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Since so many of us are getting used to online learning and remote job placements, now is the perfect time to review how it’s going. By figuring out what isn’t serving you anymore, you can work in a happier, healthier way.
1. Consider your routine
This applies to all aspects of your daily life. If your evening routine involves watching Netflix until 3am, this will negatively impact your 9am Teams call.
By creating a good morning and evening routine involving light exercise, time away from screens, and whatever makes you feel better, you can focus more during your working day.
It’s helpful to consider your weekly university routine, too. Maybe an hourly scheduled online calendar works for you. Or maybe you’d prefer to bullet-point a handful of daily tasks. If you use bullet-point to-do lists, prioritising the most important tasks with numbers or asterisks can allow you to work on the most pressing projects first. Either way, finding out what helps you to work more productively will give you more free time.
2. Take frequent breaks, but not just on TikTok or Instagram
Taking a few minutes every hour can help us focus more on tasks. However, if we spend breaks scrolling online, this often makes us lose track of time and the brain-fog that comes with endless scrolling won’t help you write your assignments any quicker. Instead, you could walk around the block or call a friend.
3. Look into productivity apps
Productivity apps can be great for when you’re feeling overwhelmed by how much you have to do. I’d recommend Notion if you’d like to organise to-do lists and schedules in one space online. Another fantastic app that I use most days is Forest, which allows you to plant digital trees for fixed amounts of time. If you select ‘concentration mode’, it means you can’t use any other app until the timer finishes, otherwise your tree will die.
4. Hold yourself accountable
An easy way of doing this is by talking with course-mates or flatmates about what you’re working on. By checking in with each other, it can motivate you to get more done, as you’re no longer just relying on yourself. Video calls can be a great way of discussing a difficult topic or revising together.
5. Be patient with yourself
Although all the above tips can help a lot, not every day will be perfectly productive. We’re literally living through a historical moment, so now isn’t the time to be too hard on yourself. If you’ve had a difficult day and haven’t gotten very much done, that’s completely okay.
By accepting your energy levels and how much you can get done each day, you’ll feel less pressure weighing you down. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try setting a 5-minute timer and starting whatever task is most important.
Sometimes, just starting sets you up better for the entire day.