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Top tips for a healthy work-life balance when studying at home

Child annoying man as he

At this tough time a lot of you will be studying from home, without the support of a classroom lesson to go to. So we’ve put together our top tips for home study - to keep things ticking over.

1. Get dressed

Without sounding like a parent, it’s important to set yourself up as if you’re going to work, or going into a classroom. It can help you get into the right mind set. Make it part of your routine. Before you settle down to do some online learning, put normal clothes on - not your PJs.

2. Create a distinct learning space

And that doesn’t mean a space on your sofa. No, you need a desk set up with plenty of space for your laptop or computer, notes, and a coaster for a cuppa. Research has found that students are more productive with a set workspace, and it helps you separate your home from your studying.

3. Set study time

Make yourself a plan. We don’t expect you to be studying every hour of the day. Give yourself set hours to study, and then some time off. Make sure you remember when the webinars and study sessions are online, but apart from that you can set your own timetable.

4. Don’t be distracted

It’s so easy to spot something that needs doing, but if you’ve set your study time, stick to it. Close the door on that messy room for now, get into your topic, and come back to it later.

5. Take breaks

As important as it is to set study time, it’s also important to set break time. Get up from your chair, away from your screen, and move around. You could do some exercise, go into the garden and breathe in some fresh air, or just look at something different. Don’t make your breaks longer than your study time though.

6. Keep in contact with others

Fellow students can be a real help when it comes to clarifying problems or just giving moral support. Don’t forget Kaplan is also on hand, we are here to support you, please contact us if you need anything. We have a pool of experienced tutors in our Academic Support team, who are available 7 days a week to answer your queries.

Please go into MyKaplan and go into ‘contact my tutor’ on the top toolbar and select ‘email a tutor’ or request a call back.

Their usual opening times are:

Monday - Thursday: 8am - 8pm

Friday: 8am - 5.30pm

Saturday: 9am - 5pm

Sunday / Bank Holidays: 9am - 1pm

Don’t study for too long or cram too much - cramming can work but it effectively overloads short term memory resulting in you forgetting something that was only learned the day before. Little and often is the secret to effective study.

7. Use all resources available to you

So if you’ve been a classroom student, you’ll now be doing your studies Live Online - don’t forget there are loads of resources available via MyKaplan, as well as via the qualification websites. Make sure you have all the online materials you can get from Kaplan Publishing, and use forums to talk to other students.

8. Question practice is key

Although attempting questions can seem a little disheartening, especially if you get something wrong, it is one of the most effective methods of learning. The process of answering a question involves what we call ‘retrieval practice’, forcing the brain to think back over what has previously been learned. By doing this you are transferring knowledge into long term memory.

9. Ask for help

You’re not alone, even if it feels like it at the moment. Just because you can’t speak to someone in person, doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone available on the other side of a screen. Video chatting is brilliant so make the most of it. Your tutors will be available to help you with anything that you’re stuck with, and are there to keep you going with your studies. Don’t worry about contacting them.

10. Stay positive

It’s tough not to be worried at this time, but it’s important to focus on the positive. Try to only consume as much information and media as you can handle, and keep yourself busy. Although the world is an uncertain place right now, this will pass and we’ll come out on the other side of it.

If you’re worried or stressed about learning from home, or what the coronavirus situation will mean for your studies, please do get in touch with us. We’re here to help and support you through this.