Creating a habit of communication is not only necessary to succeed in distance learning; it also yields great rewards with little effort. These rewards can range from knowing where you stand in the class to unplugging from technology. The key is prioritizing strong communication habits and maintaining boundaries.
As you cultivate new work schedules, study spaces, and study habits, it’s important to create new habits around electronic communication (i.e., email, Zoom, Moodle). Responding to a professor’s email may be what raises or lowers your grade in a course (e.g., “When did you tell us there was extra-credit?”).
It’s a good idea to make time to check technology and time to step away. Reserve time in your schedule to check email and correspond with advisors, professors, and others at the College. You don’t need to devote large quantities of time to this. In fact, we recommend limiting it to 15-20 minutes, twice a day. When you’re done, check it off your list, turn off your email notifications, and move on to other (uninterrupted) tasks. Having this time allows you to stay connected with important emails from campus and creates a boundary for how your time is spent.
Remember three things:
- Create boundaries around when you communicate and for how long (10-15 minutes).
- Check email on a daily basis during the work week.
- Use your weekly schedule to note times when you can disconnect from screens and over-communicating. You will appreciate the space this sanctuary this give you!