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How to study from home effectively

In these times, in particular, it is important that you find a healthy balance between studying, work and relaxation. On this page, we would like to share some tips that can help make studying from home a little less difficult.

1. Make sure you have a comfortable, designated place to study

  • Try to set up a designated place to study. This will help you keep your study and leisure time separate. If possible, make sure you have access to daylight, as few distractions as possible, and a good chair.  
  • Bring the library into your own home with binaural soundscape or take part in the Onlinebrary, an online environment in which you can study together with fellow students.
  • Too busy or noisy in your house? Check whether you may be eligible for a study place in the University library.

2. Maintain your normal daily routine

Plan your day just as you would normally do if you are attending lectures or tutorials on campus.

  • Maintain your normal daily routine and sleeping pattern. The temptation may be great to alter your routine and sleeping pattern, but this can really upset the balance between study and leisure time.
  • Get dressed just like you would if you would be attending class.

3. Planning your week will help create peace of mind

Take some time every Monday to plan the rest of your week. Plan everything, from contact with fellow students and friends, doing a physical activity, reading or watching something, having lunch, to getting some fresh air. Studying and relaxing at set times creates stability and thus helps bring peace of mind.

4. Make sure you are planning realistically

Planning is a tool: it creates stability and gives you control over your time. Planning realistically is the most effective. If you think a task will take one hour, plan an hour and a half. This ensures you can hit your targets, giving you a rewarding feeling. If you would like to improve your planning skills, consider taking the Smart planning course offered by the student counsellors.

  • Every morning, take fifteen minutes to write down the three most important tasks of the day.
  • Use the Pomodoro method: Set a timer for 25 minutes. Study. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Relax. Repeat this three times and then take a longer break.

5. Let go of perfectionism

You are studying in order to gain new skills and knowledge. Try to enjoy this. If you push yourself to give flawless presentations or write flawless essays, you can overload yourself, causing stress, procrastination and possibly even leading to burnout at a point in the future.

6. Don't be afraid to ask for help

For many students, the university can be a stressful and challenging environment, especially in uncertain and exceptional times like these. Please know that we offer help through many different avenues; do not hesitate to ask for it when you could use some help.

7. Make sure you stay connected with your fellow students

  • Log on 5-10 minutes before each class so you can catch up with your lecturer and fellow students.
  • Ask if a fellow student or friend would like to become your study partner and study together once a week.
  • Take part in the Onlinebrary organised by the University library.
  • Ask your study association whether they are organising any social activities!
  • The UvA has devoted resources to improving social interaction between students. Do you have a good idea but are you still in need of financing? Check out Keep in Touch for more information.