The COVID-19 pandemic has heralded a new dawn of both industry and education. Where before the idea of working from home was reserved specifically for independent study and for those rare occasions when classes have to be canceled in order to accommodate the UK’s turbulent and unpredictable weather system.
With almost all students in the UK confined to working from home, we’ve got five useful tips to help maximize your time at home during the pandemic, which will help you to be productive and to keep both your mental and physical health in check.
Keep distractions to a minimum
It’s so easy to get distracted when working from home. The allure of arguing with strangers on Reddit, scrolling through your mate’s random conspiracy theories on Facebook or watching cats walk around the house with toilet paper rolls on their arms on YouTube is a temptation that better students than you have succumbed to before now!
However, it’s best you keep these distractions to a minimum. Either download some Google Chrome extensions for keeping certain websites blacklisted or just invest some good old-fashioned self-discipline!
Keeping yourself motivated and focused will not only keep you on the right path for university but will also prepare you for later life. So put your phone onto Do Not Disturb, keep YouTube blacklisted for a while and keep plugging away.
Give yourself breaks
While it is nevertheless important to keep working hard, regular breaks are important as well. For some people, this means working in short-bursts. Work for half an hour, take a five-minute break, work for half an hour, take a five-minute break etc. When you were writing your personal statement and were taking a look through the various personal statement examples or having to try and sum yourself up in the best way possible, you knew how important it was to take a break from the computer screen and this is no different.
For others, the idea of breaking might be to have one every hour for ten minutes or so. This is a chance to grab some fresh air, eat some food and just take a break from the mundanity of uni work.
Eat healthily and regularly
Eating healthily and regularly is an integral part of just about anyone’s life, but for your average university student, you need to place particular care on it.
University is the time of a student’s life when you learn all about the idea of living within a budget and having to go without some of the more substantial takeaway meals you’d love to have.
The issue for students has often been that the Tesco meal deal is king or else, that a short-trip to McDonald’s, is better than a long wait in the queue at ASDA, but really and truly, picking up some healthy snacks or some salads to get you through the day can be really good for you.
Fruits such as apples, bananas and grapes are great ways of keeping yourself alert and giving yourself some much-needed energy (and trust us, you will need it). That’s not to say that you shouldn’t occasionally treat yourself to a Dairy Milk every now and again (or shamelessly grabbing an Easter egg three months before easter because Tesco insists on putting them out a full two months earlier than necessary), but eating healthy is the dietary cornerstone for anyone who wants to keep their focus up and their attention rapt.
During these troubled and unpredicted times, remaining healthy is essential, especially when at university. Though coronavirus is less dangerous for students that are not at risk, it’s still a good idea to build your immune system up with healthy eating and jogging or walking.
Establish a routine
The celebrated American author John C. Maxwell, once said that “…the secret to success can be found in your daily routine” and he couldn’t be more right!
Having a daily routine is really important, it helps you to slip into healthy working habits and it allows you to establish goals to be completed by the end of the day. Whether it be reaching a certain word count, doing a fair amount of independent research or even just getting all of your files in something resembling a sustainable order, a routine breeds goals and an established path to achieving what you want.
Obviously, you can switch it up every now and again, maybe switch your playlist from “Lo-Fi Hip Hop Beats for Chilling Out and Relaxing” to “Dancefloor Fillers” or an engaging podcast on something related to your area of study, or maybe even do certain aspects of the work out of their usual order.
The main point of a routine is to get you motivated to work. If you know that you have to start at 09:30 every morning and you finish around 19:30 in the evening, then you can start to build a good routine around it and you can start to really hone your skills as well.
Get some fresh air
Fresh air can be hard to come by these days in the world of tier systems and lockdown procedures and wearing masks, but keeping yourself active and getting some fresh air should be as close to the top of your priority list as actually working is!
Sometimes, it can be a great way to clear your senses and give you some distance from your work, maybe even lend a new perspective on it. So many students decide they don’t need fresh air and decide to stay inside, in close proximity to their work, where they’re far too tempted to either go back to work or shut off completely which means they can no longer see the woods for the trees if you’ll pardon the pun.
Going for a walk is a great way to get to know your local area as well. The pandemic does not necessarily mean that students have been sent home, so if you are living in student accommodation still and need to get to know your area better, go for a walk, you’d be surprised just what you can find out there!