During the coronavirus many of us haven’t seen the campus for months. Some were able to go to the campus some days per week, but with the current lockdown more of us have to deal with the current restrictions. In general, all of us have to do most work from home. Working from home is difficult and sometimes counterproductive. In this article we will dive into some tips & tricks in order to make your day more productive. This article is created by practical tips & tricks from several students and young professionals.

Start the day on time

Many have problems with starting to study early. The first hurdle to overcome is to get out of your bed. Because you don’t have any responsibilities it is harder to get up early. The snooze button or watching Netflix or Youtube sounds like very attractive alternatives. A good solution is to start your day with a Zoom meeting with fellow students, friends, colleagues or whoever you can find to drink a cup of coffee or have breakfast with. This results in a social start of your day and together you will be able to motivate each other to get up early.

If you managed to get up early it is also important to start with studying, instead of watching series, movies or play games. It is not strange that you have difficulties to start working in the morning, since your room is mostly the place where you have fun, sleep, eat, play games, watch series and work. So, when you are behind your desk it doesn’t feel like you are at a study place. That’s why you can solve this by starting your day with a morning walk of 15-30 minutes. Fresh air and walking is good for your body and besides that, if you come back you have more the feeling you went from your room towards your study place. If you are back at your room, start directly, otherwise the study room feeling will be gone. Sometimes these time investments feel counterproductive itself, because you start your day later due to the meeting or walk, however if you are productive afterwards you will get you time back compared to days where your productivity was limited.

Alone but not lonely

Studying alone but not lonely is also an option that many students use in order to overcome the counterproductivity. This means that you are in a Zoom, Hangout or Teams meeting with others. An option is that all members are muted and you start working on your own work. This means you see other students also studying and this creates a kind of ‘studying together’ feeling, while you also get the motivation of seeing others study. Another option is to unmute everybody and really work together, like make mathematical questions and discuss the answers in order to learn from each other. Many different options are possible here. Also on YouTube many videos of students who study are available if you search on ‘study with me’.


About sports and study many different opinions exists. Some students start their day with doing a home workout (because gyms are closed) or a morning run. This will refresh their brains and the tiredness of getting up is totally gone. Thus, it gives them tons of energy. For the same reasons some students do sports in the middle of the day to break their day in two. Lastly, other students prefer to do sports in the evening in order to reset their mindset and be able to sleep, instead of lying awake and think about study.

Take real breaks

Like we already stated, due to the lockdown your room is the place where you mostly sleep, study, game etcetera. When you are at your parents house you mostly have a bit more space and rooms available, but still in most cases your bedroom is also your study room. In order to refresh your brain it is important to take breaks, however if we are at home it can be very attractive to take your break behind your desk and watch that one episode you did not watched yesterday. This is not a real break because you stay at your work place, same laptop/tablet/pc, only with a bit more fun content. Therefore it is important to take a real break, away from your laptop. Options are a lunch walk, or eat together with parents or housemates in your living room. You can even create a fixed lunch break moment, in which you are better able to separate your study day in more shorter parts. As long as you are away from your study/work chair it is working.

Make a planning

Be creative in making your planning!

When you study at home it is easy to be distracted by just watching blank head at your book or screen or spend your time watching things you shouldn’t during study time. In order to become more productive and get better track on what you could and should do in a day it is good to make a planning. Some make a day planning at the end of every study day. Others plan the whole semester with a ‘to do list’ per week and specify it with a to do list per day on the last day of the study week (or start with it the first week). This makes it easier to track your productivity and to work towards a goal each day. It is also important to reflect on your study days. If you weren’t productive it is very easy to reflect if you have had a planning. It is also important that your planning isn’t to ambitious and also not too easy to reach the goal. With a planning and reflecting on it, your are better able to create a better planning next week.

Have a nice holiday & more tips

Hopefully you all have a nice week with a lot of good food and nice evenings together with some friends or family. For those who are finishing their thesis or preparing for exams: good luck! Hopefully these tips help you with your study progress. If you want more tips, on the internet many students give each other tips and tricks. Furthermore in the new year we will give you more tips & tricks! If you have nice study tips for your fellow students please send me an e-mail at j.wolterinck@tilburguniversity.edu before 14 January 2021 and maybe your tip will be featured in our second ‘home studying guideline’.

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