The nights are getting earlier, the air is getting colder but sadly the deadlines are looming closer. Sometimes, finding the motivation to work is really hard, especially when it’s dark by 4 pm and The Holiday is being played for the 3rd time (we don’t mind, Jude Law is hot). Here are some tips for making the best of your workspace.
This is a huge must for working from home. I am the absolute worst at prioritising university work, especially when the full series of Desperate Housewives is just one click away, so I did a little research (Tik-Tok stalking) to try and find useful tips or hacks to help. One of the first things that came up was a lap tray from Amazon, around £20 that had a cute wooden effect and a cup holder. Thought, great idea. Well… it gives me a better angle on zoom meetings, but I won’t say it makes me more productive. Being in bed in general just doesn’t make me productive. So, I kept searching and ended up buying a camping table, around £17, and it works perfectly. It fits in my tiny box student room, can be easily packed away, and works great as an extra-long dining table for flat Christmas dinner.
Usually, you’d think, ah chill time. Which yes, please do relax and rest throughout these next few months but this is more specific. Down timing your phone, the absolute worst thing for productivity is your phone. Be honest, how many times have you been about to start reading, and then ping, a random notification pops up and that’s it, you’re Instagram’s best friend for half an hour. Half an hour which you could have finished the reading already. I found this in settings on my iPhone (not 100% on android but there are apps) where you can set a ‘downtime’ for selected apps where you can’t use them. I chose 4 pm-8 pm, so I have four hours ‘free from phone’ time, this includes notifications. But the great thing is that if you did want to go on that app, say you fancied a break on Snapchat, you can either have a minute, 15 minutes or end the downtime. The 15 minutes is the perfect amount for a small break.
There is also Forest (apple and android) where you can grow trees for staying off your phone, you can even earn coins to buy new virtual trees or save up the coins and the Forest company will plant an actual tree, how amazing!
Practice Personal Hygiene:
Don’t worry, I get it more than anyone. All you wanna do is stay in your pyjamas all day, not brush your hair and just throw on your dressing gown. Perfect for a nice lazy day off. Sadly, it’s not your day off, and you ain’t gonna be productive wearing a fluffy Eeyore set. I’m not saying wear your power suit to sit at your dining table all day, but if that works for you, go ahead! Just throw on some clean clothes, get a shower to refresh and rejuvenate, and do what makes you feel confident.
Extra Tip For Work Working From Home:
If your job has been relocated to home and you’re struggling, try communicating with your supervisors around the hours you work. For instance, my supervisor offered a longer lunch hour that you make up at the end of the day, this way you can take a walk and make use of the limited daylight hours.
So, there you have it, a quick guide for setting up your work from home environment through the dark wintery months. Remember throughout all the studying, hard work and determination, be kind to yourself, listen to your body when it tells you it’s tired and needs a break. It’s been a rough year and you’re doing your best.