“The Key is not in Spending Time, but in Investing it”
This is a quote by Stephen R Covey, the author of the famous ‘Time Management Matrix’. It means, you can spend time on useful and useless things, but if you call it “investing”, you most definitely should invest it in something that has value and importance to you.
With over 20,00,728 infected patients, 4,84,781 recovered patients and around 1,26,776 deaths worldwide, COVID-19 has become a ‘Global Pandemic’(according to the updates on April 15, 2020). COVID-19 has spread across 208 countries, forcing countries worldwide to enforce lockdown in order to try and slow the spread of the disease.
A good percentage of individuals have lost their job and the majority of the schools and universities have suspended all the lectures and exams. Everyone is advised to stay at home. In India, board exams and competitive exams have been postponed indefinitely. Schools and colleges are shut down, roads deserted and houses filled with family and friends.
As students, you must’ve had certain things that you had always wanted to do. Well, the time is here. The only thing that we have abundant is time.
Why not use it effectively to come out of this lockdown period as more efficient individuals?
Why not utilize our time productively?
Why not polish our extracurricular activities, skills, and passion?
Why not learn the language that had once fascinated you?
Why not read the book that you always wanted to read?
Why not practice the instrument that you couldn’t take out time for?
Why can’t we try learning some online courses/tutorials?
Here are a few tips to effectively utilize the time to study at home.
- Identify the most productive time of the day and study at that fixed time
It is well researched that certain particular times of the day are more suitable for completing specific tasks. You can decide which is the best time of the day for you to get things done. It could be early morning, late morning, afternoon, evening or late nights. Though science seems to think that the best time for our natural peak productivity is late morning.
Basically, people can be divided into two very distinct group
- Morning people, who tend to wake up and go to sleep earlier and to be most productive early in the day.
- Evening people, who tend to wake up later, start more slowly and peak in the evening.
If you identify yourself as either a morning or evening person, and it seems to be working for you, it may be best to not fix what’s not been broken.
- Stay away from distraction
What puts you in a studious mood differs from person to person. Keep away from distraction at the time of your fixed study hours. It does sound like something difficult to pursue. As everyone is present at home due to the lock down period, study at home can be difficult now. There are several distractions like the TV, social media, naps, family interactions, noise, etc. which may prevent students from accomplishing what they dream to do.
But, why not utilize the time you waste on social media to turn your day into something more fruitful? Why not sleep only as required and try to not waste your day? Let’s try to sleep at least and at most 8 hours a day. Let’s try to maintain a healthy family interaction without goofing around. We could always use our electronic devices to move towards a more productive day. Take up an online certification or non-certification courses. The institution has been providing free services like virtual study circles and free courses online (which are otherwise expensive) with regard to coronavirus lockdown. Sometimes, the things you feel are worthless might actually be priceless, you need only know the way to properly utilize it.
- Choose a study zone and keep it clean and organized
Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind while setting up your very own personalized study space.
- Investigate alternate places of study – You don’t always have to study behind your desk. Just looking at the same desk and chair every day can get you all worn out. So, STOP FORCING YOURSELF. Try finding alternate places where you could study without distractions. Best to avoid beds or couches as an alternate place of study (We all know what happens then!)
- Easy Access to necessities – Have easy access to everything you need before you start. Make sure to always have the required stationery, ready to use, right in front of you. Have easy access to your mobile phone and computer (study purpose) in order to attend virtual classes and to site practical examples. Try to always keep a pad of paper right next to you in order to jot down ideas or notes before they fade away.
- Proper Lighting – According to a German study that looked at the effects of color temperature and brightness on the productivity of students, researchers found that the students were more creative under warm light, yet concentrated better under cold light. Try to study near a window, to have some natural light come in.
- Adjust your space to ideal temperature – If your environment has a very cool or hot temperature not only can it cause you to be consciously distracted but can also cause you to make more mistakes in your work unconsciously.
- Eliminate distractions – It might be in the best interest to avoid snacking in your study, keeping away from mobile phones unless you are using it for study purposes, etc.
- Study according to a fixed time table – It is always better to have a fixed time table on which you can look up to check the work that needs to be done. The time table in question should be flexible rather than one that is rigid. The idea is to have a rough picture of what you are supposed to complete.
- Take Study Breaks
Breaks serve as creative fuel. The point of the study break is to rejuvenate your mind so that you can refocus on the task on hand when it is time to get back to work. A good study break includes an activity that will take your mind off studying and not use it for a while. Periodically schedule your breaks for short amounts of time in between your studies. And STICK TO IT! By not taking adequate breaks, you could end up with fatigue, lack of focus and damaged eyes. That doesn’t mean you take ‘too many breaks’. When you take bad breaks, it actually gets HARDER to focus.
Finally, there are some reasons that make study at home all the more interesting than traditional studies at schools or colleges. Them being:
- There will be more free time as time frames are fixed. It will limit teachers from talking about their personal lives.
- A real-life class is limited to the explanation of the theory and practice.
- By virtual learning, students can avail of thousands of formats through which they can learn.
- The video classes can be recorded and made use of from time to time.
Home is the best place to study if utilized properly. Let’s exhaust our time effectively and stay safe.