Learning and studying at home
For many students, the restriction of public and professional life caused by the COVID-19 virus is accompanied by some difficulties.
Especially when the space that was previously used for living and relaxing must also be used as a place for work, many people are confronted with problems of concentration and motivation.
Therefore, we would like to give you some tips on how to use the "home office" and hope that this will help to keep productivity and mental well-being at an acceptable level:
- Maintain a routine: Even if the lack of "off-site" commitments tempts you to start the day late, or even to spend it completely in bed, it is still important to give yourself a set of rules for the day to keep your brain active. We therefore recommend that you continue to maintain your normal daily routine.
Also try to do at least one exercise every day for your most important subjects (keyword: O-exam). E.g. old exams, old exercise sheets etc. The constant practice helps you to internalize the topics and not to lose sight of the technical aspects.
More about this in the video (YouTube)
- Pay attention to clothing and hygiene: Even if you don't meet anybody all day, studies show that a certain well-groomed appearance significantly increases productivity. So dress as if you were going "to work" (i.e. to university). Relaxed clothing (jogging pants and hoodie) is tempting and comfortable, but at the same time it also puts the brain into a relaxation mode, which can make concentrated work much harder.
- Separation of work and relaxation places: Studies have shown that a spatial separation of work and living environments is important to enable an appropriate transition between concentration and relaxation phases. Even though most of you will probably not be able to change your place of residence completely in order to separate work and relaxation spatially, it still makes sense to create at least one special work area. This could be, for example, the kitchen or other common rooms in shared flats or a separate (ideally spatially delimited) area, such as a desk, on which only work-related materials are placed. A spatial boundary can be created, for example, by an appropriately positioned shelf or other DIY barriers.
- Make sure you get enough exercise and fresh air: To keep your brain going, it is recommended to do at least 15 minutes of "sport" every day. Yoga or other body weight exercises are suitable for indoor physical activity. It is also important to provide adequate ventilation. Particularly in small rooms, the air quality is often quickly poor. Regular airing helps against this. You should also make sure that you exercise from time to time during the working day. For example, it makes sense to get up and walk around at least every hour.
Professional instructions for short breaks in movement are available, for example, on the pages of the active break at KIT.
- Also set up fixed relaxation phases: Even in quarantine it is important to relax regularly to give the brain time to regenerate. So plan time for relaxation every day in your routine. Especially at the end of the day, it is important to switch to the relaxation mode so that a good night's sleep is possible. Because without sufficient sleep, performance decreases sharply, leading to even less motivation and concentration.
- Maintain social contact: Social interaction is important, especially when direct human contact is missing. Therefore, try to have regular contact with friends, relatives and other students. Online learning groups, in which you can spend time during the day and work together on tasks, e.g. via Internet telephony and, if necessary, even via screen transmission, can be particularly worthwhile in terms of their study content.
- Keep up to date with any updates from the authorities. This includes updates on exam dates, lectures in the new semester, organisational matters concerning tutorials etc. Also make sure that you (as far as possible) adapt your study planning to the circumstances.
- Especially in times like the present, cohesion and social commitment is important, and this commitment also looks good on your CV. What exactly you want to do is entirely up to you. There are, for example, tutoring offers for pupils, where students are always wanted, e.g. https://www.corona-school.de/
Help out in areas where every hand is currently needed: supermarkets, agriculture or - if you have the appropriate training - the care sector.
You can also help by phone calls or letters to people who simply need someone to talk to.
We hope the above tips will be helpful for you so that you can stay on the ball and keep your morale up despite the current circumstances.