The global outbreak of COVID-19 has brought a great deal of change to the world. That much goes without saying. And the education space is certainly not exempt from this.
As a result of the pandemic, many Australian schools have been forced to introduce a ‘learning from home’ system. This means that teachers and students will begin to explore a virtual learning landscape, some for the first time.
Despite any change, the team at HSC CoWorks remains committed to our mission of mentoring and supporting our students to develop the habits and skills they need to succeed in the HSC and in life beyond. With over 24 years of practice up our sleeve, we know exactly what it takes to do this.
Whilst change inevitably comes with some uncertainty, it also brings opportunity. Armed with the right mindset and strategies, we believe that students can benefit from this new mode of content delivery and embrace the opportunity to learn, grow and collaborate. And we’re here to help students do just that!
First things first; to ensure that you can learn and study effectively from home, you’re going to need a designated workspace. Below are our top tips for how to find and set up your workspace to ensure maximum productivity:
Finding Your Study Space
If you don’t already have a designated area in your house for study, you’re going to want to set one up. We recommend choosing an area that is light, well-ventilated and away from your bed or couch. If you are stuck on a space, a small table in a quiet corner will suffice.
Alternatively, it may be beneficial to ‘split up’ your bedroom into two sections; one for rest and one for work. This approach is useful for training your brain to link your bed with sleep and your desk with productive work.
Setting Up your Study Space
Next, you’ll want to make sure that your study space inspires motivation and productivity. It has been proven that productivity is increased when desk clutter is minimised, so it’s important that you keep your desk tidy and organised throughout the day.
Make sure the essentials are effectively organised and easily accessible; your textbooks, your laptop, your mindmap and planning pads, a notebook and some stationary. Having some healthy snacks and a water bottle handy is also a good idea. Most importantly – your study space should be distraction-free. This means that your phone should not be on your desk and should instead be in a different room. Out of sight, out of mind!
To ensure that your study space is not a place of distraction or procrastination, it is also important that you surround yourself with inspiration. A vision board is a critical tool for visually representing your goals and keeping you motivated, helping to drive your energy, creativity and progress. You need to be reminding yourself daily of what you’re striving towards.
Look the Part
Keeping up your usual routine, including by getting yourself dressed, is critical for maintaining productivity across the day.
Our brains tend to associate sleepwear with rest and relaxation so wearing pyjamas throughout the day will likely prevent you from switching into a ‘study’ mindset. For this reason, many experts suggest that studying productively from home necessarily entails dressing as you would if you were going to school or the library.
It is also important that you maintain proper posture, particularly if you are spending long hours working at a desk. This will support blood circulation and prevent fatigue.
Plan Your Day
You should be making a to-do list at the beginning of each day. This will provide you with an all-important sense of structure, enable you to focus on the tasks that matter and ensure that your study is targeted and balanced across your subjects.
Use the HSC CoWorks planning pads to plan what tasks you will work on for the day and upload a photo of your planning pad so that. one of our virtual coaches can give you feedback on your plan as well as provide added accountability. Time allocation and identifying your ‘frog’ tasks (i.e. the tasks you least want to work on) will ensure you are most effective with your time.
It is highly recommended that you PLAN daily to remain on track.
While it is important to plan out your work, it is just as important to plan out your breaks. Leaving time for lunch, exercise, entertainment and relaxation is absolutely vital. Students should be looking to maintain their usual routine as much as possible during this period to maximise certainty and focus.
Abandon Your Excuses
In the wise words of Jim Rohn, ‘If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.’
While it may be tempting to fall back on your old excuses (think: ‘I can’t do work at home! I get too distracted!’), remember that you need to be flexible and adaptable to succeed in this climate. With the closure of many public spaces, home study is no longer a choice and instead it is a necessity.
At HSC CoWorks, we know that those that are solutions-focused are the ones who see the best results. In these unprecedented times, students need to take advantage of the opportunity that has presented itself and embrace the tools available to them.
Teach your brain to believe that it is capable of overcoming challenges and watch the magic that happens from there. We implore you to think positively throughout this time and are excited for our students to harness the power of online learning and modern technology.
Above all, we wish you health and safety during these difficult and uncertain times. If you have any questions, concerns or challenges, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the team. We are here to support you.
Read our next blog on the dangers of cramming.