5 Ways to Stay Productive During Remote Learning

The sudden shift to online, remote learning has been jarring, to say the least. Many of us didn't know that our last classes were truly our last. It's been a challenge to try and stay motivated while dealing with a move home, a global pandemic, and a new system of learning. After spending a few weeks trying to acclimate to my life at home, I found 5 things that help me stay on track (and maybe they can help you too!): 


Have a separate workspace 

a woman sits at a wooden desk writing in a notebook. there is an imac in front of her.

I found that working in my house can be difficult because of distractions. Usually, I can come home and do coursework after I've spent all day on campus. It's a nice break from my usual routine of driving, classes, work, extracurriculars, and so much more. That being said since I'm cooped up all day in the same couple of rooms, it's way harder to focus than my pre-pandemic routine. The main way that I've been combatting the urge to sink into my couch and never emerge is by creating a separate workspace. I cleaned off my desk in my room and have my textbooks, class materials, and computer all set for me. I try to minimize distractions by only using this desk for work. In some ways, I feel like I've tricked my brain into work mode whenever I'm here. Also, your workspace doesn't have to be desolate or boring. I like a minimal amount of stuff on my desktop so I only keep a candle nearby.


Stay clean and organized

a bottle of clorox, hand sanitizers and a container of lysol wipes sit on a wooden tableSince I'm spending twice as much time at my desk than usual, I make sure to keep it clean. On top of following health protocols (hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes), I'm making sure my papers and books are in order. I found that it's a lot easier to focus when you have a tidy work area. This mantra can also extend to your electronic workspace. Clearing out unnecessary downloads, creating desktop folders, and favoriting frequently-used websites are all great ways to stay organized. 


Take breaks and know when to say "enough"

Kristen Bryant-Thinking In A Lala College Sweatshirt

No one is productive while working through a breakdown, stressful period, or crying fit. If you are approaching any of these *familiar* emotional states, then take a break. I feel like there is still a ton of pressure on students to perform and maintain excellent grades. The truth is, this is an intense time for everyone. You should never be at a place where you're sacrificing your mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing for academic grades.


Use a modified version of your morning routine

Makeup products

Joining Zoom classes in your pajamas may have been enticing during the first week or two of remote learning, but in the long term, it can be negatively impacting you. Similar to having a separate workspace, if you get ready for the day and feel your best, you can trick your brain into thinking that it's "work time." If you like to go all out on your makeup and put on your usual outfits, I think that's great. Personally, I'm taking advantage of the fact that I can stay at home, so I'm minimizing my beauty/style routine. 


Maintain healthy habits

fruit smoothie in glass with metal straw

This final tip follows suit with the rest of my productivity tips- create and maintain healthy habits. These habits don't necessarily have to be boombox-over-the-head gestures, but small things that keep your mind and body on track. For example, I'm making sure to drink plenty of water, have good posture while working at my desk, and taking outdoor walks during the day. Self-care is also a part of maintaining healthy habits, so make sure to do a hair mask or check-in with your friends via FaceTime.


Staying sane during this time is difficult, but Her Campus JCU has your back. Be on the lookout for new content every week.