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How to be productive when studying at home

Working from home

Working or studying from home can be tough. Employees at top law firm Cleary Gottlieb have put together some top tips to help. Here's how to manage your time, work effectively and stay motivated.

  • Focus on when you work best. We all have times of the day when we are more productive. When do you work well? You can’t always control when your lessons are but you can try to plan your own studying for the times of day when you are most productive.
  • Make a schedule. Working under one roof with other family members can make it hard to concentrate. Write down the times of day when you have a lesson or need to be left alone and put it in a place where everyone can see it (for example, on the fridge door or the kitchen table). If everyone knows when others need peace and quiet, this can help everybody complete their tasks.
  • Avoid anything distracting. When you are studying or watching your lessons, try to avoid having anything around you that might be distracting. For example, if you have a phone, put it away or switch it off so that you can't check it.
  • Take regular breaks. It’s hard for anyone to focus for long periods of time. The Pomodoro Method is a useful tool that suggests you break your workday into 25 minute chunks, separated by 5 minute breaks. These intervals are known as Pomodoros. After about four pomodoro cycles, it's a good idea to take a longer break of 15 to 20 minutes. This should help you focus better, for longer.
  • Break your work into small chunks. A big task (such as an essay or revision) can make you feel overwhelmed because it seems so big. Breaking the task down into smaller chunks (for example, splitting revision into different topics) can help make it seem easier.
  • Get creative with your workspace. Make your furniture work for you and how you like to work. If you don’t have a desk, you could use your kitchen counter, washing machine or ironing board as a standing desk!