How to Stay Productive and Survive This Virtual Semestercsudhbulletin September 11, 2020 0 COMMENTS
Getting in the zone. Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash.
By Raven Brown, Staff Reporter
I get it, we’re all busy and have shit to do. Believe me. I am a full-time student and I have bills to pay like everyone else. But when I’m not up to my eyeballs in assignments, I’m wishing my eyes were closed.
As someone who is a self-proclaimed perfectionist, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you that I almost couldn’t find the motivation to write this. Ironically enough, I could have benefited from this list last week when I was feeling like I was in over my head.
Taking four online classes is a lot different than taking them in person, and I really have to muster up all the energy I possibly can to make it work. Now that we are being forced (against our will) into remote learning, it’s not only important for us to adjust our behaviors, but our expectations as well.
Remember when we used to say “online learning isn’t for everyone?'” Well, guess what? Due to a global sickness beyond our control, now it is. And I am here to tell you, between sips of coffee, how to kick ass and take names this semester.
Regardless of your major, these tips should work for everyone (I hope).
1. Get a planner already. If you think you are capable of staying organized without one, you are insane! Writing everything down, making lists, and keeping all your assignments in one place is one of the easiest ways to stay on top of things. It gets everything out of your head and will help you see the bigger, long-term picture. Do yourself a favor and invest in a good one. (I suggest checking out the Freedom Mastery Planner, which includes a vision board so you can really focus on what matters.)
2. Wake up earlier. I know, I know, why on earth would you want to wake up earlier when you are taking classes online? It sounds horrible, but believe me, it’s a lifesaver. Waking up earlier and taking the time to have some sort of routine will actually make your life a lot easier. You won’t be rushing around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to join the Zoom meeting on time.
3. Set up a workspace. Working from home can feel very blah. It can be hard to stay motivated when you’re having to do your assignments from bed while wearing your favorite Christmas jammies (totally not judging). Having a designated workspace can help you get into a more productive mindset. Whether it’s the coffee table, kitchen counter, or dining room table, it doesn’t really matter. Just stay off the couch, okay? It will suck you in every time.
4. Make daily to-do lists. I can already see you asking how this is any different than getting a planner. Let me explain. Your planner is to help you organize for the month and each week, but you also have to accomplish other things outside of school. Laundry, grocery shopping, oil changes, washing your cat, etc., etc. You have a life and things to do outside of school. Making a to-do list first thing in the morning that includes all your tasks and assignments will give you a timeline of what to expect out of your day. Thank me later.
5. Set a timer and take breaks. If you are anything like me, you might be sitting in front of your computer for hours on end completing assignments. Taking a 10 to 15 minute 15-minute break every 45 minutes to an hour will completely change how much you are able to get done. Get up and stretch, go for a walk, eat a snack, call your mom or dance like nobody’s watching! Then get back in there and handle your business.
I know these might seem silly. But believe me, being productive is more about what you do outside of the work that will really help you succeed. Being productive does not always mean you have to produce MORE. It’s about how you organize your time to make sure you don’t burn out. You’ll be able to produce BETTER work and have more time to focus on things outside of school as well.