Unfortunately, University closure doesn’t mean we get an extra holiday – for some, exams will have been turned into alternative assessments, for others, exams will still go ahead, but regardless, we need to keep on top of our studies at this time.
I’m Lila, your VP Academic Quality at JMSU, and I’ve listed some tips to help keep you focused on your studies at home.
Regularly check your university inbox
The coronavirus pandemic is developing daily and decisions are being made every day regarding your university experience. It’s important to keep checking your inbox for any updates from your programme team or the university!
Find somewhere quiet to study (and that isn’t your bed)
Your brain associates locations with activities which is why it might be hard to focus sometimes whilst sat in your bed. If you still have online lectures, try and watch them somewhere that isn’t your bed – it’s far too tempting to fall back asleep. Sit at a desk, your sofa or even the kitchen table – but make sure you’re comfortable.
Likewise, get changed out of your pajamas – it will help you get in the headspace to do some work.
Plan, plan, plan!
Schedule your study and breaks into slots. Physically writing your to-do list for the day really helps too. Break things down into smaller tasks and tick them off once you’ve done that – it’s super satisfying and you can keep on top of every little thing. Once you’ve got yourself rolling, it’s easier to get into it.
Stick to your schedule
Whilst it’s easy to stay in bed for an extra hour or two, try and stick to the schedule you would have if you were expected to be in. Have breakfast, drink your morning coffee, and start your work prompt and early. The earlier you start, the earlier you’d finish!
Variety is key! Organise non-university tasks in your diary too!
Focusing on one task for a long period can be difficult. Organising laundry, cleaning exercise or even a shower between study can really help keeping you on track. Having a break (that isn’t really a break) can both keep you productive and resting from work! Try it.
Get some fresh air & keep on moving
Social Distancing doesn’t mean you can’t go outside. Take a walk, sit in your garden and take a breather from all of your work.
Communicate, but be patient
Working remotely can sometimes bring about some problems, whether you’re having issues with IT access or you’re starting to feel ill. It’s important you keep the university aware of any issues you’re having whilst studying at home.
Please however be aware that you might not always get a quick response. The university is working tirelessly to keep up with the ongoing demand and issues arising, so please be patient with them.
Technology is your best friend
Now more than ever it’s important to take advantage of all the technology around you that can help with working remotely. There’s lots available through the internet, your app stores and on the university desktops.
As LJMU students, you can access your university desktop at home through Citrix. This allows you access to your folders and work that you’d normally access through your university PC.
As LJMU students, you also have access to a free subscription of Office 365. You can access this through www.portal.office.com
You might find some more features on your devices that help with productivity. Now everyone is communicating via social media a lot more, it’s important to switch off when you’re doing your work. ‘Do not disturb’ on your phone is a good feature to keep you distracted from the regular pinging on your devices. Similarly, you could manually switch off notifications on your apps or control your usage on there using the screen limit settings.
Make sure you’re giving yourselves regular breaks away from your work and technology. Get some fresh air, exercise, and eat! Keep in touch with one another. For some this is an incredibly lonely time. Working at home can be super busy for those living with family or super lonely. Reach out to your family and friends and support one another if you can. Remember, we are all in the same position.