Emily Chang Grade 11 West Ranch High
In light of recent regulations placed on many communities, students and parents alike face a new challenge: working from home. While it can be easy for the days to blend together into a nondescript blur, there are a few ways to make the transition to working from home much easier.
First, remember that not everything is a productivity contest. Especially on social media, it can be very easy to get swept up into a frenzy of different activities to do while in quarantine. Anything from “lose weight!” to “learn a new language!” are ideas that many feel obligated to follow through on with the extra time. However, while it is admirable to want to use time productively, it is still important to have grace with yourself. Everyone is in this new and worrying time together. As a society, we are experiencing things that many have never experienced before. It is normal to feel confused or unmotivated; don’t get so caught up in using every second of this time and instead put in time and effort to take care of your mental health and wellbeing.
That being said, though, there is a difference between taking time for rest and spending the entire day slumped in bed. The fact of the matter is that many of us still have responsibilities to attend to. Freelancers who already work from home suggest creating a schedule to prevent the days from blending into one another. It provides some structure and also ensures that the necessary work for the day is completed.
Creating a schedule also accounts for the Parkinson’s Law: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” In essence, when you give yourself the entire day to finish an assignment, you are more inefficient because you know you have time to spare to get the work done. However, by setting aside a distinct block of time to work, you are forced to work more efficiently in order to finish within the timeframe. This leads to a more mindful usage of time and more opportunities later in the day to relax and spend time with family.
Another important tip is setting aside a special workspace for your tasks. Avoid beds or couches, unless that is the only option, because it is easy to fall asleep or feel lethargic. By associating a single place with work or studying, it becomes easier to focus and work productively in that place.
Finally, try and find something different to look forward to each day. This can be something small, like Face Timing a friend, or something bigger, like having a family game night. Trying to incorporate one positive aspect to your day helps combat feelings of discouragement and makes quarantine a bit more exciting.
In everything, stay hopeful and know that everyone around you is feeling the same way. This time period won’t last forever, and by staying home we are each doing our part to slow the spread.
<Emily Chang Grade 11 West Ranch High