CPDC Webinar Series: Essential Tips for Managing Work/Class From Your New Space

In the middle of the new COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges are implementing classes offered fully online. Nichols College has implemented this change. This means a lot of us are dealing with an unexpected, unique challenge: attending class or working from home for the first time, full-time.

Even if you have worked from home before, or taken an online class, because of the Coronavirus this might feel like a whole new world. It most definitely was sudden and is for an extended time rather than a day here and there. This time, your whole school is involved and it’s harder to socialize in person outside of class. We have lots of tips you can do to make sure you’re successful, both at getting your work done and maintaining your mental well-being:

Tip #1: Get dressed 

You don’t have to dress up as formally as you would for class or work, but changing out of your pajamas allows your body to understand that it is time to wake up and attend class, work or even do some homework. It’s also very important to maintain your daily routine, such as taking a shower, brushing your hair, or even putting makeup on if you’re up to it. One thing to keep in mind is that it is 2020. Technology is very advanced and our classes/meetings are held via video chat, so people can still see you.

Tip#2: Designate a workspace or home office 

Many studies have shown that one of the biggest challenges when it comes to working remotely is to keep your school/work and home lives separate from each other. If you don’t fully disengage from your work, the work productivity may suffer. Your home life could even take a hit as well.

Some of us are used to going to the library, study rooms, coffee shops, or other areas to accomplish homework and projects. It is important to try and recreate that space as much as possible. This could be at your kitchen table, an extra room, or any space that works best for you. I complete my homework from my desk in my room. It separates me from the rest of my family, and the biggest distraction of them all, my dog.

Tip #3: Keep clearly defined school/work hours

It is essential to know when to complete schoolwork and when not to. We tend to get our best work done with clearly defined hours and it also prepares you to be ready to transition back into normal life.

If you live with your family or other roommates, this separation is necessary. It’s important to communicate with the people you live with to create boundaries to limit distractions during your defined work hours. It allows you to fully disconnect and give your utmost attention to your home life when the defined hours are over.

Tip #4: Build a transition into (and out of) class/work

The usual morning walk on campus or drive to campus, gives time for your brain to mentally prepare for class or work. Maybe you used to listen to music before class/work. You can still do that at home. Or you can even go out on a quick walk to get you moving. It will allow you to keep a normal routine and ease into your day.

Coming back from class or work, lets you wind down and prepare for your next task of the day. It also signals the end of the day and serves as a buffer to your nightly routine. You could go on another walk, work on a puzzle, or even complete an at-home workout.

Tip #5: Don’t get too sucked into the news or anything else

It’s very easy to have distractions from work or attending school from home. This can be a big challenge for some. Maybe during a typical day in class or at work, you think about what you could be accomplishing back in your dorm room or house, but now those distractions are present with you. Its human to get distracted, but it is also imperative to not let yourself get too distracted.

During a time like this one of the biggest distractions can be the news. Checking in on the COVID-19 updates in your town, state, and even the nation is going to be at the top of your mind. It is necessary to stay informed, but also easy to make yourself an anxious mess. You can designate a time to watch the news. Set aside a specific time slot, in the morning, or after work, whatever time works best for you.

Tip #6: Communicate, communicate, communicate

Communication in a time like this is vital. It is essential to connect with your professors, classmates, and your boss. It’s crucial to understand that it is okay to reach out to someone you may not typically turn to for help. For example, if you’re struggling with a class at Nichols, reach out to the ARC and set up an appointment, as they are willing to help.

You don’t have to stick with only communicating by texting, emails, or messenger. If you normally spoke to someone face-to-face, set up a video chat meeting. This will cut down on any form of miscommunication.

Tip #7: Don’t forget to socialize

When school was closed and changed to remote classes/work, you cut out a lot of casual social interactions that typically happen in a day. Whether on a walk to class with a simple “Hi, how are you?” or a conversation in the dining hall with a friend at lunch, those interactions are no longer occurring. In order to maintain social wellness, you can communicate with your classmates, professors or coworkers throughout the day via text, calls, or Zoom. If you typically ask your peers about their weekend, keep that up, and continue to check in on them. You may not be able to meet up with your friends for dinner in person, but you can set up a Zoom call and have dinner together via video chat.

Tip #8: Maintain your physical wellness

This is super important to maintain. Throughout our normal days, we walk throughout the office, to class, or to the dining hall or even to the car. Today, we are limited to the space we call home. There are many different ways you can maintain your physical wellness. You can go out for a walk or a run. You could take an online yoga or a HIIT class. There are multiple options to fulfill your physical wellness needs.

There are a lot tips out there to help you maintain your overall wellness, but these tips are what we believe are the Essential Tips for Managing your Work/Classes From Your New Space.

By Maggie Noelk
Maggie Noelk