Working Smarter

How in the world will I prepare for something I can’t predict? 

The concept of school starting, although usually a known quantity, has been flipped upside down and sent students reeling with questions. Now that our school year will most most likely take place in the virtual world, let’s look at some ways we can make the most of this new way of living and working: 

  • Update your tech: No matter what major you’re studying, your computer will be getting vastly more use than before! Considering that we are all now students of Zoom University, taking a look at the state of your software, wifi, and router should fall on your to-do list. Or, if you are like me and have been putting off replacing any tech, this might be the time to commit and get the new laptop. Investing in your technology would not be wasted. 
  • Purchase Blue Light Glasses: After using my pair for almost a year, I realize just how valuable it is to place a protective barrier between my eyes and computer screen. It allows you to work longer without the usual strain, and seeing how our screen time will be increasing, it certainly couldn’t hurt. You can find them on the websites of reputable glasses companies as well as in the grocery store!
  • Separate relaxation and school: When it comes to staying focused during the day, things like the clothes we wear and the places we sit are more important than we realize. Changing out of your pajamas in the morning is a simple cue to your body that you are getting ready to leave sleep mode and start the next part of your day. Another way to signal this change is to designate a space away from your bed- which is a place for relaxation- to be your work space. Doing these two things will help your brain develop associations with habits that contribute to your productivity! 
  • Prioritize Free Time: Once run by schedules that drag us around town for school, work, and extracurriculars, we are now the bosses of where we go and how we spend newfound free time. So take this opportunity to reserve time for brain breaks, hobbies, and getting active. Building these into your weekly schedule and making it a habit will help energize you for long days of online class and meetings and provide rewards for your hard work. Make it an intention to spend a short time each day on an activity that will fulfill you, and don’t miss those self care appointments!

Whether you follow these tips or create your own, remaining flexible in the midst of change will be key. What helps you succeed one week might not work the next, so it is important to find what works best for YOU- even if it looks different from your friends. Let’s make the most of whatever this semester brings!