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What are some general strategies for remote studying?

  • Designate a specific area as your workspace and only go there to study
     
    • Why this works: Your brain picks up cues from your environment. If you try to work where you usually relax, you might find it difficult to focus.
    • How to do it: Choose a new place where you only go to work. This can be a completely different location (like a library or coffee shop), or a specific part of your home (like a dining room table). Going there will help your brain get into work mode.
  • Leave your phone behind

    • Why this works: Studies have shown that if a distraction is accessible to you, even if it’s silent, you tend to be less focused than if it’s in a different room or otherwise out of reach. 

    • How to do it: Try keeping your phone out of reach when you’re studying, whether that means putting it at the bottom of your bag or in a different room.

  • Use the Pomodoro Technique

    • Why this works: Using the Pomodoro Technique, you work for 25 minutes, and then take a 5 minute break. You take a 15 minute break after 4 Pomodoros. It can be easier to focus when you know you only need to do it for the next 25 minutes, and the short, frequent breaks can help you recharge.

    • How to do it: There are a number of free websites, browser extensions, and apps with pre-set timers, and you can customize the work/break times to your preferences.

  • Set (realistic!) daily goals

    • Why this works: Having a goal to work towards is more motivating than generally wanting to “get something done,” and it’ll help you feel accomplished when you’re done for the day. 

    • How to do it: Each morning, write out a list of what you want to accomplish that day. 

  • Find an accountability partner

    • Why this works: It provides structure to your day, encourages you to define your goals, and motivates you to complete them so that you can tell your accountability partner you succeeded!

    • How to do it: Choose a friend or classmate and check in with each other regularly on your progress. One possible format is that you chat briefly every morning, sharing with each other what you’d like to get done that day, and what you got done the day before.

  • Microtask

    • Why this works: It can be daunting to get started on a huge task because you might feel unprepared, intimidated, or unable to finish on time. By breaking your tasks down into smaller, more manageable chunks, it’s easier to get started—and once you get started you can usually keep going! 

    • How to do it: Break down your tasks into their component parts (ideally things that can be done in 1 hour or less). So instead of sitting down to “study for the final,” your task list might include reviewing each chapter of the textbook, reviewing your notes, taking a practice test, etc. 


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