The University of Malta has recently announced that its learning will be transferred online for the first semester, now whilst E-learning has been around for a while, it’s fairly new to the local scene (although we did get a taste of it last semester).
Whilst attending lectures from home saves time and money (and petrol), it’s also incredibly easy to get distracted and lose concentration…so here are a few tips and tricks to help you stay focused this semester!
1. Prep an Ideal Workspace
Find yourself a quiet corner and aim for a flat, clean surface, with not too many distracting things, so as to maintain your focus. And if possible, try to stay outside of your bedroom – that way, it’s not as easy to just plop onto bed, and you avoid taking your stresses where you’re meant to rest and relax.
2. Establish (and maintain) a routine
It’s more mentally beneficial thank you think to have a place to get up and dressed for 5 days a week. I get it, it’s pretty tempting to wake up right before a lecture and stay in your pyjamas, but it diverts your focus.
Self-discipline can be tough, but it’s crucial…so whatever it is that you used to do before heading to lectures, be it working out, taking a shower, getting dressed, doing your skin routine, whatever it is, DO IT. Overall, keeping up with a routine will help with energy levels and focus throughout the day.
3. Invest in Beneficial Technology
Back-to-school sales are everywhere at the moment, so if you need to upgrade your laptop or computer, now’s the time. And if you’ll be learning from home, where you may be surrounded by disrupting noises, noise-canceling headphones might also come in handy (especially during exam season).
Above all, keep in mind that this situation is temporary. Meanwhile, stay focused on your goals and follow some of these basic tips, so that you can get the best out of your online lectures.
4. Form a Study Group
If you’re not a fresher, you’ve probably done this already…and if you haven’t, or if this will be your first year at UOM, find a study group. Whilst last semester was also online, we were also on partial lockdown, but now we won’t be (or at least not thus far). So, take advantage of that. Find a friend or 2 that perhaps, (through taking the correct safety measures and precautions), you can meet up with and discuss what’s going on in lectures, exchange notes and different opinions, ask questions, etc. It’s always good to have a friend.
Realistically speaking, some lectures will always be boring and pointless, so you’ll end up doing this either way at times, and that’s okay. But for those lectures where if you pay attention, you can actually take something away from (and you know, learn), ditch the phone and be attentive.
6. Have a Study Plan
Outside of lectures, it’s + important to keep up with your assignments, readings, and exams. Purchasing a planner can be useful to help you map out your week and allocate study times.
Another useful tip is to adopt the Pomodoro Technique, a philosophy developed by Francesco Cirillo, who used a tomato-shaped timer to split his work into manageable chunks. This allows you to work one task at a time, then set a timer, work until it rings, take a break, and repeat, in order to increase productivity.
While we ask you to thank us later, we wish you all the very best for the upcoming virtual first Semester!