1. Make and keep a schedule. Set your alarm! Mon - Fri, set your alarm, get up, do your morning routine. (Eat, work out, clean up - whatever.)
2. Create a daily/weekly schedule, as well as a spring term monthly schedule with all exams and assignments noted (see course syllabi). Write. It. Down.
3. Where do you plan to do your work? Find a place that will not distract you. If you plan to attend class/study in your bedroom, make your bed and tidy up. Clutter and disarray are distractions.
4. During class, study or test time, eliminate all distractions. Put your phone away where you cannot see or hear it. No TV either. Clear your workspace of everything that is not related to what you are working on right now.
5. When it comes to independent study time, ideally you should try for a minimum of 2 hours of study time for each class. (Obviously adjust the amount of time to fit the demands of the course.) Schedule study time for the time of day when you are most focused (especially for your challenging classes)!
- Use the Pomodoro Technique: Work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. After completing 4 Pomodoros, take a 15-minute break. It will be easier to stay on task if you know you only need to do it for the next 25 minutes. Try Strict Workflow (Chrome Extension) to have these breaks built into your Chromebook.
6. Getting started on independent study or project/paper time is often the hardest part of getting work done. If it feels like something is too much to even start, then break the job up into pieces. For example, you need to read chapter 4 and take notes. If the chapter is long, plan to read half before lunch and the other half after lunch. Breaking up a large task into smaller ones will help you get the job done, but you need to have a plan to get the job done, and you need to stick to that plan.
7. To make it easier to get started next time, jot down exactly what you need to do when you come back to an assignment. Knowing what you have to do makes it easier to pick up again. For example, you just completed a rough outline for your paper. Write down the first sentence of the introduction to that paper before you stop working. When you come back to writing, you will know exactly where you want to start.
8. Do you know someone in the same class? After class, set up a time to FaceTime or Skype with that person. This can help you both with learning the course material and being accountable, but equally important, it can be the new "social" outlet for the time being. We are all going to need each other during this time.
Other resources that will help you adjust to an online learning environment.