Whistle While You Work

By Kya Adams ’21 & Sophia Movsisian ’21

Online learning is the new norm that students must adapt to throughout the United States and other countries. Lately, it’s been common for students to lose motivation while grappling with this new system. If students remain productive and approach their schoolwork with a positive attitude, distance learning will become an easier task to manage. Here are a few tips that can make all the difference.

Electronic devices such as tablets and phones are usually the main distraction for teens while in online classes. As a way to remain efficient and organized during these uncertain times, keep any electronic devices turned off during school. Put your phone inside a desk or hidden under a surface to ensure your full attention to the class.

Organize the folders on your school computer and label each one with the class and period number. Put any online assignments in those folders to differentiate them between classes.

As a way to stay productive, try typing your class notes. Lessons in distance learning seem to go at a much faster pace than regular school instruction, therefore you do not want to fall behind on important lectures. If you are handwriting your notes, limit the number of colors you use to highlight them.

If you are struggling or need assistance in a certain class, take advantage of office hours. Online learning can get extremely overwhelming at times, but teachers are always available for questions or extra assistance. Communicate with your teachers as much as you can.

Keeping a planner or calendar can be a great help. This is especially true when being quarantined feels like the days merge and, as a result, some of us forget about important dates and deadlines. Your planner can be as simple or as detailed as you please, just as long as practicality is the main appeal.

Immaculate Heart college counselor Kristy Suzuki said she makes use of planners to keep track of her time. “I find that if I sit in front of the computer for hours at a time, that will wreak havoc with my body, mind, and spirit,” she said. “So, I use my planner to organize my day and build in breaks to get up, get moving, and get away from the screen. I try to spend about 45 minutes to an hour on a project or meeting, then take a quick mental break.”

Ms. Suzuki said she also adjusts where she sits throughout the day. That way her eyes do not get too fatigued. “I adjust my computer screen so that it’s dimmed, and I do some eye exercises to help them feel refreshed,” she added.

In an article for Make School, Lisa Tran recommends practicing self-care as it’s “one of the easiest ways to prevent burnout, minimize stress, and ward off other health concerns.”  Tran suggests taking time to try a new face mask, do a 30-minute workout, “take a warm shower/bath with your favorite bath products,” and have a support system of people to talk to for help when things get too hard. Getting dressed and ready for the day will help you get into the mindset of remaining productive, she said.

In the duration of online learning, it’s easy for students to lose motivation as well as efficiency skills that we’ve learned to develop over the past few years. With the stress of not being with friends as much, being at home almost too much, overuse of electronics, and having schoolwork all being handed to us at once, some students haven’t been doing too well. The challenges of maintaining efficient work habits, given these unexpected circumstances, can be offset with new study habits to fit the situation.

Featured image from USAToday.

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