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5 Tips to Help You Succeed With Online Classes

Are you worried about the impact this new style of online learning will have on your productivity, organization and school grades? It is clear that online classes are a new obstacle that students will have to face. We’ve compiled a list of 5 helpful tips and resources to help you succeed in this new environment. Good luck this semester!

1. The Pomodoro Technique

With school being online, it’s very easy to get distracted by external sources such as your phone, Netflix Originals and just anything that isn’t homework! The Pomodoro Technique is a time management and productivity tool that helps you focus on one topic at a time. This technique enables you to power through distractions and to get your work done in a quick, productive manner with short, frequent and much-needed breaks. Here are the steps for the Pomodoro Technique:

  1. Create your specific tasks for your study session

  2. Set the Pomodoro timer for 25 minutes

  3. Focus and work on your task till the Pomodoro timer rings

  4. After the ring, take a 2-3 (ideally no longer than 5) minute break

  5. Set up the timer for 25 minutes again and repeat 4-5 times until task is complete

  6. After 4-5 times, take a longer break (15-30 minutes)

Click here for the perfect Pomodoro timer!

2. Time blocking your classes and study sessions

Whatever organizational system you use (Google Calendar, Notion, etc.), it is essential that you time block the exact period of your Zoom class. Going along with that, make sure you time block specific time sections to study for said class. If you schedule in your study and course work time, you will be getting your work done evenly throughout the week, not leaving it to the last minute. By allocating your time in your calendar, you ensure that you will complete the needed course work and provide yourself with the additional time to study for quizzes, tests and exams.

3. Keep yourself organized with the Notion App

The Notion app is a relatively new way students are combining all their plans, tasks and work in one place -- almost like a hybrid! Notion goes beyond the standard note-taking apps, unlike the pre-made structured apps, Notion allows you to customize your ‘workspace’ with several pages catering to all your organizational planning needs. Also, Notion Personal Plan is now free for everyone! Happy organizing.

Are you interested in learning more about Notion? Watch this informational video on getting started and how to use it!

4. Find a virtual study group and stay connected

Remember, you might be isolated but you are not alone. Now more than ever, it’s vital you utilize your online platform and search for any virtual study group happening for your courses, program or simply just a virtual support group!

Reach out through your classes delivery platform (D2L, Canvas etc.) in the discussion board and take the initiative to start a Facebook messenger group or Discord Chat with like-minded classmates who are looking to help each other out; you might even make some new friends along the way! Also, many graduating years have specific Facebook groups where students post various events, questions and links to already made study groups. Check out and see if anyone has created said group and be sure to join by commenting or privately messaging them.

Make sure you reach out to your student network, set up coffee chat Zoom calls with your friends, or even have an online-watching party to stay connected and make online learning as fun as possible!

5. Prioritize your mental health

It’s easy to get caught up with the endless assignments, meetings and tests but, it’s equally if not more important to take care of yourself. School definitely adds stressors to your life and it's vital that you prioritize your mental health by taking the time to regroup and relax as much as possible; even if it's for 10 minutes a day. The following free apps provide you with different methods of relaxation and mediation.

Breathe2Relax (4.5 stars) provides you with guided exercise such as diaphragmatic breathing which is proven to help alleviate stress and relax.

SimpleMind+ (4.5 stars) free app that acts as a mind mapping app that helps you eliminate clutter in your head. This is perfect for studying purposes and/or if you are feeling overwhelmed/stressed with deadlines, coursework etc.

Learn more about the best mediation, relaxation and mindfulness apps here.

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