Managing your time, working effectively and staying motivated
- Focus on when you work best. We all have times of the day when we’re able to be more productive than others. Try to identify and understand your own rhythms. You can’t always control when your lessons are but where possible you should try to identify the time(s) of day when you are most productive and make sure you plan your study time around them.
- Make a schedule. Working under one roof with other family members can make concentrating hard. 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 privacy, this can reduce friction and help everybody complete their tasks.
- Minimise distractions. When you are studying or watching your lessons, try to minimise the distractions around you. For example, if you have a phone, put it away or switch it off so that you are not tempted to check it.
- Take regular breaks. It’s hard for anyone to focus for long, uninterrupted 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 is a good idea to take a longer break of 15 to 20 minutes. Doing this consistently should help you focus better, for longer.
- Break your work into manageable chunks. A big task (such as an essay or revision) may make you feel demotivated because it seems so big. Breaking the task down into manageable chunks (for example, splitting revision into clear, distinct topics) can help make it seem less daunting and easier to navigate.
- Get creative with your workspace. Make your furniture work for you and how you like to work. Particularly if you don’t have a desk, you could use your kitchen counter, washing machine or ironing board as a standing desk.