Date published 29th April 2020

Everyone has their own style of studying, which means for some, working at home is an ideal situation. Other people like the structure of going to classes and lectures or having a change of venue, such as studying in a library. Whatever your preference, there are lots of great ways to make working at home productive and enjoyable; we’ve put together our top five tips here.

1. Planning

There is a brilliant quote from a US Admiral called William H. McRaven about how to start your day that says, “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. And by the end of the day, that one task completed, will have turned into many tasks completed.”

By planning out your days, separating out each task, and setting yourself goals, you will gain a sense of structure and achievement from completing each one. The key is to be realistic and flexible – things may come up that you can’t predict, and that’s totally fine. Most importantly, plan fun activities in between your studies to make sure you stay motivated.

2. Separate your study area

At the moment, we’re all doing a lot of activities in the same physical space: working, sleeping, relaxing. This can sometimes blur the lines between these activities, meaning you keep studying when you should be relaxing or getting distracted when there’s an essay due.

If possible, try and use different areas for different things, keeping your work out of your bedroom for instance. If that’s not possible, maybe try clearing away your study materials after you’ve finished for the day to make it feel less like a workspace. Finally, if you can, stop working at a set time each day and give yourself the weekends and evenings off – don’t feel guilty about enjoying yourself, it’s so important for your mental health.

3. Take breaks

When you’re studying on campus, breaks come up quite naturally; stopping to talk to a friend or walk to a lecture. At home, you may get into a study zone and just forget to take some time away from your work. Try setting an alarm after a certain amount of time to remind you to give your mind a quick break, even if that’s just getting up to stretch your legs or making yourself a snack.

The best thing about taking breaks is that it actually helps you to focus and be more productive when you’re actually studying. Not only that, but it also helps your overall wellbeing, both physical and mental.

4. Stay in a sleep routine

Lie-ins are amazing and I’m sure we’ve all enjoyed some extra time in bed in the mornings in the past few weeks, but keeping a sleep routine is important to get the most out of our days. Going to sleep and then getting up at a similar time every day helps our bodies get used to our sleep patterns and sets our body clock accordingly. Doing this makes getting to sleep easier and the quality of sleep better.

Some simple ways to relax before bedtime include dimming the lights and not looking at screens for at least an hour before bed. You might want to try some meditation or breathing exercises too, to make you feel peaceful and serene.

5. Talk to other people

One thing you may be missing about university life is the social side. Though you can’t see your friends and fellow students in person, you can still use platforms like FaceTime and Zoom to stay connected. You can use these calls to discuss work or do things that are totally separate from that, like a quiz or a group yoga session.

If you’re an existing student and you feel in any way like you are struggling and would like to talk to someone, don’t forget you can also reach out to our support teams for academic and career support to assist your studies.

You can reach them here:

Birmingham Student Services –

London Student Services –

For the Manchester campus, please call: +44(0)20 3137 0774