As students begin returning to school and workers have to readjust themselves at home to a new way of working, it can be challenging, emotional, and draining. We wanted to provide some tips we have gathered from ourselves and some other outside sources to hopefully aid with this transition. As always, if you think of anything else to add, please leave it in the comments below or let us know on our social media pages!
For our outside sources, we received tips from YouTuber, Entrepreneur, and Business woman Alisha Marie in her YouTube video “10 Working From Home / Online School Tips that ACTUALLY Work!”. We also received some tips from a business magazine geared at helping build great leaders and businesses, Harvard Business Review in their YouTube video “How to Actually Work…When You’re Working from Home”. Our last source was from a therapist, social worker, creator and YouTuber, Yeonni. Yeonni provides tips on adjusting to working from and just simply being home during the pandemic in her video “a therapist’s tips on working from home | anxiety, isolation, finding simple joys” (video was from the beginning of quarantining). Please feel free to check out these whole videos to get all of their tips!
Working / School From Home:
While working / doing school from home, it may help to build a structure / routine, such as one we would have in an office or on campus. Not only do I suggest this, but so does Alisha Marie & Yeonni. For example, build a morning routine – wake up at the same time everyday. Both Yeonni and Alisha suggest that late nights can cause unproductive and gross days (Yeonni – 1:25 / Alisha – 9:21). Mornings before working also mean doing what you need to do to feel ready for your day (such as breakfast, changing out of pajamas, hair & makeup, coffee, etc..) Not only Alisha suggests this, but she furthers this by suggesting breakfast, making the bed, creating specific “work hours” etc (2:18). Building structure allows us to feel prepared for the day, allows us to know what we need to get done and by when, and helps lower anxiety (Yeonni explains that routines help us have some feelings of control – 1:25).
Plan out your week with basic deadlines / planned activities. Next, what is today’s specific task list? Alisha Marie suggested a productive strategy for creating a task list – listing out everything you’d like to get done, in detail, and picking (prioritizing) three tasks off that list that you’d like to complete today (6:08). This helps us feel more productive and accomplished when we complete the three main tasks or most important tasks rather than only completing some tasks off a large list.
Both Alisha Marie and the Harvard Business Review (HBR) touch on this topic. As we are working from home, they both emphasize the need to separate “home” and “work” hours. They both describe separating these hours as being important because when we are at work (or school) we don’t have access to pursue “homey” activities, such as Laundry or dishes (Alisha Marie – 9:43) or playing with our dogs (HBR – 1:26 ). Harvard Business Review provided a comedic but effective approach to creating boundaries – explaining to your pet (or roomie) that, although you’re home, this is your “work” time and need that space to focus during your work hours (1:55).
- Stay Active
This is a personal tip from me. I have noticed that when I sit on my computer for hours, my back and neck may ache. As someone who has scoliosis, it is especially crucial for me to stay active (Although I’ll be the first to admit I am not nearly as active as I should be). This is definitely a challenge, especially when I am tired and would rather lay around on my break time. However, everyday it is important to find something “active” to do. For me, that sometimes means swimming in my pool for a bit, going on walks with my dogs, etc. It also may be helpful to try yoga, or just stretching. Yeonni even suggested that being active sometimes just means moving around the house (I find it acceptable *defined by me for me* to do “home” activities while on a break, especially if it means getting up and moving around)(3:25). This leads us to our next tip.
- Take Breaks / Time Off
In order to keep our minds and bodies fresh and ready to tackle the day, we need to take mental and physical breaks throughout the day. We need breaks to eat, we need breaks to exercise or stay active, and we just need self-care “brain refreshing” time. I’ve learned from my therapist that we actually do have time for it all, we just have to schedule it and make time for it. Clock out at specific hours everyday that allow for extra time for self-care, such as journaling or exercise, or maybe family time, and, especially, sleeping time. Whatever it is that we are lacking, it is important to try to build those into our new schedules. Being at home, as heavy and difficult as it may be, might actually be a great opportunity for everyone to refresh their routines and to take a moment to focus on what they actually need to schedule into their days and weeks.