Breaks for hours and Netflix all day long? Overcome the challenges of studying from home and take advantage of the benefits!

By offering all formerly planned in-class modules online, we react to the current situation to not only guarantee the safety of our students, professors and employees but also to ensure the continuance of your education at the same time. We also prefer to have our students around but due to the current situation online studies are the way to go. Since we have already been working with blended learning in most of our courses, we are very experienced with video lectures, screencasts or interactive online sessions. We do our best to provide you with the high quality teaching you all know and value.

There are a few challenges that occur when studying off-campus but none you cannot overcome. To support you with this, we have provided some tips and tricks for studying from home.

Create a clear time frame to structure your studies

Time management is the key: Besides interactive studies on a set time, you can try to use the time of the day when you feel most productive for your studies. Don’t force yourself to study when your brain isn’t fully awake but use your natural rhythm. Nevertheless, try to stick to a clear time frame to structure your studies. Creating a timetable can be helpful to get organized but you must set reasonable limits and plan with enough time for proper breaks. You can also use a timer to help keep track of this timetable and to focus on one subject at a time until the timer calls for your well-deserved break. Use your break to get some fresh air or do some exercise to let your brain process what you learned – watching TV can be contraproductive.

Try to minimize possible distractions

Speaking about watching TV – you should switch it off during your study sessions! Same goes for your smartphone to minimize possible distractions. Also household chores should be ideally finished beforehand so they don’t keep distracting you. Healthy snacks or drinks are best prepared during your set breaks or before a study session to avoid wandering off into the kitchen and losing your entire focus.

Give your studies a direction

It’s called “Active Studying”: Try to ask yourself questions before, during and after study time to give your studies a direction and to help to keep you on track. These could be questions like “What am I about to learn?”, “Do I understand what I have just read?” or “What can I take away from this study session?” Furthermore, use an academic planner to keep all your assignments, homework and deadlines in mind and keep your learning materials organized.

Keep your learning zone separated from your relaxation area – if possible

Have a designated study area: Try to find a regular learning zone with a lot of natural light that you use mostly for your studies – preferably a different one than your comfortable bed! Keep this place clean and organized to help you focus on the tasks at hand. Clear your study area of everything except the tasks you want to work on at the moment. After all, seeing the mountain of tasks you still have ahead of you hasn’t helped anyone so far. Don’t forget to have enough to drink, like water or tea, and maybe even some healthy snacks like nuts to fuel your brain.

Stay in contact

Last but not least: Keep socializing! Use online options like interactive sessions, consultation hours and communication tools like Zoom to stay in contact with our staff and other students. This not only helps lighten up your mood but collaborating also can be very helpful for your studies. But remember to formulate clearly when messaging to prevent misunderstandings since it is hard to communicate irony via text messages for example.

Advantages of studying from home

Studying from home can work out quite well and even has some advantages – for example, not having to get up early to catch the bus while it’s pouring out of buckets but above all, you can organize your time exactly the way you can work most effectively. These tips can help you with the biggest challenge: Keeping your focus.

If the situation continues we are already prepared to start your studies digitally in the upcoming winter semester. Prof. Michael Schneider, academic director of our M.Sc. Data Analytics & Decision Science, is truly satisfied with how our students adapt to the new situation – and we are really happy about the huge support from all sides. Together we will bring out the best of that extreme situation. Let us know if we can do something to help you.