Working From Home: A Study Guide

Working From Home: A Study Guide

With the recent UK lockdown and social distancing rules, many people are now working from home. Make the most out of the time you'll be spending indoors, with our committee's favourite study tips!

Be positive

'My best study tip is start the day in a positive mindset. Have everything organised the night before so you are 100% focused when you wake up and know exactly what you want to achieve.' Rosanna, Communications Officer

If you approach each study session with a positive attitude, you'll increase your chances of achieving your goals for the day. Instead of focusing on how much you have to do, think about what it will feel like to have done a good day's work, and work from there.

Forever in the river
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Thinking positively also reduces stress! Be aware of what you focus on, and try to celebrate each day, rather than letting stress overwhelm you.

Get organised

'A study tip which I use is to organise your time! Try and set goals for each day, even if they are small, and tick them off throughout the day.' Charlotte, Schools Plus Coordinator

Decide how long you're going to study for, and what time you want to start. You'll be much more likely to stick to specific goals like 'I'm going to start at 10am and work for 3 hours,' than vague ones like 'I need to study tomorrow.'

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When setting goals, make sure they're achievable! There's nothing worse than working all day and still feeling like you're getting nothing done. The best goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Read more about setting SMART targets here.

Break it down

'My best study tip is to break everything down into much smaller tasks as bigger tasks can quite often be overwhelming.' Kieran, Schools Plus Coordinator
Weekly Review for Your Goals
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If you find you're getting stressed over a big project, (think dissertations!) it may help to break it into smaller, easier tasks. When setting goals for the day, don't just have in mind to 'work on your dissertation,' but set specific and achievable goals like  'write 500 words, and find 3 more sources for the next paragraph'.

Map it out

'My favourite way of revising is reading aloud from mind-maps... lots and lots of mind-maps....' Rosanna, Communications Officer

Mind-maps are great for organising and processing key information. Mind-mapping information is actually a similar process to how our brains order thoughts and generate new ideas.

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If you're running out of paper at home, or like to keep things digital, you can make mind-maps and other study resources online.

Visualise success

'I'm a visual person, so I use bright colourful pens and mind maps.' Bethany, Fundraising and Events Coordinator

According to experts, there are three different learning styles: auditory, visual and kinesthetic. Auditory learners take on more information when hearing it/reading it aloud, visual learners remember more when they can see the information, and kinesthetic learners are best suited to activities or movement relating to the topic.

Eyes tell no lies
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Knowing how you learn best can be key to effective revision! Find out what kind of learner you are here.

Paint a picture

'I attempt to associate pictures and stories to what I'm revising in order make it easier to remember.' Alice, Student Executive
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Drawing out your revision notes is a particularly effective technique for visual learners! Diagrams can be useful to help you remember a complex concept, and incorporating illustrations into your notes can help you remember information a lot easier than if you only have written notes.

Brighten your day

'I absolutely love incorporating colour into my revision... whether it is colourful cards, post-it notes or felt tip pens.' Kieran, Schools Plus Coordinator
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Using colour in your notes enhances your memory, as research has shown that colour is strongly linked to our ability to process and recall information. Adding colour to your notes may also help you to categorise what you've learned, which also aids memory.

Practice makes perfect

'Practice questions. Take breaks every so often.' Hannah, Fundraising and Events Coordinator

For kinesthetic learners, who learn best while doing, practice questions are particularly important. If your professor has given you some sample questions, do them - that's the best way to prepare for exams.

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'Research, practice questions and timing yourself, write down information repeatedly to remember it.' Carmen, Youth Theatre Coordinator

If your course is more focused on essay assignments, it can help to summarise your class notes as if you're writing an essay. Take half an hour of study time after each class to write a small paragraph about what was talked about during the session. If you practice essay writing in small chunks like this, you'll not only remember more of the information, but you'll also have lots of paragraphs you can adapt for the real assignment.

Question time!

'I revise best using in making super colourful mind maps and revision cards and then being quizzed on this information.' Alice, Student Executive
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Being able to recall information without a prompt is a sure way to know that you've learnt it! Revision cards are great for testing yourself, but it might be useful to ask a friend to test you - that way you can't cheat by simply flipping over the card!

Show your work

'I like to read aloud as if I'm presenting to an audience, as it makes certain that what I'm trying to convey both flows and gets the point across.' Steve, Social Enterprise Coordinator
man speaking on stage blue background hands raised at a conference
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Explaining a concept to someone else who's unfamiliar with a topic can also be a helpful way to check you understand it. They can also ask extra questions and make sure you don't miss anything out!

Take A Break

'Work in manageable chunks with meaningful breaks when you’ve completed a chapter, a paragraph or a task.' Aaron, Student Executive

Once you've completed a small task, make sure you have a break! Just having a short walk around the house, or getting up to get a glass of water can have positive impact on your productivity.

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Lapses in concentration can often come from tiredness or overworking - so make sure you give your brain time to rest between tasks.

Reward system

Try and set up something to do to reward yourself! If you know you are going to do something afterwards,  e.g. go for a walk or call a friend, then you have something which will help motivate you to work.' Charlotte, Schools Plus Coordinator
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After you've finished studying for the day, try to do something you enjoy! Having something fun planned afterwards can be a great incentive to keep studying throughout the day if you know you'll get a reward at the end.