Today’s post is a guest post by Ann Lloyd of Student Savings Guide. Ann is a new grad student working her way through school and knows what it is like trying to balance remote classes, finances, time, and working from home. So I thought it would be great for her to share a post to help Immensely Social readers who are in school or taking remote classes especially now with many trying to keep up with classes from home in quarantine.
Now to Ann on remote classes and working from home…
As if the pandemic and the resulting stay-at-home orders haven’t given us enough to balance, now that the fall semester is approaching, many students are faced with adding a virtual class load to their already full-time work and family responsibilities.
If you’re working and studying while in quarantine, the combination puts wear and tear on your home, computer, and other material resources. And the stress of meeting deadlines coupled with a constant need for intense concentration is likely to take a toll on you physically and mentally.
If you’ll soon be balancing remote classes and work during quarantine, here are some tips for making it through.
Set up a practical workspace for Remote Classes and Work
Double-duty screen time on the daily isn’t sustainable if you’re working from your couch or bed. If you put effort into your work setup beforehand, you’ll be more likely to maintain strong concentration once your classes start. It’s also helpful to separate work/school space from areas where you spend your downtime, so you can maintain a healthy work-life balance.
So if you haven’t done it already, get started cleaning out the clutter and setting up a proper workspace. While you’re at it, try to put in a decent desk or table, along with an ergonomic chair, so you can sit comfortably while you work those long hours.
Here’s 8 SMALL HOME OFFICE IDEAS TO TRY NOW SPACE SAVING & PRODUCTIVE WITH SOME DIY for your remote classes and work.
Safeguard your home
Spending all your work and study time at home, along with family or roommates, means it’s extra-important to ensure that everything keeps operating correctly, especially since your place is likely to be sustaining more intensive wear than usual.
Give your home extra love by keeping current on repairs and maintenance — and get help with those tasks if there’s no room in your packed schedule. Also, a home warranty can help ensure that you’re financially covered in the event a major repair is needed for any major appliances or systems in your house. This can help you keep the electricity flowing and the HVAC cranking so you can keep working.
Address your financial fears
We rarely take the time to stop and realize how much energy we put into worrying about money. Now, with the pandemic inching towards the six-month point, we’re seeing some serious economic impact.
Keep in mind, you’re ahead of the game since you’re currently working and studying to build your future income, so take the opportunity to put things in order.
- Devise a realistic budget that takes into account your current situation.
- Add money to an emergency fund (and if you don’t have one, start one).
- Begin managing your credit by assessing your report and resolving any issues.
Once you get these ducks in a row, you can rest easier knowing the amount of cash or credit available if you suddenly find yourself in financial dire straits. If you face any financial fears you have and take proactive steps to fix them, it’ll be easier to breathe (and think) afterward.
Learn what you need
If you haven’t engaged in virtual learning before, it can pose a huge learning curve. Spend some time learning to navigate the platforms your college plans to utilize and get familiar with how your courses will be structured. Before classes start:
- Meticulously read your school’s website for any criteria, prerequisites, and other details you’ll need to know for the upcoming semester
- Go through the syllabus for each of your courses to see what’s required
- Nail down any hardware or software necessities
- Consult online tutorials to boost your knowledge of any processes, platforms, or peripherals that are new to you
The better you’re prepared before the semester starts, the easier it’ll be to keep on top of your studies and balance them with your workload.
Schedule “no work” blocks of time
Juggling a full-time job and course load is going to be time-consuming no matter what — but especially within the same four walls day after day. If you’re not careful, you could approach burnout quickly, so be sure to schedule “no work” blocks of time as often as possible.
It’s important that you establish clear lines between home, work, and schoolwork, and communicate them clearly to your family, co-workers, and any classmates or collaborators. It’s easy to feel you should be online constantly, but this can set you up for information overload. If this happens, it could impact the quality of your work for both your job and school.
To avoid overloading and burning out, set hard and fast rules for when you are and aren’t available to work — and then stick to them! On the days you really need to work with inflexible deadlines, find sources of stress relief. Do a few minutes of yoga or grab a stress ball (they’ve been shown to increase attention span by up to 33%) — or set aside a few moments to simply stand up, close your eyes, breathe, and refocus yourself.
Define daily goals
Overwork is becoming the norm with college students and remote workers, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Days tend to become blurred one into another, and it’s often difficult to keep track of time since every day is the same cycle, rinse, and repeat.
To combat the repetition, sit down and define your daily goals. You can do this nightly — or it might be easier to plan by the week, especially since you’ll have various deadlines assigned by different professors.
Once you identify and write down your weekly goals, it’ll be easier to monitor your productivity levels and make adjustments as needed. Just be sure to leave a little wiggle room in case unexpected requests occur or detail-heavy projects take you longer than anticipated.
Take breaks during the day (or night)
Even when you’ve established your blocks of work time, you’ll still need to rejuvenate yourself with breaks during the day. If you don’t, you might find yourself turning in poor-quality work or being unable to concentrate. Make sure to detach at a few points during the day to find opportunities to rejuvenate your brain and body.
- Do stretches
- Take a walk
- Drink some water
- Eat something healthy
- Take a cat nap
These activities, though small, can go a long way toward maintaining your good health and productivity. It’s hard to mix things up during the sameness of quarantine, but try to sprinkle in other activities, too: Get outside and do some gardening, walk the dog, or take a quick bike ride.
It’s never easy to juggle a workload with a course load, and doing so during a pandemic can feel like it takes superhuman strength. But you’ve made it this far, and the proactive steps above can help you climb that learning curve, complete your work, and make it a successful semester, pandemic or no pandemic.
Great tips, thank you Ann. Have a tip for fellow students balancing work from home with classes? Leave it in the comments!
You may also want to check out: A ROUNDUP OF ANXIETY STOPPING TIPS ON HOW TO WORK FROM HOME NOW These help for remote classes too.