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The University of Southampton
Student Disability & WellbeingPart of Student Services

Studying remotely

Student working on her laptop at her home desk

Amid the Coronavirus outbreak, the university paused face-to-face teaching and introduced online lectures. Some of these have continued. We recognise that this may be challenging for some students for many reasons. To help you to regulate your home study and to get the most out of online learning, here are some ways you can make the transition that little bit easier…

1. Create a productive study space

Creating a calm and clutter-free space for studying can help you get into the right mindset for working from home. It can be difficult to know where to start, so the team have created a simple study space plan to help you achieve this.

By following the 8 suggestions below, you can start to create your own effective study space:

An example of an effective study space set up
Your study space can have an impact on your productivity


Additionally, Library Academic Skills Hub have also prepared a guide specifically related to concentration. This includes helpful tips on how to set up your study environment, limit distractions and get into a productive routine. 

2. Create a ‘to do’ list

If you have multiple tasks to complete but you’re not sure where to begin, you could try using a tool such Microsoft Planner, which helps you to set goals and visually track your progress. You can group the tasks in 'buckets' or themes, assign labels and use different views to organise tasks, for example, by due date. Find out more information on how to use Microsoft Planner here.

Working with others?

If you are working on a group project, you can add multiple people to your Microsoft Planner; helping you to assign tasks and see how your project is progressing at a glance.

3. Structure your day

To organise your schedule, the team at ‘Get Revising’ (part of The Student Room) have created an online Study Planner to help you manage your time more effectively.

Simply add in a few key details and the Study Planner tool creates a detailed schedule for you in just 15 minutes! You can also set up the Study Planner to send you reminders and you can easily adjust the plan to suit your daily needs.

4. Take regular breaks

If you struggle to focus for long periods of time, then you may be interested in learning about the Pomodoro Technique which teaches you to work with time, instead of struggling against it. A 'revolutionary time management system', the Pomodoro Technique works by following 4 easy steps:

1.    Choose a task you’d like to get done

2.    Set a timer for 25 minutes

3.    Work on the task until the timer rings

4.    Take a short break

The technique is simple to learn and can make a real difference to how you approach new tasks.


Above all, remember that these are unprecedented times. It will take a while to get used to a new routine, so try not to be too hard on yourself if things do not go to plan.

By simply just reading this article today, you are taking the first step in adjusting to this new way of working.

For further advice on how to manage your studies, visit the Library Academic Skills Hub website for more helpful ideas and study tools.

If you have a specific learning difference such as Dyslexia, contact Student Disability and Inclusion by emailing to book an appointment with one of our Specialist Practitioners.

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