The rise of Coronavirus cases in the United States has forced universities to deliver courses remotely through the end of the school year in order to flatten the curve. Initially when I heard about this I was excited that I did not have to physically go to class and that I could do all my classwork from the comfort of my bed. However, that excitement soon turned to dread the longer I was in my house. I have come to the realization that I am especially unmotivated at home as my life lacks the structure that college provided me. This realization has led me to think of some ways that I can ensure I will succeed at the newly established Zoom University. If you are also having trouble working from home, here are some tips for you.
- Find a Designated Work Space
I have created a small work space in my house’s “office.” It consists of a folding table and a desk chair. When I go to that desk, my brain knows that it is time to work. I believe that it is crucial to have a space like that to go to when you need to watch online lectures or do assignments. The space needs to be functional and quiet. I highly recommend that the work space not be in your bedroom. However, if your bedroom is the only space available, then just do not work on your bed. When you work on your bed you will be more inclined to fall asleep.
- Buy or Create a Planner
I am a very visual person. I like to see things laid out for me so I created a planner. I made a table on a Word document, printed it out and wrote down everything I need to do for my classes each day for the first two weeks (I take it two weeks at a time, so I do not have to write out everything at once). This planner has definitely made my brain feel less overwhelmed and has allowed me to effectively plan out my time. I highly recommend using a physical or virtual planner to ensure you stay on top of your online classes.
- Stick to a Schedule
A week ago, I saw a TikTok with a caption that said “experts say that we should stick to our daily routine” and the video was of a guy holding on to a shower curtain rod like he was riding the subway. It was funny, but the caption was very true. Since we cannot leave our homes, most of our lives probably lack structure. We do what we want when we want to. Everyday is the same, but different. However, a schedule will ensure that you get done what needs to be done in a timely manner (and ensure you stay sane in the process). So, do classwork when your class was originally scheduled and maybe even mimic your walk to class.
- Go on a Walk and Enjoy Some Fresh Air
I have a short attention span. After a certain amount of time, my brain will not cooperate any more. My mind starts to drift and suddenly, I cannot remember what I was even reading about. So breaks are a must. Some of my breaks consist of watching a TV episode or scrolling on TikTok, but occasionally I will go on a walk in my neighborhood. The weather in Northern California has been nice as of late, so I put in my earphones, grab my dog and go. A stay at home order does not mean you cannot go outside. You should go outdoors and enjoy the fresh air, but be mindful and maintain social distancing habits. Your brain will thank you for it.
- Have an End in Sight
I have a hard time staying motivated without an end in sight. I need to know at what point I can be done for the day. Whether it is a certain time I decide to stop working or after a certain assignment, it is important that I have an end to keep me motivated. Since most of us do not have other obligations during the day, we can finish classwork at a reasonable time.
I hope you found at least one of these tips to be helpful. Obviously, Zoom University is not ideal, but at least there are memes to get us through these trying times. Now go forth and get those A’s.