Studying or Working from Home? 5 Tips to Be Productive3 min read
As the world is fighting the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have to transition to an online mode studying or working from home. Just like the majority of institutions, the American University of Armenia (AUA) has also gone online and all our classes are now held in a virtual learning environment until the national state of emergency ends in Armenia. Below are five useful tips to consider when planning your study or work day from home.
Create a dedicated space close to natural light
Studying or working from home would be more productive if you designate a special space for that purpose. Lying on the couch or in bed or even sitting on the floor with your laptop on your knees won’t work. You will either develop back pain or a stiff neck. Make sure that your dedicated space is ergonomic with a comfortable chair supporting your back and laptop or computer monitor placed directly in front of you. Don’t forget to position your desk or work table as close to daylight as possible – exposure to natural light greatly improves productivity. Try to find alternatives if your room is dark or doesn’t have a window. Use cool white light bulbs for overhead lights and desk lamps. Create a comfortable workspace that will help you perform at your best.
Manage your time wisely
Keeping everything organized might be your key for staying productive when studying or working from home. Wake up at the usual time, go through your usual morning routine, and don’t forget to get dressed; studying or working in pajamas adversely affect productivity. Start your day by creating an achievable to-do list. It will help you to hold yourself accountable for the priorities and daily tasks you set out to complete and measure your performance. After all, is there anything more satisfying than checking off items on your to-do list? But, allow time both for work and rest – “Work Hard, Play Hard!” Try to set and keep time for study or work hours, then reward yourself for keeping on schedule.
Eliminate distractions and stay focused
It is quite easy to get distracted these days, especially if you are using your gadgets when studying or working from home. Constant news updates on TV and social media won’t let you concentrate at times. Eliminate such distractions by keeping your phone, tablet, and TV out of sight. Noisy flatmates or caring parents could also be distracting at times. You may avoid those by sharing with them your dedicated studying or working hours. You may also try using headphones to listen to soft background music to block out external noise. Researchers have found that it takes more than 20 minutes to get back on track after a distraction, so keep close at hand your bottle of water, stationery, or anything else you may need.
Take breaks to avoid burnout
Do not forget to schedule and take regular breaks when studying or working from home. They are useful not only for your eyes and posture, but also for your mind. Take short coffee breaks as you would during your typical day at AUA. A bowl of fresh fruits and some nuts will keep your body energized and help you concentrate on your work or studies. Treat yourself with a delicious and nutritious meal for lunch and try to avoid looking at the screen during breaks. Also, schedule regular exercise into your daily routine! This is the perfect opportunity to pick up that online yoga class you always wanted or just sign up to healthy lifestyle blogs and do online workouts.
Stay positive and motivated
Nothing lasts forever! Sooner or later we will come out of our “cabins” and resume our normal routine. Meanwhile, try to make the best of this period of confinement and use your time as productively as possible. Spend your free time reading self-improvement books or watching motivating movies. Surround yourself with people and things that give you positive vibes. You can even do it online by having virtual lunch and coffee breaks with your colleagues and friends. Exchange constructive ideas from your “studying and working from home survival kit” and share new tips on dealing with the situation.
Also, did you know that there is good news about this situation? Coronavirus has decreased air pollution!
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.