Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people the world over are learning from home for the first time. Students are attending school in virtual classrooms. And millions of others are spending time learning new skills while social distancing.
We know that doing so from home can be tough, whether you're learning to code or another skill. That's why we've put together a list of tips to help you stay focused and motivated. We hope these tips help you find success with your at-home learning journey.
⏰ 1. Stick to a schedule
Whether you’re in school, working, or learning a new skill from home, sticking to a schedule is important. It can help things feel a little more "normal," even though work, study, and play may all be happening in the same room.
Sticking to a schedule can help you feel productive, organized, and sane. So try writing out a schedule that incorporates structured time for learning. Be sure to build in time for relaxation and self care too!
Here’s an example of what your daily schedule might look like if you're learning full time:
|7:00 AM||Wake up, relax or meditate, make breakfast|
|9:00 AM||Shower, get dressed for the day|
|10:00 AM||Learning time!|
|12:00 PM||Make lunch, stretch or go for a walk|
|1:30 PM||Learning time!|
|3:00 PM||Take a break, stretch or go for a walk, have a snack|
|3:30 PM||Learning time!|
|5:00 PM||Evening activties|
If you’re learning in your spare time, try blocking out a chunk of time each day that’s reasonable for you.
If you’re a parent, time for yourself is surely in short supply. If you have children in high school, consider learning to code alongside them and make learning from home something you do together.
✅ 2. Make learning a habit
While you’re scheduling your days, it can help to build in some habits to get you in the groove of learning from home. This is especially important if you’re trying to learn from home for the first time. Habits can help you hold yourself accountable. Plus, there’s a great feeling of accomplishment that comes from sticking to something new!
One way to turn learning into a habit is to make it a part of your regular routine. If each morning you stretch, make coffee, and then sit down to learn, it will begin to feel natural before you know it.
One of the best ways to turn something into a habit is by doing it every single day. That’s why we created the 30-Day Challenge. Learning to code with Codecademy? Commit to coding every day for the next 30 days to build a healthy learning habit.
💪 3. Find a supportive community
Learning from home doesn’t mean you have to learn alone. We’re all in this together and there are lots of other people learning from home, just like you. Luckily, the internet makes it easy to engage with other learners and build a community online. Here are just a few ideas:
- Join a Facebook group. The Codecademy Community group is a place to interact with others that are learning to code.
- Join a forum. Ask and answer questions and glean advice from other learners. Check out the Codecademy forums to get help, chat with other learners, and share your work. Codecademy Pro members can also take advantage of the Pro Community.
- Find a chat community. There are also a variety of topical communities on messaging platforms like Slack and Discord that you can join. Find others in the Codecademy community on Discord.
- Reach out to your own network. Ask questions and share your progress with your friends on social media. Use hashtags on Instagram or Twitter to discover and meet new people.
- Learn together. Join a group study session on Zoom or take a course together with others. Skillshare, one of our partners in the Learn From Home Club, is offering Instagram Live and Zoom classes, updated weekly here. They’ve also curated a collection of group workshops.
🌱 4. Set reasonable goals
Learning something new can feel overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to set reasonable, achievable goals for yourself. If something feels big, try breaking it down into smaller goals.
For instance, the big goal of becoming a web developer may feel lofty. Breaking it down into smaller chunks (i.e. learn HTML, learn CSS, etc.) can make it easier to track towards your ultimate goal.
You may also choose to set goals around how much time you’d like to spend learning. Start with something you know you can achieve — even 10 minutes a day is enough to start building a habit.
Do you want to spend time learning every day? Three days a week? Write it down and hold yourself accountable.
🍅 5. Take breaks
Remember to take the time to rest. This can be especially tough when you’re living, working, and learning all in the same place. We all need time to decompress and relax. So be sure to schedule breaks or step away for a few minutes if you’re feeling frustrated or stuck.
For a structured method of alternating work with breaks, try the Pomodoro Technique. This technique gets its name from the tomato-shaped kitchen timer its creator used. It alternates 25-minute periods of focus (Pomodoros) and short breaks, as follows:
1. Set a 25-minute timer and get to work.
2. When 25 minutes is up, take a 5-minute break.
4. After four rounds, take a longer 15- to 20-minute break.
If you don't have a timer, no problem! You'll find one at the top of your screen when you’re learning in Codecademy. Click on the timer icon and set your timer for 25 minutes. When time is up, we’ll remind you to take a short break.
📚 6. Organize your workspace
Whether you're learning from a home office, the living room, or your kitchen table — create a workspace you love! Clear away clutter, decorate with pictures or other items that make you happy, and grab a comfy chair. The more comfortable you feel in your workspace, the happier you'll be learning there.
📈 7. Share your progress
Last but not least, share your progress with friends, family, and your online community. It'll feel good to share what you’ve accomplished. Plus, the positive reinforcement may be just the boost you need to keep on going!
What helps you stay motivated and accountable when learning from home? Share your own tips with us in the comments below, or on social media using #LearnFromHome.