For many of us the last couple of weeks have seen a whirlwind of change. One of the main ways non-keyworkers can help minimise the spread of Covid-19 is by studying and working from home. At The University of Law, we are working, studying and teaching from homes across the UK to ensure we are doing all we can to providing our students with the services they need. However, if you’re new to studying from home, it can be a challenge. We caught up with Sian Kilgannon, Academic Tutor and Study Skills Advisor at our Manchester campus for her top tips for studying from home.
By Cara Fielder. Published 30 March 2020. Last updated 10 March 2021.
For students accustomed to working on campus or in libraries, studying from home may sound daunting but don’t worry. These tips will help to make studying at home second nature.
- Make a timetable - as we are used to our days at ULaw being timetabled hour by hour, it may be helpful to continue with this approach at home to ensure maximum productivity.
- Get dressed for success. You will feel better - and be more productive - if you get up, eat breakfast and get dressed ready to start your day of study. You will not feel like a legal go-getter sitting around in your pyjamas all day.
- Find the optimal place to study. If you have a home office desk, make it a place you want to work with nice pens and stationery. Many of us don’t have a home office desk though, so don’t worry – find a hard surface such as a kitchen or dining table and try to sit on a chair that supports your back (ideally not your sofa!).
- Minimise distractions. If things aren’t as peaceful at home as you’d like, perhaps with other family members or housemates around the place, think about putting some peaceful music on your headphones. Many students work well with background music. Try @ClassicFM
- Regular breaks are essential. Time away from your studies is vital for keeping up productivity and concentration. Use your breaks for hobbies, catching up with friends, meditating or doing whatever makes you happy. We’re all allowed to get out for a walk or run in the fresh air (remembering social distancing) once a day, so use it if you need to. You can also give yourself little treats for achieving a task, e.g. a cup of coffee and a biscuit or ten minutes downtime on social media.
- Stay connected. Social interaction is really important for your wellbeing so use technology to message your fellow students regularly or set up Whatsapp groups and phone each other. Have lunch together over FaceTime and Skype – there are lots of creative ways of staying in touch.
- Finally don’t forget - you are not alone. If you were on the University campus you would seek out support from study skills staff and tutors so just because you are at home doesn’t mean the support network has gone. We are all here on the end of the phone or just a quick email away waiting to help you, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
If you enjoy productive listening during your downtime, check out our top legal podcasts.