This post was supposed to be "Tips for Finishing the Semester Strong" but here we are, hit by a global pandemic that has cancelled most in-person classes and closed a lot of offices/businesses forcing a good portion of us to work from home. At first I was very excited, I have wanted to do online school for so long. As much as I enjoy being in class I think it would benefit me more because of my health and my increasing inability to make it to class. With all that aside, I now have no choice but to do classwork from my laptop and I have a feeling you're experiencing the same. When the emails came out last Wednesday that the universities would be extending spring break and making us work remotely I instantly got texts from a few of my friends about how frustrated they were about this. I have friends who hate technology (I basically work as a personal IT guy for most of my friends) and friends who live with multiple siblings (like I do!) who also had their school cancelled and are worried about being able to focus.
I came up with a few tips that have helped me do class work from home and I also talked to my mom who has been working from her office at home since I was little to get some more work/mom related tips as well.
Tips From My Mom:
- have a dedicated work space
- have dedicated work time and break/lunch times planned out
- Don't try to multitask and bounce back and forth between housework and and actual work
- Turn off social media notifications and only check social media during dedicated break times
- If you have to be on calls for your job take them while standing up either at your desk or in your kitchen at the bar etc. so that you're getting a break from sitting all day
- Work near a window or open your blinds so that you are getting natural light, it helps with concentration and afternoon crashes
- If you are trying to work from home while your children are also home you may need to take more frequent breaks to give them tasks to work on so they aren't bothering you while you are trying to work
- Spend time the night before to plan out the day for both getting your work done and keeping your kids occupied
- Don't try to work in front of the tv
- Plan to work on your most difficult or complex task first thing in the morning (this applies to school work too). This way your brain is freshest and your frustration levels are at their lowest.
- If you are able, do some of your work via video conference or video call so that you aren't isolating yourself and you're keeping your connections with other colleagues strong.
- Start your day at the same time you would if you were really going to class, don't get up at noon and start your day, get up earlier so you can finish earlier and have the afternoon to do other things
- Get dressed- I'm not saying you need to look AMAZING but I know I'm more likely to be more productive if I'm dressed and have my hair and makeup done rather than if I'm still in pajamas or sweats. If you feel good you're more likely to do good.
- Work at a desk. You are going to be more tempted to take breaks and naps if you're working from your bed. In an up right chair at a desk you will get more work done. I actually talked to a psychologist about doing homework from your bed and she told me it's a bad thing to do. You will start to associate the stress of your homework with your bed and have a harder sleeping at night. Keep the place where you relax separate from the place where you work.
- Use your planner! Is it really a 'tips' post from me if I'm not telling you to write your entire day in your planner?! haha can you tell I'm a type one?? But for real, it feels so good to mark things off a list and a planner is a great way to keep track of everything that needs to be done relating to both school work and housework/chores.
- If you can't focus change up your work space- sit outside, spread out on your bedroom floor, or work from your dining table to give yourself a different work environment
- Don't work through lunch, you need some sort of a break during the day so take lunch time to just eat and mindlessly scroll through social media so that your brain has a minute to rest
- Don't snack all day! Just because it's available to you does not mean that you must have it. I know I have been guilty of stress eating or even eating when I'm bored and now that you have your mom's entire pantry readily available to you it can be more tempting to eat for those reasons.
- Make sure your work space is clean. You'll have an easier time concentrating when you're working in a clean space.
What are your thoughts on all of this (self quarantine, shortage of toilet paper, etc.)? And if you have any more tips for those of us new to this whole working at home thing please leave them below!
Don't forget to wash your hands!
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