultimately, the choice still depends on your desire to learn. Make sure you set your eyes on the goal to keep that discipline and passion you need for your online courses.