One of the most common questions I am asked by friends and peers is how I maintain a schedule and effectively manage my time while working and going to school from home. While being in school or at the office forced some of us into a structured schedule, you do not have to lose that just because you are at home.
Scheduling your day
Many people have said that during COVID-19 it is important to stick to our normal routine as much as possible. For the most part I set my alarm and force myself to get up around the time I would have at school. This allows me to have some extra time in the morning to enjoy a cup of coffee on the porch or go for a walk with my mom. After this I go to my office space and sign into class or work.
While some universities have moved to Zoom, others have opted to just have assignments. For the classes I have that do not have Zoom lectures, I make sure to spend the time that I would have been in class doing the work for that class. This helps to keep me on track and prevent me from having to do too much work in the evenings.
Normally I would spend a decent amount of time in between classes walking, stopping for a cup of coffee, or grabbing a bite to eat. I try to mimic this on the day to day to help break my day up.
As soon as I notice myself starting to be unproductive, I know it is time to move and take a break. Some days this is a walk in the neighborhood, others it is going to get a cup of coffee from a drive through, sometimes it is making myself lunch, and if I’m being honest this is occasionally lying in bed and watching Tik Tok, because the reality is you do not need to force yourself to be productive at all hours of they day.
We do not know how much longer this will be going on for so it is important that we do not burn ourselves out. If you are working on something pressing and don’t have time for a break, but see yourself getting unproductive, I suggest changing locations. I do not typically recommend working on the couch but knocking out some easy work on the couch can get you out of your funk and encourage you to get back to work when you are at your desk.
No matter what, by the time 5:30 hits, my classes are done and I have finished work for the day. I then close my laptop and leave my desk. I will use this time to workout and then eat dinner with my family, or just take time for myself. I will not allow myself to go back onto my laptop until around 7 because this forces me to have some work-life balance even when being at home all day.
For more social distancing strategies, check out the NeW blog. To learn more about work from home strategies, check out our recent Facebook Live “How to Effectively Work from Home”.
This blog was written by Sophie Czerniecki, NeW Campus Program Fellow and a senior at The Catholic University of America.