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Adjusting Your Study Habits for Online Classes

Additional Tips

This guide provides several great tips for studying and staying engaged in the online world of learning. Below are a few more tips:

Break Up Your Time

A small clock partially obscured by a sticky-note that says break time

Even after making a schedule, dividing up an hour or two of studying or work time to be productive can be a challenge. Breaking up large chunks of scheduled time can make studying or watching lectures feel better and be more effective.

  • As mentioned in section 2, the Pomodoro Technique® is about doing 25 minutes of work with a 5 minute break. After 4 “pomodoros” (25 minute sessions), take a longer 20-30 minute break. This works well in helping break up one large task, like writing a paper or studying notes, into smaller ones or to help you evenly dedicate time across different assignments and activities (e.g. spend 2 pomodoros writing a paper, 2 pomodoros studying for a quiz, and then repeat). 
  • Some people either need or prefer to spend more time on a task. That’s fine! Work for 50 minutes with a 10 minute break. This may help people who take more time to get into the rhythm of studying or writing or who need to practice a skill multiple times in a row.

Help Your Eyes

In addition to making changes to your screen, you can also do exercises and take special breaks to help your eyes.

  • Eye yoga is one technique that can help rest overused eye muscles, strengthen the eyes, and reduce tension. 
  • The 20-20-20 rule is a good way to prevent eye strain. The rule states that a person should take a 20 second break from their screen every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away

An infographic showing the 20/20/20 rule with an icon of a laptop and a bubble saying "take a 20 second break", another icon of a two-thirds shaded clock with a bubble that says "every 20 minutes", and the silhouette of a head with a bubble that says "look at something 20 feet away"

  • Try adjusting the settings on your computer, the website you are on, or the application that you are reading something on so that the background is dark and the print is light (e.g. white text on a black background). This can help to minimize the strain on your eyes.

Move!

Make sure that you give the yourself the opportunity to move during your breaks. When sitting in one position for a long time, our muscles can end up becoming stiff and tense. Stretching, walking, and/or taking exercise breaks can help get blood flowing, give your brain a break, and increase your productivity when you are working.

  • If you’re on a call for school or pleasure, take a walk while you talk.
  • Set aside 30 minutes -1 hour to exercise. Go for a walk, run, take classes on a workout app, check out Youtube fitness videos, etc.
  • Set a timer on your phone or computer to remind you to stand up and stretch. If you’re using the pomodoro technique, incorporate a quick stretch or movement activity into your breaks.

an illustration of a man in a standing yoga pose in his kitchen. Countertops, a sink, mixer, shelves with bowls and jars, cabinets, and an oven can be seen around him.