How to be More Productive With Your Learning!

Both parents and learners ask for tips on how to continue to be productive as a home schooler. So, I have put together some tips to help you stay on task.

What advice would I give to anyone who’s not a morning person?

We are all different and if you are not a bright and bushy tailed person as the dawn chorus starts or an ‘up and at them’ as the sun comes up then you are more likely to be an evening person.

Some recent research has shown that for many teenagers the sleep hormone clears the blood stream later so getting up later will be ‘normal’ for a while. It flips back once your body is fully grown. Therefore, work with that to some extent, build that into your schedule.

If, however, you are not getting up because you are being lazy (you will know the difference) then for every 5 minutes of alarm-snooze time you need to off activities you enjoy, like watching X-box later in the day. Make that a personal rule!

If you are ignoring the alarm - move it to the other side of the room, so it’s more difficult to turn your alarm off.

If you are dyslexic or just haphazard with time - then use your phone apps to organise your time?

Don’t rely on your memory, that is the part of the brain that is effected by dyslexia. Putting the tasks in a to-do list means it’s one less thing you need to think about. You have your phone with you all the time, so let it remind you - using the Reminder features.

How do you realise you’re procrastinating?

Procrastinating is when Internal and external triggers cause us to putting off maths or English because we find that particular task either boring or a little bit too hard with distractions like social media.

Procrastination at a deep level is linked with the feeling of fear of failure. The brain is trying to protect us. You need first to identify when it happens, then look at the cause and then change your behaviour. Cut the task down in to smaller bits. Start on the first hard bit and alternate with an easy bit and then again, a hard bit, until the task is done. Finally, reward yourself for doing it.

Simply make it a rule – learning first. Learning in the morning and once it is all done then social media. If you are struggling not to look, then give your phone to your mum!

Procrastination can be part of the process when it comes to creativity

Sometimes the best ideas don’t come when you’re under pressure, especially when you’re trying to be creative. I found when I was at university and had mountains of essays to write that if I worked for 45 minutes (I used a timer). I stopped and went off for 15 and did something not related to the essays. For me that was the housework – I know really boring – but by doing that boring job released my brain to subconsciously to think and come up with the next paragraph even though my conscious brain was focused on cleaning the bath.

Can having an accountability study buddy help?

It sure can if you have to report to a supportive study buddy that you have finished it gives you a daily boost. Contacting them when you don’t understand something is really helpful. If your both stuck reaching out to other learners makes you accountable. If you aren’t doing it because you really can’t get your head around a topic text the teacher.

How do you cope with balancing family life and learning?

When you sign up with Orchard Training, you and your parents are signing up to 4 or 5 hours every day (20 or 25 hours a week) of homeschool learning. You need with your parents help to plan out the week ahead and ring-fence your learning time. Basically, blocking out in your diary when things are being done.

Turn off your notifications!

Here at Orchard Training we put a huge focus on our health and a good night’s sleep is vital to your mental and physical health along with your learning. So, have a set time every day when the phone goes to sleep and you don’t get any notification. Make it a rule that social media ends at named time. Let your friends and study buddies know that time.

How do you get over that feeling of having too much to do?

There is a lovely phrase – “you can’t eat a loaf of bread in one go, but you can slice by slice.” If the project’s really just too big focus on the easiest thing and that is breaking break bigger tasks into small jobs. It can be as small as you like, for, example, 1. Write the date. 2. Write the title. 3. Read the text up to the first question. 4. Answer the question. Tick it off as you go.

If you’re approaching burnout, rather than feeling overwhelmed about a specific thing, you need to step back and take a break.

Which elements of my learning should you spend most of your time on?

There are three areas that are vital for your adult life and that is English, Maths and Health. Anything after that is really optional.

How can you make your workspace more productive?

Your learning space needs to work for you – it’s about picking the right space for you. Look out for our support materials on your home shooling learning space.

How do you get into the zone?

Here are my top four suggestions for improving concentration.

  1. Eliminate distractionsTry to make the task as engaging as possible.

  2. Give yourself a reward for reaching milestones.

  3. Focus on what you’re curious about.

  4. Remember that it is important to think about what you’re working on, if you really can’t started go for a quick short walk, (don't go on social media) and come back refreshed.

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