Working from Home? Need Help Focusing?

I have been working from home for a while now-- about three weeks to be exact...and I just got back into the swing of things. It took me a while to get organised, and this was surprising to me for one main reason: I am an incredibly meticulous introvert. Almost to a fault. I have two bullet journals, a planner, a wall calendar, and a planner app that all get used at least once a week. I have obsessive tendencies when it comes to doing something I love; on campus, I went to the gym five days a week with a sixth active rest day. Yet, by some odd coincidence, I was absent for three full hours of my online tutoring shift last Tuesday. I figured my meticulous abilities would simply kick in (and they did- but only for my schoolwork). Somehow, I still found myself taking time to evaluate what I was missing in order to get back on track. If you want to avoid the mistakes I made, you may want to:

Get Organized (even more, if necessary)    

The main issue that I had is the same thing that probably happened to most students and work-from-home employees. I had a routine and, suddenly, I didn’t. Everything from my sleep routine to my space and my daily regimen hours changed. Only one of my classes is still held at the same time—the rest are at my own pace as long as I submit them by 11:59 p.m. on the day we would have held class. For this reason, I found myself sleeping in and only waking up after 12:55 p.m. for that one class and later work hours. It helps to maintain the same regimen that you had before whether this is an eight-hour workday or a nine-hour lecture or lab circuit at Uni. Set specific times for doing things. For example, if you resolve to wake up at 6:30 a.m., you can allot 25 minutes to active stretching and a dance workout, 20 minutes for a spa-level skincare routine (complete with steaming and face masks), and an hour for a hearty breakfast. You are now ready to clock into a typical nine to five job at 8:45 a.m., 15 minutes early and completely energised.

Plan Out your Workday

Being sure to wake up and physically prepare for the virtual office or workspace at least 15 minutes early is necessary because that time can be used to “set your intentions”, as they say, for that shift. If you work different shifts each day, use this time to set your alarms. Even small things like making a checklist of what you need to do in a day help to feel like the strict regimen that you may be used to or need.

There are dry erase whiteboards, sticky notes, weekly planners, and checklist available from online retailers that would be helpful in your journey to get your sit together. It is an investment. It is a necessary one, especially considering that we are unaware of how long the U.S. must remain on lockdown.


Stay Engaged

I get it: you have work or school over virtual video apps. Staying in bed will not help you to stay engaged. In fact, sitting for too long in one position can remind your body of its need for more sleep. There is a phenomenon in which people go to sleep when bored. The more you indulge in this, the more you will continue to fall asleep ten minutes into that lecture. As a fix, it’s a good idea to try taking notes on your phone, notebook, or laptop. In my opinion, writing it physically would be the most effective. This is because you’re up to 70% more likely to remember something if you write it down. By doing so, you can keep yourself engaged enough to remember each lecture or work meeting. If necessary, step out of the camera frame and stroll around in your room for a bit. Who’s going to stop you? I have also found that I pay attention a lot more if I am actively eating while in class or at work. It sounds bad, but I love to eat.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you will not be mentally present if you do not have the right amount of sleep for your body. Yes, I am saying it: stop watching Netflix until two in the morning if you must be at work or class four hours later. I had to come to say it to myself as well.

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