In the unprecedented times of COVID-19, many students will be working from home with teaching being predominantly online. Creating a productive and efficient workspace is vital and there are many ways you can achieve this from home and on a budget.
A well-lit space, preferably by a window (if you can avoid the temptation to people watch) and a well heated area, will not only reduce eye strain but also ensure you are comfortable creating the optimal environment for at-home learning.
Productivity will inevitably be reduced if you are distracted by your housemates or anyone else who may be in your flat, therefore working in a quiet space will help you avoid procrastination.
Tidy desk, tidy mind! Although a bit of a cliché, a cluttered desk will likely leave you overwhelmed and less likely to want to work. A tidy area will help reduce stress and allow you to work comfortably.
Headset/ Headphones: A headset may prove useful if you are working in a communal area in the house or are working in proximity with another person.
Hand Sanitizer: Whether you are working in a communal area or in your own space, disinfecting the working area will never be a bad idea, particularly in the current climate. Ensuring all surfaces are regularly kept clean will ensure you are doing all you can to avoid spreading germs!
Desk Pad/Calendar: This will allow you to plan your week at a glance and breakdown your daily tasks. Desk pads are perfect for maximizing productivity as they allow you to map out both your work tasks and life commitments to encourage balance. They can also help with time management by breaking down the hours of the day and the correlated tasks. Sighh by Polly do some create ones!
Printer: Although perhaps not quite innkeeping with a small budget, this may be a requirement if you are unable to go to communal areas such as the library or your subject specific buildings to print off documents you require.
Taking short, frequent breaks away from your desk or workspace is crucial to ensure that you are not overworking whilst allowing you to associate that space with work. It will also help if you are prone to bad posture as you will avoid having back or neck pain.
Getting outdoors and going for a walk may also prove useful, particularly on days where you wouldn’t usually be leaving the house. This is not only good for de-stressing but will result in more productivity in the long term as you will avoid burning out.
Working from home will be new to many students and ultimately everyone will be likely to have unproductive days. But there are small ways that may allow you to make these fewer and farther between and help you adapt to at-home learning.
Feature image: Pixabay @Joshuamiranda
Last modified: 27th September 2020