Learning from Home & Hybrid – Tips and Tricks

Sophie Remisio, COVID Writer

I’m just going to say it: living during a global pandemic is not easy, let alone learning amidst one. With all that is going on, the Ramsey School District, like countless others, have made the arduous decision to create a hybrid learning schedule for its students. Learning from home can present mental and emotional challenges that in-person learning concealed. Whether it be procrastination or lethargy, students and teachers worldwide have faced new obstacles to overcome. Here are three tips and tricks to help promote a focused environment, combat unproductivity and other quarantine struggles.

  1. Create a designated workspace

A workspace is one of the most important things to take into account when attempting to stay organized. A designated workspace not only helps keep students organized, but it additionally assists in maintaining focus and motivation. It can also reduce stress levels by detaching the association between one’s bed and schoolwork. When creating a workspace, try to place it by a window for fresh air and natural light, and make sure that it doesn’t accumulate clutter. For example, a simple yet effective option is placing a desk by a window in a bedroom. Make sure not to overcrowd the space with ‘knick-knacks’ and other possible distractions, for a cluttered workspace makes for a cluttered headspace. However, there are a few imperative components that every workspace should have. One can elevate their space by including optional components, such as a diffuser, a stress toy, and a voice-activated smart device to set timers and ask questions (e.g., a google home). It’s time to get up off of the bed, join that zoom call, and start working in a place that cultivates a garden of productivity. 

  1. Drink a sufficient amount of water

There is science backing up why one should drink water if they have aspirations of becoming a better student. As humans, our brains are made up of about 75% water, meaning that when we are hydrated, the brain is reaching it’s 75% capacity, which helps to focus, concentrate, be more alert, think quickly and efficiently. In addition, water promotes greater clarity when thinking, and can help boost creativity. So, while waiting for that next class to start, pour a glass, and enjoy the feeling of hydration and a clear mind.

  1. Take a walk or go on a bike ride

The simple act of tying shoelaces and enjoying the beautiful autumn weather positively impacts mood and focus. Specifically, going outside for a few minutes a day boosts serotonin levels, which, in turn, makes one feel more energetic and centered, resulting in a positive and focused mind. In a study of kids with ADHD, the kids concentrated better on a task after going on a walk in a local park than they did after going on a walk through an urban community, suggesting that one should spend time in the natural world. In addition, going outside can help calm anxiety and recenter one’s circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is an internal ‘clock’ that controls one’s sleep and wake cycle. The blue light from our Chromebooks and phones can disrupt this cycle by confusing our brain, no matter the time of day. By stepping foot outside, one is giving their brain the opportunity to reset their cycle and better their sleep habits, and additionally, serotonin levels.

I hope these tips and tricks for hybrid learning help to keep you organized, focused, positive, and productive during these times. Stay safe and healthy, and stop procrastinating!