Navigating Lockdown: How I stayed focused and keep learning

The framework: I’m a firm believer in the theory of the tabula rasa, the idea that humans are born on a blank slate and every behaviour is learned.

The framework: I’m a firm believer in the theory of the tabula rasa, the idea that humans are born on a blank slate and every behaviour is learned. With this in mind, I urge you to re-evaluate how you feel right now. In the midst of this pandemic, you’ve adapted and you’ve changed, you’ve consciously and unconsciously learnt new behaviour. I need you to be now consciously aware that you’ve adopted several new behaviours, for some, it’s washing hands properly, for some it’s a new exercise regime and the list goes on.

If you have done these, you can hack learning as well. Every behaviour is learnt, you can learn to study differently and you can excel at the potential you choose for yourself.


Organisation is the key to an easy life, especially in these internet waters. I cannot stress how important this is, plan and organise effectively if not, you will find yourself waffling. Make a plan and stick to it.

It’s 2020, everything is on Youtube and if it’s not, it’s somewhere online.  If the books are not helping, try that. 

Have a desire to want to learn - (If you don’t want to learn, you will not learn- literally).



Blank method - get a piece of blank paper or a blank board, write down everything you remember without aids or prompts. This allows for active recall and it’s very effective in seeing knowledge gaps.

It works!

Practice: Practise does make perfect.  In this case, practice effectively.  We remember through repetition, through continuous practice of the skill learned. Go and code some more, do more past papers and mark them effectively (see where you lose marks and note how you can improve). Go and put everything into practice. 

“Learning is a union of theory and practice” (quote me).  if one is lacking then the union isn’t really a union, you can’t say you have fully learnt something through theoretical knowledge alone,  you would have to have applied it in the form of practice. “The child of this union happens to recall”. The most effective method of improving recall is space-repetition and millions including me stand by it so it’s effective. 

“Spaced repetition is a technique for efficient memorisation which uses repeated review of content following a schedule determined by a spaced repetition algorithm to improve long-term retention.”-Behzad Tabibian et al.

Use websites like Anki (awful UI but very effective), Quizlet (better UI), handmade flashcards, summary notes, there are so many things that can be used to improve recall. 

*UI - Stands for User Interface, how things look visually.

Notes: I enjoy aesthetic notes but I’m also fully aware that it’s passive learning. Writing notes is great but your note-taking has to be effective to aid your learning. One of my favourite methods is the Cornell method and it’s brilliant. If you are visual learning please do not restrict yourself, use colours but use them effectively. 

Teachers and tutors: If you have access to teachers and tutors please let them do their jobs. DO NOT BE GUILT TRIPPED out of asking for their help. I’m stressing this because it is very common to feel like you're bothering your teachers by asking questions. You are not and it is important that you do. If you do not have access to teachers and tutors, politely ask your friends who are knowledgeable in the subject, if you don’t have those kind of friends; the internet is always a reliable friend.


Please, take care of yourself.


Some things to remember:

 “The only innate behavioural ability we have is to learn” - Annie (quote me :)

You are enough - we all have a natural ability to learn therefore you are enough.

Acknowledge that learning is not always fun, it is a mixture of hard work, a lot of tears and a sprinkle of laughter. 

You will be okay.

Maths isn’t hard, you find concepts of maths hard - If you think about this when you learn new things you will realise that nothing is hard to learn as a whole, there are aspects of it that are difficult and challenging and there’s always an opposite. That is where you want to start, start with the concepts you find the least challenge and build your way up.


Do whatever makes you happy at your own pace.

To summarise, be organised, have an active mind and have a healthy mind.

24 Mar 2021