If I have learned anything from working/learning remotely, it’s that staying productive in your own home can be very challenging. Procrastination and the lure of staying in bed watching Netflix has never been stronger. Listen, I’m always in favor of a nap, but it should be your break, not your default work mode! On the other hand, working from home seriously blurs the line between work and personal life – working too hard leaves you with no relaxation time, which is key to staying healthy and balanced.
So how do we stay productive while also staying sane? I’ve created a list of tips to help answer that. Fair warning – the best way to use this list is to find the ideas that work for you, and give them a try. If they don’t work, come back to the list and find a few more ideas.
- Define your spaces; separate work/school from home. Set aside some space and consistently do your work there. The key word in that sentence is consistently. Keep using that space for its intended purpose and don’t waver! When you enter the space, you should then automatically shift from relaxed mode to work mode. Keep it tidy and have regular hours there.
- Hear me out: get dressed. Have breakfast. Take a shower. Put on a real (but comfy) outfit. Make yourself a reasonable list of tasks for the day. You’ll feel like a real human with a schedule.
- Time management will make or break you. This is the ultimate key for working from home. Now that your days aren’t defined by walking to class, physically clocking in at work, or attending org/team meetings in person, you are solely responsible for your level of productivity. The silver lining? From the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep, you can give any project any amount of time you decide! Plan out your day. Be realistic about what assignments/projects need more or less time. Give yourself breaks when needed and check off that to-do list.
- Find a study buddy. Yes, it might be easier for you to get work done without your chatty classmate, but social interactions with other students and friends will help alleviate that feeling of loneliness. Your mental well-being is significantly impacted when learning from home without your group members and class friends. Set up a Google Hangout or Zoom call with the friend who helps you be productive and is a killer brainstormer. Even if you get a little sidetracked, it’s good for you to see other human faces!
- No brainer – take breaks. Does this happen to you? You start on an assignment, look up, and see that three hours has gone by of you staring at your laptop. Planning breaks in your day is just as important as planning productive tasks. Bonus points for making your breaks productive! Getting some fresh air, eating a healthy snack, engaging in a hobby, or FaceTiming with a friend are all awesome uses of your break time. However…an episode or two of Parks and Rec won’t hurt anyone. Just try not to end up scrolling for two hours straight – trust me, I know how one Tik Tok break can turn into a three hour loop!
Something to remember as you go through the rest of the semester: we are all in the exact same boat. In fact, we may be more in the same boat now than we usually are. Stay positive, be supportive and kind, and grow mentally. Social distancing and the circumstances that brought it can create a lot of fear and anxiety in us.
Adapt to new changes.
Be empathetic with yourself and others.
Live in the present, and focus on the future.
We’ll get through this together, RedHawks.
Kathryn Moir | Marketing & IMS