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How to make Live Online work for you

Bird’s eye view of a laptop on a sofa.
By Katie Santiago, ACA Tutor Link to Katie Santiago's LinkedIn profile

In today’s climate it’s understandable if you struggle to get out of bed in the morning, never mind finding the motivation to learn how to consolidate a foreign subsidiary!

A lot of my students who are experiencing Live Online for the first time have said they feel demotivated and distracted. So I thought I’d piece together some useful tips to try and boost morale and motivation when using the study method.

Get dressed for the day

Let’s be honest. How many times have you stayed in your pyjamas the whole day in the last since late March? As tempting as it seems, my first tip is to actually get dressed in the morning.

You won’t believe the difference it makes to your mindset and productivity! When you actually get dressed for work it signals to your brain that you’re in “work mode”.

Get rid of distractions

How many of us get distracted by our phones throughout the day? From the ever increasing new TikTok dances, to making the famous Dalgona whipped coffee, the temptation to procrastinate through social media is at an all-time high.

I would recommend for you to check your social media when you wake up and then leave your phone in a separate room to where you’ll be working. You’ll be surprised how productive you can be when your phone is out of reaching distance!

Bite-sized learning

A typical teaching day starts at 9am and ends around 4pm - that’s a long time to be staring at a screen. Rather than putting pressure on yourself to concentrate for seven consecutive hours, break up your day.

Your tutor will usually set you one or two breaks in the morning, and at least a 45 minute lunch break, with a final afternoon break. If you can set yourself small goals such as “stay focussed for session 1 (9-10am)” this makes it a lot more achievable.

With live online specifically, your tutor will give more frequent breaks, usually on the hour, which lends itself perfectly for bite sized learning

When you achieve your goal, reward yourself – go and check on your phone, do a silly dance, or go and have yet another slice of cake!

Attend live sessions as much as you can

It’s really important that you attend the sessions live rather than listen to the recording. Listening in live allows you to have more of a routine and stay focussed as you need to keep up with the pace of the tutor.

Copy down relevant notes and attempt the questions set by them. Another advantage of listening live is the ability to interact with your tutor and colleagues via the chat panel. This is a great way to boost morale rather than re-watching a recording with no interaction.

Look after yourself

Stay aware of your mental health. We’re going through such an unfamiliar period in life and it’s likely to have an impact on our wellbeing.

Understanding that you’re going to have some ups and downs during this period of uncertainty is absolutely normal. Try and go outside once a day – either by sitting in your garden/balcony or going for a short walk around your neighbourhood.

Getting that time away from a screen and taking in a bit of fresh air can do wonders.

Another way to look after our mental health is through healthy eating: drinking plenty of water and exercising. There are many free online classes that you can try out to aid your well-being around things such as: yoga, meditation, HIIT and many more.

Finally, make sure you check in on family/friends and let them know how you’re doing. Set up regular FaceTime/zoom calls between groups of people. Since it’s difficult to spend time with them as we normally would, it’s important to get some face time with your nearest and dearest.

Final thoughts

All the above points are valid, but I’d say the best way to ensure your success with Live Online right now is through implementing structure to your day, and to look after your mental health.

Please don’t feel like you’re in this alone. There are plenty of resources available to you if you feel you need to reach out to someone. From your tutor to charities such as Mind or CABA – there will always be someone to speak to.

So stay safe everyone – we’re in this together.