Going through an event that will go down in history does not feel as interesting as one would think. Although humanity has lived through pandemics before and societies have even been quarantined due to infectious diseases before. In comparison to earlier, now, most of us are equipped with technology and an internet connection, so homeschooling and working ‘round the house’, has taken a whole different meaning.
Some were able to proceed work remotely, as the world is being advised to practice social distancing measures. Others had to continue classes on an online basis, as universities and colleges have halted face-to-face teaching due to the health risks imposed by the pandemic. In certain cases, people are doing both.
Being a student while working, either full time or part-time can have a few challenges. But it is nothing you will not be able to overcome. Let’s go through some first-hand tips which you will most likely find useful.
Here’s how to juggle online work and study during a global pandemic:
1. Keep Planning and Organizing
Although juggling both work and study basically revolves around being flexible, it does not exclude the fact that a lot of planning goes around the ability to be flexible. Plans help us set goals, meet deadlines, and get things done. While you are planning, make sure that you’re being objective and realistic. There are things that you will not be able to accomplish within the day or week because honestly, some things take time. But stick to smaller objectives which will eventually lead to the bigger goal. One thing at a time.
My recommendation would be: Keep a notebook and pen near you at all times. While you’re studying or working and you remember something you have to get done, scribble it down. At the end of the day, revise your notes and plan things according to your notes. You can keep a planner notebook specifically for plans (different from the one with the scribbles), or a digital planning app on your phone or PC.
2. Take Time to Rest
Resting is essential even if you are packed with work (or homework). Give yourself at least one day a week to rest your mind and do something unrelated to your job or university. Maybe watch a movie, read, bake a cake, or simply rest.
My recommendation would be: Use at least a portion of your Sundays off to rest. If you cannot afford to spend the whole day restoring your energy for the upcoming week, dedicate at least a portion of the day to rest and then proceed with school assignments or work. Sometimes, simply the knowledge that you are resting is important. So do not occupy your head stressing about what you have to get done while you’re at it.
3. Focus on the Soft Skills
Soft-skills have always been important, be it in the workplace or study environments. Soft skills include the likes of communication skills, collaborative skills, problem-solving, or critical observation. All these, and more, are essential in social work/study places. Cultivating these skills can give you an extra edge when it comes to building productive relationships and ensuring that you will be able to multitask.
My recommendation would be: Let your study and work colleagues know that you are trying both working as well as studying. Although your own planning and organization, if done right, will keep your from forgetting tasks, you might miss out on details once in a while. Let people know of your schedule and plans, and in case you ever miss out on anything, they might offer a helping hand.
4. Create Your Own Work/Study Space at Home
Having a specific place where you can study and work can be quite a help. It can actually help you feel more productive and, as a result, be more productive. It does not have to be a specific room that looks like an office to be considered a workspace. Simply create enough space for your equipment, like your laptop, your workbooks, and notebooks. The essentials should be there so you do not waste your time looking for them when you need them.
My recommendation would be: Create your work/study space somewhere you think is quieter and distraction-free. Ideally, it would be somewhere where there is enough natural light. Darker spaces can make you feel sleepy and unproductive. Open the windows time after time, get some fresh air, and continue working or studying.
5. Meet Deadlines
Regardless of whether you are working or studying, deadlines are set for particular reasons. Prioritize the deadlines when planning or making schedules. It is always important to start early. Start as soon as your deadlines are set. Create a general idea of what you are supposed to do, work towards it every day until you finally submit your work. Good time management plays a great role when it comes to meeting deadlines. Do not underestimate nor overestimate your time.
My recommendation would be: Try not to procrastinate. Procrastination might not stop you from submitting your assignment/work project on time, however, sometimes it might damage the quality of your task. Have you ever procrastinated a lot only to find yourself wishing you had one more day to perfect the task at the end? Well, you can give yourself as much time as you want if you start early and assess the workload you have to do, every day, in order to meet the deadlines and submit quality end products.
6. Keep Yourself Motivated
Working and studying from home, while social distancing, might seem challenging at first. Remember that practice makes perfect, so initially, you might feel like you will not be able to get the hang of things, but you will. One of the crucial steps is to keep yourself motivated, to tell yourself that you can get things done and that everything will be better sooner rather than later. Motivation plays an important part in your productivity, but you can also play an important role in keeping yourself motivated.
My recommendation would be: If you feel like you are losing focus, like you are not being as productive as you would like to be, or as if you are unable to get things done, remember that you have the power to change the way you think. Set small goals for yourself every day, goals related to your work, study, or overall productivity. Remember that during these unprecedented times, your productivity might not be at its peak. However, by accomplishing smaller goals, you might become more motivated to accomplish the bigger ones as well.
If you’re used to studying alongside your friends, you can organize online meetings and study together. Just because you are social distancing does not mean you have to do everything alone. A good online meet up with friends or colleagues might just give you the boost you need to keep being productive and motivated. Remember, this pandemic will not last forever.