If you’ve been reading and following my blogs, then you know I typically start them by saying that this is an unprecedented time. It truly is! And because of that, students need to put a constant focus on how they can be productive and how they can get work done on their own. These are two areas that can’t go overlooked, and so I will keep writing about them.
A huge deterrent to productivity is distractions. Below are some things for students to avoid to help them be more productive.
Websites- Most students will have their one or two go-to sites. These days, it seems like Youtube is more and more the site of choice. For some reason, watching others play video games is an extremely popular activity. Don’t ask me, I’m too old to understand. A few other favorites are Reddit, Netflix, and Twitter. Considering so much work has to be done on the computer, the challenge is quite apparent. It’s important for students to create parameters for themselves. Either they can completely get rid of the computer (only if this is actually possible) or set the rules that they will follow. For instance, “I get 10 minute of Youtube once per hour.” I would encourage the use of a timer for this activity. It starts with having awareness around the issue and starting to work towards the solution, and students can make progress if they’re setting consistent goals and devoting energy to the process.
Messaging- Typically, when students would sit down at their desk in a given class, they wouldn’t have their phones out. Now, as students sit down to complete work, they have their phones out as they’re on the computer. This opens the floodgates of texting, snapping, and DM’ing on any social media platform. There is an easy solution to all this: get rid of the phone. Of course, it’s not that easy. Even as I’m writing this blog, my phone has been buzzing and notifying me right here on the desk. It’s a very challenging proposition but can lead to a giant uptick in productivity.
Anxiety- Now obviously we can’t just avoid anxiety, but we can work through it. A lot of us have anxiety when working from home. It’s just not the same as attending classes (or work) and then getting things done outside those hours. When our anxiety is peaking and we’re struggling to get things done, we need to change things up. We need to ask for help, try a new routine, talk with someone, or set up a study group. These are just a few ideas of how students can start to overcome this issue after having the self-awareness to uncover that anxiety is getting in the way.
Regardless of the reasons that we’re not being productive, we must know that we can always improve. By focusing on the challenges and working to improve, we can make ourselves better at working from home, as either a student or professional. Working with a coach can help kickstart this process and spur change quicker.