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Inside Beat

Tips for working from home, taking online classes

Many students have never taken online classes and usually don't work from their homes. Amid a global pandemic, tips for working from home are useful.  – Photo by Kelly Carmack

For many students, especially those who live on campus, the transition to online classes is a huge and daunting adjustment. 

With a few simple tips, working from home can garner just as much, if not more, productivity.  

Practice self-discipline

First, it’s important to have self-discipline.

This can be really hard, especially when you go from a tight schedule to an abundance of free time. The easiest way to combat laziness and unproductivity is to give yourself a new routine. Freedom to create this can be a blessing in disguise, and it doesn’t mean you have to be up at the crack of dawn everyday to get work done.

I like to choose a set time to wake up everyday, around 10 a.m. usually. It’s nice knowing that I can still sleep in, but I have my routine to make sure I’m making effective use of my time and staying on task. 

To-do lists are essential

Many online classes will have video conferences where you’re required to log in at a certain time, or they'll have certain due dates for completing and handing in assignments. With no professors or classmates to remind you about these things, it’s important to hold yourself accountable for them. 

If you don’t already have an agenda for keeping on top of school work, something as easy as making a simple checklist everyday can help with organization. Checking something off a list is satisfying, and it’s nice feeling like you’ve been productive on your own accord. 

A great digital alternative to this is Google Calendar, which allows you to color code assignments and sync up with friends, and it can be accessed on both mobile and desktop. This application is so convenient for setting reminders and having all the information you need in one place. 

Create a designated workspace for yourself

This can be really tricky, especially for students that are used to studying in libraries or study lounges. Environment really matters when you’re trying to focus, and it can be challenging to find a studious one when practicing social distancing. 

A good workspace is somewhere you won’t be distracted. This can be your kitchen table, your bedroom or even sitting outside if it’s nice out. It’s way easier said than done, but I recommend trying different spots around your home until you can find where you work best.  

It’s important to have a workspace that’s separate from your comfort spaces. I know that the idea of laying in bed all day is tempting, but your body will be confused if you bring work into a space where you normally rest. 

If you do decide your bed is too good of a space to pass up, making your bed in the morning can really help boost your productivity while maintaining comfort. It’s a good check off of your to-do list, and you won’t be tempted to lay down and sleep. 

Maintain a sense of normalcy

Finally, take time to do something for yourself that you normally would if you were going to class. 

For me, this is getting dressed. Whether I leave my room, I feel more ready for my day if I change out of my pajamas.

This is where the freedom of online classes can be fun. Whether it’s taking time to workout everyday, reading a new book or even making yourself breakfast in the morning, maintaining a sense of normalcy is essential in establishing an effective at-home routine. 

Transitioning to online classes mid-semester is not easy, but practicing social distancing is what’s essential right now. These tips should help make that adjustment a little easier, and hopefully a little more fun. 

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