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Finding the Perfect Balance: Making Time for Leisure During Distance Learning

Balancing study and leisure may be a challenge during the best of times, but special care is needed to ensure a good level of work-life balance during the coronavirus pandemic.

Studying is hard work,  and doing it solely from home introduces new challenges. Many further education courses are currently canceled or being delivered remotely. As the pandemic is anticipated to negatively impact lifestyles in the UK and worldwide for months, adult education students who are able to learn remotely need to find ways to maximise results from distance learning without spending all of their days studying and doing assignments. 

Set a strict routine 

This advice is good advice during a pandemic or at any time. People who learn from home need to establish strict routines that divide up their days, so there are specific blocks of time for work, play, eating, personal care, housework, and indoor exercise. Of course, the schedule should be based around an e-learning schedule. If you need to attend virtual lectures at a certain time of day, then plan to take care of most of your daily learning tasks directly before or after that virtual lecture.

Don’t keep breaking up the day to snack, or watch TV, or chat online. Block out your time, so studying happens in an organized fashion each day, rather than in increments throughout the day and night. When you efficiently organise your time around school lectures, assignment deadlines, and so on, you’ll be less likely to burn out. You’ll finish your studying and assignments and then be free for the duration of the day and evening.

After your study block is complete, you may indulge yourself by reading comic books that you received in a subscription box, or playing video games, or doing something creative, like crafting or vlogging. This will give you a sense of freedom, even when you’re stuck inside. An organised routine will positively impact your mental health and help you to stay motivated. Routine is one of the things that helps people to remain grounded, according to the UK non-profit, Mind for Better Mental Health.

Focus on great communication

To get better, faster results from e-learning, you need to master the art of online communication. Sure, the phone is an option, too, but most people end up communicating via interfaces that are part of their online learning portals. To avoid wasting too much time on messaging related to coursework, skip the wordiness. Be polite but get to the point quickly. When you messages are clear and as brief as possible, they’ll be easier for your recipient to understand and answer. 

Put a premium on self-care

After you’ve scheduled your time based on your learning responsibilities and honed your communication style to save time (and minimise confusion), it will be time to think about how you’re currently taking care of yourself. Are you eating healthy food? Are you drinking enough  water? Are you finding ways to relax at home that are good for your body, rather than harmful? When you spend a lot of time at home, you need to focus on self-care, as proper self-care will enhance your mood and attitude. Taking up beneficial self-care practices, such as meditation and yoga, will be very helpful. So will eating a clean diet that isn’t processed or high in salt, sugar or bad fats. 

Studying at home can be enjoyable, but it also has its pitfalls. Now that you know how to boost work-life balance as an adult distance learner, you’ll be able to get the most out of your studies. Structure will help you to avoid the pitfalls and do your best.

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