How Do I Work Efficiently From Home?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are moving to remote work and remote learning. Here are a few tips to help with the transition!
April 1, 2020By: Miranda Pagarelski, Nilesh Khetripal
Work Time vs. Break Time
1. Maintain a schedule
Utilize a calendar, task manager, or planner. If you have a Google account, you can use the Google Calendar app to add your classes, chores, and section out time for fun! It is available on Google Play and the App Store. You can allow notifications for any event that you add, so you don’t miss it. Events from Gmail are added to your Calendar automatically, so you don’t have to worry about updating it.
Set aside the time for specified classes or meetings. If there isn’t a specific meeting time for the class you’re enrolled in, set aside time to do the assignments for the course.
Develop a morning routine. Just because you don’t have to commute doesn’t mean you should throw away an old routine. Get up, get dressed, and eat breakfast to ready yourself for the work day. Set alarms if it helps!
Make a to-do list -- and stick to it. To-do lists will help you complete tasks and assignments throughout the day. Apps like Todoist, Microsoft To-Do, and Google Keep are easy to use and can be very helpful!
2. Take breaks
Take 10-20 minute breaks to every 50-60 minutes you work. Working too much will kill productivity. Short breaks increase productivity and creativity levels. You can change the amount of time you work and the time you take breaks, such as: thirty minutes of productivity followed by a five minute break. Choose whatever works for you, as long as you’re staying productive! During breaks, make sure you walk around and stretch. Try to lessen screen usage at this time. You don’t want to strain your eyes!
3. Stay off of social media
It’s a distraction. Period. Put your phone aside while you do your work, it will be there when you're done.
Setting up your Study Area
Organize desk or study area
Do your work in a well-lit, uncluttered space. Clear your desk and set yourself up with all the tools you'll need to succeed! Keep your pens and pencils, notebooks, rulers, and other tools with you in your study area -- this way it is always there when you need it. If you do work from a computer, you can keep your workstation stationary in a place where you know you won't get distracted and where it will stay. Doing work in bed or on a sofa can strain your back and keep you from doing the best work you can do, and keeping your work area well-lit is important to keep you alert and attentive without hurting your eyes. Perhaps keep a section of your desk open for snacks, too!
Quiet and without distractions
Give yourself a space to do your studies and hobbies where you won't get distracted. Put your phone away, close your YouTube videos, and put your Xbox controller down. They will be there later!
Talk to your family. Set a schedule with your family members to maintain a regular work environment without distractions.
Background noise. This varies from person to person. Some people prefer to have music in the background to focus, while others need complete silence. As long as you can maintain focus, do whatever works for you!
Online Tutoring and Study Options
1. Khan Academy
Khan Academy offers resources for schools, teachers, students, and parents during school closures. Khan Academy also offers free demonstrations on a variety of subjects in K-12 learning. It includes instructional videos and quizzes to help you practice skills and monitor your progress.
Chegg offers homework help and textbook rentals. Tutors are available 24/7, and you’ll be talking to real people for the homework help you need. It offers assistance in Math, Writing, Science, and more, with flashcard and math-specific apps to help with studying from home.
Chegg also lists additional resources for free learning help for your online classes.
Quizlet is a useful study tool where you can create digital flashcards to help you learn subject material. It offers different activities where you can learn, match, and quiz yourself on your study set. Teachers can also setup classroom sets of vocabulary words and ideas to implement along side normal classwork. Challenge your friends to games to see who can remember the most!
Other Important Notes to Keep in Mind
Online transition is not permanent, and things will get back to normal soon
This isn’t an average work-from-home situation. Follow the CDC’s guidelines on preparation and prevention to keep yourself and your families safe and happy during times of uncertainty.
The CDC suggests:
Keep a healthy distance between others to prevent picking it up
Wash your hands with soap and water frequently
Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap is unavailable
Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly
Your Health is important
Self isolation can take a toll on mental health. If you are feeling anxious, isolated, or in need of support, consider contacting the Crisis Text Line. Text the word HOME to 741741 to be connected with trained Crisis Counselors who are available 24/7. You can find more information on the Crisis Text Line website.
Remember to eat meals and drink water throughout the day. Your body needs nourishment to function. Don’t neglect this just to get an assignment done.
You are not alone.
Keep in contact with people online. Staying in touch with friends and family remotely is absolutely possible and recommended to keep yourself social while in quarantine.
Make study groups for your classes
Ask for help if you're stuck in a class
Participate in virtual activities your school offers
FaceTime or video chat with your friends
Set up virtual movie nights
Play video games with friends
Just because you have to self-isolate, doesn’t mean you should lose contact with people!