Working from home was probably something the majority have wished for because let’s be honest, most of the time, our work can also be accomplished at home because of a flexible structure of the workspace. However, due to the global pandemic, it actually became part of our reality and a necessity to keep everyone safe. This sudden change in structure affected many people, especially students that are used to following education in physical, assigned locations. Therefore, it’s completely understandable that studying has become rather difficult and staying focused during this online education era is becoming complicated. So, I would like to share some of my tips that have improved my motivation and productivity.
- Create a regular routine – Designing a daily routine will help to cope with staying at home and give you a sense of time. Divide your day in specific timeslots and simply note down the activities of your daily life such as chores, cooking or even showering as this will give structure to your day. This is really crucial because otherwise you will lose track of time and the days will become blurry. Setting designated timeslots will prevent this to happen and it helps with staying focused as you are mentally told to study according to your schedule.
- Make to-do lists – Noting down the tasks that you want to achieve that day is important because it adds up to the sense of feeling accomplished. The satisfaction of crossing off tasks in some sense tells you that today was a productive day. I use a bullet journal but honestly any notebook or stationery is suitable, as long as you are able to list out your tasks.
- Get ready! – Although you may not see anyone, it’s still important to get ready as if you are actually going out. Obviously, your usual routine can be simplified, but for instance, still make your bed and to change out of your sleepwear, otherwise, you will feel the urge to jump back in bed. Besides, getting ready will also structure the day and give your body the chance to fully wake up.
- Have a designated workspace – It’s really important to distinguish your workspace and the environment of your leisure time because if they become interconnected, you will constantly be in a work mode and won’t be able to fully relax. Therefore, find a spot in your home and organise that as your distinct working area. Personally, I believe that the ideal spot should be far from any comfort such as your bed. Moreover, the workspace should allow daylight to get in as it will improve your concentration. Make sure to only keep the bare necessities that studying requires and avoid distractions by putting the other items away. For instance, noise-canceling headphones are very useful. Lastly, cleaning up my desktop and closing unnecessary tabs personally helped me to focus as I got rid of any distractions.
- Turn off your mind! – To stay sane during this era of online education, I take regular breaks from not only the Internet but all electronic devices in general. As many aspects are now in a digital format, our time behind the screen has increasingly multiplied. Not only does this affect the mind, but it also requires more effort to stay focused and I can feel the exhaustion that both my sight and body are feeling from this constant online connection. Therefore, to allow the body to recharge, it’s important to do physical activities that don’t require any focus and that allows the body to switch from the study position you probably have been sitting in for hours. Some examples would be cleaning, working out or taking a nap.
Author: Gwen Cheung
Editor: Kat Nivera
Featured image: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/06/12/study-questions-effectiveness-online-education-risk-students