The pandemic has upended the world and the field of education is no exception. Students and teachers find themselves in uncharted territory. Virtual classrooms have replaced traditional in-person interactions. Online classes and remote study have become the norm rather than the exception. In this scenario, keeping yourself productiveand focusing on learning can be quite challenging. However, mastering some key skills such as time management and creating a conducive environment at home can help you stay motivated.
Challenges of online Learning
Easy access to technology and the Internet have to some extent made the transition to online learning smoother than expected. However, there still remain quite a few challenges that can keep you from optimal productivity.
- Not everyone knows the ins and outs of operating a computer. With live online classes being the norm, it’s possible that you are unable to resolve every technical glitch on your own and this can slow you down.
- Lack of a quiet and proper space to study and complete coursework or the inability to attend an online class in solitude can prove yet another deterrent, largely effecting on the study effectiveness.
- Sitting for long hours can lead to physical discomfort in the form of back and neck pain. Poor posture and lack of ergonomic furniture can add to your woes. Looking at a computer for long hours can have an adverse impact on your eyes. It can also wreak havoc on your sleep patterns and mental well-being.
- There are likely to be way more distractions at home than in a classroom. This can make it hard to concentrate on what you are doing. For instance, younger siblings making a ruckus or gadgets such as cell phones and TVs with their fascinating array of apps and reality shows!
- Lack of interactions with friends, the absence of campus activities, and getting together for group study at the library are some things that you are likely to miss out on. This can have an impact on your state of mind and slow you down.
- It’s likely that you are used to attending class in your comfortable loungewear. You don’t have to step out of the house anyway, right? Subconsciously your mind will link cozy pajamas to activities such as sleeping, watching TV, or simply relaxing. This can extend to your online classes and you might simply not be in the right mood for concentration and study.
Overcoming the Challenges
The transition from traditional classrooms to the virtual world has been sudden and swift. Meeting the challenges that have resulted head on is the best way to move ahead. Let us look at some tips to overcome these challenges and help you become more productive.
- Addressing technical issues – Check with your instructor or school about troubleshooting issues that crop up in virtual classroom sessions. See if they offer support via phone, e-mail, or live chat and make use of any such resources to set yourself on track.
- Set up a designated study space – If your home doesn’t have a spare room that you can convert into a study area, get creative and work with what you have! Just make sure that it is a well-lit and sufficiently ventilated spot. Turn a corner of your bedroom or the dining room into a study space with your computer and other accessories set up there. Make sure that your study space gives you access to a high speed internet connection and you have plenty of charging points within easy reach.
- Think ergonomic - Say goodbye to back pain and discomfort with the right kind of furniture for your study space. Opt for an ergonomic chair and standing desks that let you change positions throughout the day. The Comhar All-in-one standing desk from FlexiSpot is a good choice. Its versatile yet practical design lets you transition between standing and sitting smoothly. This classy desk in equipped with USB charging ports and is height adjustable with four preset options. The pull-out drawer lets you store your supplies and study essentials out of sight each day. Easy to install and affordable, this sleek desk can easily fit into corners and small spaces. It comes with a safe lock button and anti-collision feature to prevent accidents. Most importantly, the Comhar’s lowest height could be as low as to 28.3”, that being said, it even accommodates your your elementary kids’ remote study at home during lock down.
- Eliminating distractions – Draw up a schedule outlining your day and share it with the rest of your family. Ask them to give you your space and avoid entering the study area during class time. Don’t forget to mark breaks in your daily timetable so you get to spend time with your family and finish up chores too. Seek help from your family if you find it difficult to stick to your schedule. Last but definitely not least of all, do not try to multi-task. Contrary to popular belief, addressing one issue or task at a time can help you finish faster than doing multiple things at once.
- Nurture relationships – If you cannot be with your friends and peers on campus, bring the campus home! Set up virtual chat and study sessions to work on group assignments that would otherwise have been done in class. While this might not be a true substitute for face-to-face interactions in a classroom setting, it is definitely better than being totally cut off from your fellow students.
- Make an effort to dress up – This does not mean you have to wear fancy clothes and polished shoes! Just changing out of your lounge wear to a pair of jeans and t-shirt as you would when actually heading to an actual classroom will work wonders. Being dressed the part will put you in the right frame of mind.
We are living through uncertain times and there have been major upheavals in the way we lead our lives. Here, a little planning and research can go a long way in ensuring optimal productivity. Keep these tips in mind and make an effort to bring about changes one by one. In a matter of days, you will be pleasantly surprised to find yourself on the fast track to efficient and productive online class sessions!