For most students this year, like me, we are spending much of our time working from home. Whether home is our actual home, dorm, apartment, or anywhere else that’s not in a classroom, I know the transition can be hard and confusing, so I thought of some helpful tips that have helped me to work from home.
1. Designate an office space.
Establishing an office space is the most important tip I can give. It’s important to create your own space where you can do your work efficiently and not be disturbed by anyone or anything. With that being said, I recommend finding a quiet, spacious (if you can) area where you can have all of your office supplies laid out—desk, chair, laptop, etc. Also, make sure your area/space has a great WiFi connection, as that is crucial for doing tasks online.
2. Grab your essentials.
I’ve came up with some essentials that are perfect for working from home. First off, a pair of blue light blocking glasses. Since you’re on your laptop/computer and/or phone all day, these glasses help filter out the emitted blue light from screens, thus helping you sleep better at night, and it lessens eyestrain.
The second item that is a must, is a pair of headphones/earphones. This comes in handy all the time, if you want to block out background noise, or to hear clearly in your meetings/classes.
The next item is a drink like coffee or tea. I think drinking something or even having a snack can help you stay focused and concentrated throughout all your Zoom calls, just so it keeps you going on with what you have to do.
The final item is a box of tissues. Since cold weather is approaching and it’s allergy season, tissues are necessary, and for, you know, cries during midterm exams …
3. Stay professional.
I believe that staying professional with your look, whether that be on a Zoom or online video chat, is important, as well as having net etiquette. I recommend wearing an attire that is casual, comfortable, and professional (depending the circumstances of the meeting). In other words, as long as you’re not wearing your pajamas, I think you’ll be fine. As for net etiquette, I suggest that you give eye contact to the speaker in the meeting, and most importantly, if you’re in a dorm or an apartment and are living with others, then you should mute yourself or wear headphones so that it lowers the excess background noise when you talk.
4. Organization is key.
I believe that, as long as you are organized, you will be set and sane. It can be overwhelming with classes, meetings, club events, and other activities, so to make your life easier, the first step is to plan. A planner is a great way to write a list of the tasks you have to do for the day. Or, if you prefer electronic planning instead of writing, then I suggest downloading apps like Google Calendar, Homework, or even using apps installed on your phone already such as Reminders, Notes, or Calendar, whichever works for you!
5. Take care of yourself.
Since, you are spending more time on your electronics than you have ever been before, it’s important to step back, relax, and take breaks. If you can, go outside, even if it’s for a few minutes, to enjoy the weather and just relax. Or, if you can’t go outside or want to stay inside, stand up and stretch. Because you’ve been sitting down all day, you should move a little to wake up, refresh, and get ready for your next task. Overall, make sure to take breaks during the day—a coffee break, snack break, or just a break to do whatever you want. This way, you won’t feel as overwhelmed or too busy, because it’s important to have time for yourself too.
These are a few tips of mine that have worked for me, so I wanted to share them with you in hopes that they help you out as well. It might be hard now, but it’ll get easier as you establish a routine and then working from home won’t seem so bad!