Skip To Content
  • Coronavirus badge

14 (Very Doable) Tips That'll Actually Improve Virtual Learning At Home

How to prevent eye strain, save your lower back, and still learn everything you need to graduate.

As many schools opt for either partial or fully virtual learning sessions, it can be hard to get excited for the upcoming academic year if you're just stuck at home.

1. If you can, set up *several* good spots to work in so you can switch around when you feel cooped up.

2. Print out some of your reading material or transfer to an e-reader if screen fatigue (or eye strain) is getting to you.

3. Consider writing at least some of your notes in a regular notebook.

A student holding a notebook in her hand.

4. Follow the 20/20/20 rule when it comes to screen time.

5. Plan out which assignments you can do outside.

6. Upgrade your WiFi connection so laggy Zoom calls aren't an issue.

7. If you have the money, invest in an ergonomic chair.

I'm telling you that I had physical therapy every week in which she would work knots out of my back that were so hard I would cry while it was happening ... then I spent $1,000 on an nice chair and haven't been back

Twitter: @olgakhazan

Ergonomic chairs can be expensive, but if you anticipate sitting a LOT in the near future, that money could be well spent on something that offers crucial back support and comfort. Or, if a new chair isn't in the cards, build in a break for this (free!) 14-minute WFH stretch break that targets your lower back and hips.

Read more: 26 Of The Best Desk Chairs You Can Get Online

8. Disable Zoom chat notifications (or any notifications) if they always derail your concentration.

A scene from 'SNL' with four confused people on a Zoom call.

9. Keep your phone in another room (or use site blockers) when you absolutely have to get work done or focus in class.

truly cannot recommend the following enough: - periodically deleting the Twitter app - setting a screen time limit - for the love of god turn off notifications - in the morning, don’t check the phone right away — do bathroom routine, coffee/tea, journaling/tarot first

Twitter: @jeannakadlec

Nothing can sabotage you quite like Instagram or Twitter, or just falling into a reading-worse-and-worse-news hole. That's why physically keeping your phone away from you during crucial productivity hours is so important, as is putting it on Airplane mode before you go to sleep so you can jump into the day instead of wasting an hour scrolling away in bed.

10. For live lectures, sit up at a table or desk instead of laying in bed.

11. Keep your home (or at least your main study areas) organized and clean.

A student's bed before and after it's made.

12. Be especially on top of group projects.

13. Keep to a schedule for walking outside, calling your friends, working out, mealprepping, journaling, and anything else that's necessary for you to feel good.

14. Dress up for classes and buy school supplies, just like you would any other September.

A student's art supplies for the upcoming school year.

What's something that's improved your distance learning routine at home? Share in the comments!