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10 tips for productive home learning – from a student

Student in school uniform studies at a desk with textbook and laptop

Year 12 student, Ash Hill, shares some tips for other students on staying productive and motivated while learning from home.

It can be tempting to become complacent and comfortable either while remote learning or when expected to do independent study, but whether you’re in Year 7 or finishing school, you should always strive to do your best. As a Year 12 student, I can tell you that good habits are unbelievably valuable when you transition into your final year of school. For the younger year levels, it’s imperative that you keep trying your best, keep striving for great results and build the habits you need for when you are in your final year of school. And this applies whether you are at school or learning from home.

My point is that self-discipline is important. It’s especially so in the home learning scene, because no matter your age, there will always be a part of you that wants to do the bare minimum, stay in your comfort zone and waft through the days. I’m hoping these 10 tips will help you find ways to be more productive and stay productive.

10 Tips and tricks for a productive home learning experience
  1. Wake up at 7am

    By sleeping in, we lose so much of the day and it also sets up the day to be completely unproductive. I also find I worry less, because I have more time to do morning activities than if I were to wake up at 8am and have only half an hour before school starts!

  2. Get up within 10 minutes of waking up

    As soon as you wake up, try to get out of bed. Don’t procrastinate, don’t hit the snooze button, don’t do anything that will allow you to fall back into being just ‘comfortable’. I recommend literally bouncing out of bed. Clap your hands together as loud as you can and go straight to the shower!

  3. Have a cold shower

    Yes I know, the last thing you’ll want to do in the morning is have a cold shower, but that’s why it’s so good! It’s like the first serious challenge of the day. If you can do this, the rest of the day will feel like a breeze. This one act can build HUGE discipline in a person if you do it consistently. Focus on your breathing – to distract you from the cold, and also to improve your mental strength and wellbeing. Give it a go, after a few minutes you’ll acclimatise and it won’t feel nearly as cold.

  4. Eat a nutritious breakfast before school

    After you’ve hopped out of the shower, leave about 20 to 30 minutes for breakfast. Five to 10 minutes to make it, and 20 to 25 minutes to enjoy it. It’s so important to eat breakfast before school, not only because it makes you feel like you are sticking to more of your natural routine, but because it allows you to think clearer and focus better, earlier in the day.

  5. Exercise at recess and lunch or after school

    Exercise is imperative, especially when in quarantine, whether it be going for a bike ride, run or walk, or simply going outside and getting some fresh air during your breaks. You could also go for a brisk walk after school and simulate walking home from school, even if you just walk around your local area. As our coaches and sports teachers tell us, exercise has many added health benefits and is great for the mind.

  6. See a friend for a walk when you can

    Walking with a friend 1.5 metres apart – and exercising in small groups – is allowed under Victoria’s social distancing restrictions, so take advantage of that and do so. It’s a time when we need to be there for each other, so make a friend’s day by reaching out for a walk and a chat.

  7. Video call family (outside of the ones who live in your house)

    When you get a chance throughout your week, give family a call. With the extra time on your hands, it’s the least you can do. You’ll make their day 20 times better, and not only that, you’ll feel great too. Don’t overlook the power of a simple 10-minute call with family!

  8. Read 10 pages of a book as the last thing you do before sleep

    This is also a big one. It’s a difficult habit to start doing if you don’t read often, but it’s absolutely worth trying. Read 10 pages of a book, and then go to sleep. Don’t check your phone, just go to sleep. The benefits of this include improved sleep quality and more sleep in general, as a book does not emit the blue light of a phone before bed (which keeps you awake).

  9. Get eight to nine hours of sleep minimum

    This is essential. Sleep allows us as young people to repair and restore our muscles, immune system, and neural connections. It also keeps the healthy balance of hormones in check, whilst NOT getting enough sleep increases the likelihood of weight gain and decreased concentration for problem solving. Go to bed early, wake up early, it’s simple!

  10. Get a whiteboard!
  11. This is my favourite: one whiteboard for my exercise schedule and one for my to-do list. It makes sticking to a plan a lot easier, as you can see it in writing. I couldn’t live without structure, and a whiteboard really helps with keeping track of tasks and getting them done.

It’s easier said than done, but I hope that these tips motivate you. They’re not out of reach, they’ll just take a bit of conscious effort and discipline (like anything worthwhile!)

Ash Hill is a Year 12 student at Wesley’s Glen Waverley Campus.

Headshot of Ash Hill

These tips were originally published on Me2You. Ash started the Me2You blog during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to inspire, motivate and spread positivity to others.

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