How can I concentrate on a lecture?

Corona & Uni: 5 tips on how to be productive in your “home study”

Stay @ home: no contact, home office, gym @ home, event cancellations - the COVID 19 is forcing us all to rethink our everyday life as we are used to it. For us students it wasn't an issue until recently, it only bothered us while traveling or changed our work.

But now with that Semester start do we also have to reschedule: University from home? How does that work? How can we be productive despite the distraction of “home study”? We have put together 5 tips for you so that you can make good use of the current time at home university.

1. Create a good working atmosphere for yourself

Even if it may be tempting to chill in bed all day, not even take off your pajamas and just get out of bed to attend the online lecture - this certainly does not promote learning success.

So our first tip is:

Pull yourself reasonable as if you wanted to go to university. This way your body gets a different posture, you don't think about relaxing all the time because you don't have the most comfortable clothes on.

Make your bed: on the one hand you prevent your bed from calling you tempting, on the other hand you already have a first act behind you - this small step can give you a first moment of success that motivates you!

Get yourself one fixed place for the university. If you have a desk in your apartment or in your shared room - use it! Make space for your laptop or Ipad, your university documents and the utensils you may need. Make sure that you really only use this space for university. This way you will be much more productive and you will be able to concentrate better on the university in this place. No desk there? Then use another suitable table - but don't fall back on the couch or bed. If possible, your body should sit upright during the study - this is not only much healthier for your back, it also promotes concentration!

Last tip: If you ever have a long day at university ahead of you, grab your favorite snacks and pack them near you so that you can reach them from your seat. Better, of course, that these snacks don't have too much sugar - this will only drag you down (and decrease your focus) in the long run. But also Water is important - put it close to you so that you don't forget to drink!

In general, however, it can be said that everyone is different: Some can learn better when they are sitting in total chaos with sweatpants - you have to find out for yourself where you can concentrate better.

2. Plan your day

Yes, I know it sounds super stuffy and only something for exemplary students - but it can also help you a lot! What exactly do you mean?

Since you are at home all day, some lectures are only available as recordings, others can only be viewed live at certain times, it makes sense for your learning success if you plan your day.

What is meant is: when do you get up? When do you have breakfast, when do you start studying? When is which lecture? When do you make time for sports? When do you go shopping, when do you cook lunch / dinner for yourself? From when chill you really and don't do anything for the university anymore?

From my own experience I can only recommend you, everything detailed to plan. This way you won't be stuck in the plain material without concentrating forever, even though you've been hungry for a long time.

Here, too, it depends on each individual: you are an early riser and productive in the morning? Take advantage of this and actively set an early alarm clock, even if getting up in the morning may not be so great. You are rather productive in the evening? All right, then study more in the evening and do the cooking and shopping beforehand!

For example, your day could look like this:

7:30 a.m .: alarm goes off - get up & wash / shower

8:15 a.m .: Breakfast and washing up / tidying up

9:00 a.m .: First learning sprint for the university

10:00 am: Online lecture begins

11:30 a.m .: If you still have to: go shopping, otherwise cook or study something at university

12:00 p.m .: Cooking, eating, using the break

2 p.m .: Online lecture the 2nd starts

3:30 p.m .: Make yourself a coffee, use the break

4 p.m .: Lectures continue / you have to do exercises

6:00 p.m .: Time to work out with home sports

7:00 p.m .: Cooking / dinner & break = or after work


As I said, this is just an example - just adapt your day to you. For such planning, it is advisable to use a calendar - for example Google Calendar, so that you can access everything online.

Last tip: Use the break time as a real break, the study time for learning. We get distracted quickly and then want to do many things at the same time - is that possible? At the expense of your productivity, yes! In the end, you only got halfway through a lot of things and not really done anything.

Additionally: You need real breaks. Your head sits in front of the laptop the whole day, trying to concentrate on listening and learning something - at some point you have to switch off. Then just sitting on your cell phone or letting the TV shower you can help you switch off mentally, but again you are sitting in front of a screen. Hence, time is go to the air - up-to-date, of course, alone - good for simply switching off and regaining your concentration.

3. Make a study plan

A learning plan can help you, especially during the time when you sit at home all day, don't really have contact with others and have to motivate yourself to get up every day. With a plan in which you set goals every day, you not only get more structure, but also Feelings of success at the end of a good day. Even if you set the plan yourself and use it to set your own goals / deadlines, this kind of stress or pressure can help you really get your stuff done.

For the plan, for example, you can first write down what you have to do for each university course: Calculate exercises? Repeat exercises and lectures weekly because you have not completely understood the material? Make flash cards or summarize every lecture? There are sure to be tons of other tasks - especially if you have class with group work or homework. So from my own experience I can really recommend such a plan - it will get you one clear overview and you don't panic because you have so much to do and you don't know where to start.

So after you know what you have to do, you can now plan when you want to do what - ideally also according to the lecture schedule. Building on that, you can then Daily goals set: Today you want to do this exercise, summarize everything for this lecture or do the part of the housework?

All right - when you have achieved your goal at the end of the day, you will feel super productive and motivated for the next few days! Without a goal, you usually don't even know whether you've done anything at all - make yourself aware of your success.

And if you ever have days when you don't reach your goal - sponge over it. Don't let it drag you down and just try to revise your university plan. Of course, you shouldn't reschedule all the time, but being behind schedule is not really motivating, so try to assess your productivity well - this can also help you very well in the future in your job.

4. Enjoy the extra time

Depending on how far away you live from university, how much time you need for your lectures or your part-time job and the gym: you now have all that time extra because you unfortunately stay at home all day. But there is also something good - you have more time!

Even if it may hardly seem to you at first when you work it out, it is certainly not a little extra time that you would otherwise “lose”. So use this time, but please don't hang around on Instagram 24/7.

Do the things that make you happy (Insta makes you happy? Okay fine, then go on Insta). What I mean is: listening to music, reading a book, cooking lavishly, exercising more than usual, calling friends - whatever you like happy makes! But switching off is also a part of it - so what helps you to relax? To get some rest and do something completely different? Now is your time - so don't waste those extra hours in bed or on social media.

5. Keep in touch

Did you lose contact with your fellow students during the semester break because many of them were traveling or with their parents? You were already looking forward to seeing everyone at university again? Yes, unfortunately this cannot currently take place - but it still makes sense if you expand the contact again. Not only so that you are socially active and exchange ideas with your university friends, but also simply to deepen the material learned in the online lectures among each other.

You wonder what i mean Well, normally you probably talk to your fellow students after a lecture or exercise - maybe about the content or just like that. That is currently not possible, therefore just talk to each other on the phone, even if it's just about how much material the course is or how boring the lecture was. The contact helps you to have a normal everyday life at the university and you motivate each other to attend lectures from home.

Pro tip: Make an appointment for the online lectures - call each other beforehand, be in the Zoom Call together - whatever, but do this together. So you can endure the bad lecture together, can chat about it and have the social contact that is really missing in the current time.

Conclusion: make something of it!

As you can see, you can use the current stay-at-home time to be really productive and start your semester successfully - from home. Don't just sit back and relax - afterwards you have to catch up a lot and fall back into university stress. So make something of it!

PS: If you've always wanted to work in an online team, plan your time better and become more efficient, JOIN THE TEAM. AIESEC currently has open positions in the teams - apply and get to know working in an international online team!