We all know that 2020 was an unprecedented year, filled with challenges and constant changes to our normal life. January can sometimes feel like quite a ‘blue’ month, with Blue Monday falling on the third Monday of the month every year.
Let’s face it – it can seem long, cold and a bit miserable. It is also the month when most New Year’s Resolutions are broken, and the first January we will have spent in a national lockdown due to the ongoing pandemic.
But while we don’t yet know what 2021 has in store for us, there are certain ways that you can make it your year – and we are here to provide you with the motivation you need to beat those January blues!
If you have already broken your New Year’s resolution or are feeling unmotivated – don’t worry! You are definitely not alone and, here at College, we want to help you get back on track. Here’s some ideas of how to get organised and make the most of remote learning to get you started…
Are you lacking in organisational skills? A new year gives you the chance to start anew with your mindset. There are a few ways to keep your life more organised and they’re really simple and easy to follow!
Clean. This may sound like quite a simple solution but keeping personal spaces such as your bedroom tidy can help you feel more organised. Why not try to tidy away your fresh laundry and put away your learning materials in your room before you go to bed each night? This allows you to wake up the next morning with a fresh, clean start and enables you to work and live in a clutter-free space.
Declutter. Now this is quite similar to keeping your personal spaces clean, but it is different – we promise! Take the time to go through your belongings and have a clear out of what you don’t need. Do you have a collection of water bottles gathering under your bed? Do you still have clothes from five years ago that you can’t remember the last time you wore them? You’re definitely not the only one! Decluttering your space allows you to make way for new items and frees up space. It’s difficult living in such confined spaces during a global pandemic but freeing up what space you have can be useful!
Filing. Do you make all of your notes in one notebook, or on similar digital documents and then not file them properly? Filing your College work can be incredibly beneficial. Not only does it help you when you might need to refer back to something, but is really useful when it comes to exams. Organise your notes by topics/subjects and file them away properly for peace of mind.
Plan. Planning can help in many aspects of your life and there are many ways to plan, it’s all about finding the method that works right for you – if you never try, you’ll never know! Maybe write a weekly schedule for yourself so that you remember to take breaks in between your online classes, or jot down your classes for the day so that you are prepared with any notes you may need. Planning can also help with your independent study work – set yourself deadlines and give yourself rewards for hitting those deadlines. It should really help to motivate you and make sure you’re not overworking yourself.
Things to look forward to. In a year that appears uncertain, it’s good to have things to look forward to. Write down, or even just think of things that you are looking forward to. There doesn’t have to be a time constraint to any of these events, but looking forward to happier times can aid you in getting through the bleaker ones. Maybe you’re excited about university, or the next step in your career! There’s always things you can be looking forward to, so it’s good to stay positive and work towards your goals!
We know that remote learning can be difficult sometimes and may not be your preferred way of learning, and we’re so amazed by how quickly you have managed to adapt once more to going online. Check out some of our top tips below on how to optimise your remote learning experience!
Establish a routine. Waking up at a similar time to what you would have done if you were coming into College helps to establish a routine and gets you into the swing of being in the right headspace for learning. Waking up earlier helps your brain get into gear before you have your first class of the day as well! Make sure you take your lunch break away from your workspace – even taking a quick walk outside helps to clear your head for a while, and don’t forget to log off at a reasonable hour!
Establish a workspace. If you have enough space and are able, do not work while on your bed. Establishing a workspace helps you compartmentalise your College work into one specific place so that it does not take over your whole house. We understand it must be difficult doing all of your learning from your own home so try to make sure you still have spaces that are not related to your College work.
Establish achievable goals. Trying to motivate yourself each day can sometimes feel exhausting. Set small, achievable short-term goals for yourself. Completing these smaller tasks helps you to feel like you are moving in the right direction and gives you that sense of accomplishment, motivating you to complete your larger tasks!
Move around! We recommend moving around every hour, as you would do if you were going between your classes on campus. Quick breaks from your screen give your eyes chance to rest and give your legs a stretch. Make yourself a drink, go to another room in the house, whatever feels right for you!
Plan. As well as helping you feel organised in your daily routines, planning can help you focus at home. Write down what your lessons are for the day and pencil in short breaks around each of these lessons – it will help you focus and make you feel more ready for the day ahead.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are learning in the middle of a global pandemic from your home – we don’t expect this to feel completely normal for you and it’s completely okay to feel stressed or anxious. Just remember that our Learner Services teams are always on hand to help you and so are your tutors! Our College staff are here to make your further education experience the best it can be, so don’t suffer in silence and don’t be so hard on yourself!
We hope you find these top tips useful and we’ll see you all again next month for our next blog!