Studying at home

You can make it work!

The shift to online education requires you to find new ways of studying at home. It might be harder to find a daily routine, to structure your studies, and to focus on the tasks you have to do. Still, we ask you to hang in, and try to find your personal strategy to continue as best you can! We have brought together the following tips and advice for you:  

Set a personal rhythm
During this time of constant change, it may be helpful to remember that courses are still in session and set yourself a schedule of courses and studying. Just as if you were going to class. Try to structure your week and your day by day routine, creating space for meals and relaxation too.

Distinguish between study and home mode
Prepare yourself for the day and do as you would do on a regular weekday. Get out of your PJ’s and get dressed, have breakfast and brush your teeth at the start of the day to get into a getting things done mood.

Create a dedicated study space
Your workspace needs to be conducive to studying for extended periods. So maybe it’s not the best option to study in the living room where all your house mates hang around. Make sure to have a clean and organised desk with only stuff you need for studying. Have your coffee/tea/water/snack next to you so there’s no need to walk to the kitchen. Switch off your phone or put it in another room.

Manage your energy levels
During the day, you will notice your energy levels and your emotions going up and down. This is a normal phenomenon, and at a time like this, you might notice that your moods are more irregular. To manage your energy levels more easily, it’s important you do things that relax both mind and body. Make a list of energizers, that take a few minutes. Select some relaxing activities, such as going for a walk, listening to music, having a snack, short guided meditations, Sudoku’s, as well as active energizers such as loud music, exercising, dancing, gaming, cleaning your room and the like. Monitor you energy levels at each break and choose an activity that brings you more balance.

Plan your breaks & exercise!
With the current situation, all structure might be gone when it comes to studying (and other things as well). In order to be productive try to work in 45-60 minute chunks of focused work followed by a short break. Also a bit of exercise can really boost your mental health: an early morning walk around the block or a bicycle ride through the fields of Holland can do wonders for your concentration. Delft Cycling trails or Delft walking trails (you can also select other cities). Looking for something more up-tempo? Use one of the 7 minute workout apps in between your online lectures!

Fighting digital distraction
With all this education now being offered online, there is also the temptation to jump into websites that aren’t related to study. There are browser add ons that can help to stay focused such as Stayfocused for Chrome (ironically) or Leechblock for Firefox. These let you block certain websites between for certain hours. Extra tips to fight distractions: actively take notes during online education to stay focused. Also, instead of having multiple tabs open for all websites you use and that be distractions, a fairly simple solution is to switch to full-screen.

Stay connected
Especially when you live alone with no housemates, it’s important to stay connected with friends and study mates. Studying together on campus can boost your motivation. Since that’s no option now, Pukka Team can be helpful. It takes automated photos of you and each “team member” using a webcam so you can see all your team in one place while studying , helping create real “team” presence. There’s also the option to video call each other. No installation needed, PukkaTeam works straight from your browser, all you need to do is login and you’re all set. 
See the website for a free trial of 60 days.

Reflect & be mild 
Remind yourself every day – by talking to friends or family or by keeping a journal – of the things you have achieved today, however small this might be. Reflect on how you were able to successfully achieve it. In this way you can develop your strategy with other, perhaps tougher tasks you are still hesitant to do. If you notice your routine slipping into familiar forms of self-sabotage, don’t judge yourself too harshly. Be mild and just start over: add something new to your routine that motivates you and keep going the best you can.

In need of help right now?

  • Do you find it hard to concentrate? Or are you worried? The ‘Gezondeboel’ e-health tool has useful selfhelp programs, specifically for corona at the moment. You can start improving your mental well-being in a free, simple and anonymous way.
  • Are you having trouble studying at home? Perhaps the ‘Study Skills Toolkit’ offers some tips.
  • Or do you have a question about your career? Take a look at our ‘Career Toolkit’.
  • Would you like to use our consultation hours with psychologists? Then fill in the consent form and email it before 11:00. See their website.
  • If you have any questions or need help, you can contact us by sending an email; or we could plan a skype appointment. Please use your TU Delft email address and include your student number in your signature
  • Weekly zoom meeting: How do deal with Corona related stress and anxiety: Every Tuesday from 10 to 11 am, hosted by  studentenpsychologen. (Meeting linkMeeting Password is 071077, The session will not be recorded.
  • Remote studying 

Please keep an eye on the TUD website (https://www.tudelft.nl/en/2020/tu-delft/coronavirus/) and Brightspace (both the general program page as the course specific pages) for further updates.

Stay safe and good luck studying from home!