Working and Learning in the Time of Covid

Tiffany DuFoeApex School Blog

Congratulations! You finally did it. You are back to school! For some of you, this might be the first time you’ve taken classes in years. Whether you took your last class in a previous decade or much more recently, everything is a little different during Covid. Most physical in-person classes are limited, and millions of students are opting for online learning. This means a dramatic increase in the amount of time you study from home.

Some courses are easy, some are fun, and some can be downright challenging. The Apex medical coding and/or medical billing courses check off three of those boxes. These courses aren’t easy, but they can be interesting, fun, and challenging!  

Here are some tried and tested tips for making the most of online learning while studying from home.

Create a study schedule and stick to it. 

Study time needs to be scheduled at a time most conducive for you. Some online learners are most receptive in the morning after breakfast. Others mid-day and some at night. Please select a time that you believe will be best for you to concentrate, set realistic lengths based on your time availability and make it a point to keep that schedule consistently. Developing a study schedule is one of the most important things you can do as this helps wire your brain that this time is when work is accomplished.  

Establish a particular study spot.  

Think of this as your work spot. Try to locate it in an area as free as possible from distractions. This can help on several levels. First, it’s a good idea to differentiate between play, rest, and work spots. Creating a particular learning spot should make it easier to get and remain in a suitable study mode. Special study spots are beneficial if you are sharing small spaces with others. They also help you keep your materials in one place and make it easier for others to respect your need to have quiet time to study.  

As much as possible, try to avoid multitasking when studying.  

Turn your phone off or at least turn the volume down and try to keep interruptions to a minimum. This includes looking at things that aren’t related to your studies. 

Yes, it can be more fun or even more fascinating, at times, to watch a funny video on YouTube or check social media multiple times, but all these actions distract from your study time.  

This doesn’t mean you have to study nonstop for 5 hours, but you can certainly work up to being able to focus on the task at hand for 20-60-minute blocks of time. If this is difficult at first, work up to it. Try 10-15 minutes of non-interrupted study, then take a 5-10-minute break. Then try another 10-15 minutes of study before breaking again. Follow this procedure for your entire study period. After a few study periods, add an extra 5 minutes of work before each break. Doing this means that you should be able to study consistently for an hour or more with no breaks and deliberately allowed distractions in a few weeks. This tip will help you with school and is very useful in the workplace. 

According to Blue Water Credit, the average employee wastes an incredible 94 minutes at work a day. This doesn’t count lunches or designated breaks. This counts as being distracted by personal phone calls, texts, social media postings, YouTube videos, and more. The greater your ability to avoid such distractions, the more efficient you will be in school and work. Some of you might be shocked at how much time you spend on various distractions. 

If you are curious how much time you spend watching YouTube videos, check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqBuXibX9CM

It’s all about balance. 

Having just spent that last few minutes reading about the importance of avoiding distractions when studying, it might seem counter-intuitive to suggest that playtime and exercise are relevant components to successful studying. Try this:  After 45 minutes’ worth of studying, take a 5- or 10-minute walk. Stretch, do half a dozen deep knee bends or jumping jacks. It might sound strange, but this activates different portions of your brain and will make it easier when it’s time to sit back down and go back to work. Aside from a bit of motion, add decent nutrition and don’t forget the importance of social time with family and friends, and you have the basic outline of a plan to help you not only get through your chosen course of study but to excel in it.