Studying during a pandemic is the last thing most people thought they’d have to face just a few short months ago. Now, most people don’t know what is in store for the next week, month, or quarter. In today’s post I’m going to highlight a few ways to keep you focused on the books while stuck at home.
Before I get into that, I just want to take a moment to wish everyone good health. I hope you, your family, and friends are healthy and safe, and that studying is your biggest worry at the moment. Many are not so lucky.
Studying During a Pandemic: Is it That Different?
In terms of actual study methods, nothing much is likely to change. But what is going to change is your focus. The large majority of our tutoring students have a very hard time studying without structure. Invariably, working from home removes a layer of structure. Rather than clearly separate your home and work life, the two may bleed into each other now. This is the case because most people are no longer traveling to an office.
To help separate your work from home, a hand written schedule might be best. Map out what you plan to do each hour of the day. Avoid creating a schedule on your computer, or anything in ink to keep flexible. If your workload is a little lighter than when you’re in the office, then work in hours to study during the day (assuming that’s okay with your boss). If not, create a schedule that lines up with a regular work day.
Studying at Home
Studying during a pandemic can make it hard enough to focus, studying at home can be even harder (okay, maybe not that bad, but still difficult). Most people find a million ways to distract themselves from studying. Doing laundry, getting a snack, eating that snack, YouTube, Instagram, and the list goes on.
Try to find a nice quiet corner in your home, and communicate with your family, spouse, or kids that you need a certain period of time everyday that is absolutely “your time” – outside of emergencies of course! Work it into your schedule. It should resemble the time you would have otherwise used to study – so hopefully your family is already used to it.
Set a Timer, and Tell Others
Lastly, to ensure ultimate self-discipline try these two things: 1) Set a time, and; 2) Tell someone else when you are starting and stopping. The time will add a sense of urgency to your studying, while sharing your plan with a friend (and your exact study schedule) will add the social pressure and/or accountability you might need to stick to that schedule. There are few better tricks to force yourself into something that you know you have to do, but would rather not do.
Studying during a pandemic, or in normal times requires focus and discipline. Use creative ways to find your groove and stick with the Series 7 Exam, CFA Exam, or whatever exam you’re working on. Hopefully we will all be back to normal sooner than later, but if not, keep focused. Good luck!