Guide on wellbeing: better success in distance learning 

Tips for making distance learning a success.

Distance learning is often independent and requires self-discipline and self-directiveness from a student. However, compared to contact teaching, distance learning may offer you a different kind of freedom and opportunities to find out what kinds of routines work the best for you. Below you can read a few tips on how to get started. 

Plan and organise

Plan when you are going to study. Organise your study environment and make it motivating and pleasant so that it improves your focus on studying. If needed, clean up and remove any sources of distraction.  

To-do lists help you realise how many things there are to be done, and they also release the capacity of your memory and help yourself focus on actually doing the unfinished things instead of dwelling on them in your mind. Using a calendar and prioritising the tasks can help you decide which task you should do first. Forget about multitasking and try to focus on one thing at a time. 

Set realistic goals

Goals that are too big or vague do not usually work. Instead, they tend to increase feelings of ambivalence and decrease study motivation, making it even harder to start studying in the long run. That is why it is better to set goals that are concrete and small enough so that they can be realistically achieved.  

By achieving your goals one by one you are also taking important steps in your studies. If you write down your goals, it will be easier for you to follow and see your progress. Read more about setting goals in accordance with SMART criteria in the link provided below. Also remember to reward yourself whenever you are progressing! 

Have breaks and remember good ergonomics

Distance learning usually means spending more time in front of computer, which may feel straining in many ways. It’s usually difficult to concentrate on something effectively for long periods of times non-stop, although sometimes we can immerse ourselves in our activities so deeply that we forget the passing of time. 

By having breaks every now and then, you can help yourself maintain good ergonomics and clear thoughts for your learning. If keeping breaks while studying is something you easily tend to forget, use a timer, which tells you when it is time to take a breather and when to get back to business. Lengthen or shorten your working periods as needed. Read more about the Pomodoro technique in the link mentioned below.  

Also remember to take care of your ergonomics by changing your position sufficiently frequently. Stretching and even small movements during breaks may be enough to energise your body and mind. 

Maintain healthy routines

Daily rhythms form the basis of our wellbeing, and well-paced working time, eating regularly, exercising, recovering, and sleeping are all important pieces to the puzzle. Such routines give us structure for our days and tasks. If you easily tend to forget these daily healthy rhythms, it may be good to schedule them (e.g. your lunch breaks, time for exercising and recovering) to your calendar. Even for an artist, it is not healthy to continue working the whole day long. 

Rather, try to plan ahead when you are working, and make sure you have some free time and time for your recovering, too, on a daily basis. Remember that recovering and free time are equally important for your artistic development as the time when you are working and doing art. 

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