I can so clearly remember a time not so long ago when I wished so dearly that I could just sit at home and do all my work. I dreamt of waking up at my own time, peacefully sitting with a hot cup of coffee and working. So many students expressed wanting to just study at home and never have to wake up early for school.
But now that reality has set in, it is not as blissful as I imagined it would be and I am sure you feel the same way. Working from home and online school most definitely has its challenges and with no end in sight, for now, it isn’t the easiest process for most of us. From house-work that really seems never-ending, internet fluctuations and staring at screens all day long, the list of challenges can go on. So how can we make this new normal a little easier for all of us?
- It helps to have something that I like to call a transition activity- This, simply put, is something that signals the beginning and end of work. For me, it is changing into work clothes and carrying my laptop to one particular table in the house. It’s a sign that I am entering ‘work mode’. Each time I need to break to attend to something else, I close my laptop and move out of the room and when I am finally done working, I change into my comfy pajamas for home time.
- Try to avoid multi-tasking- I recently read about this phenomenon called zoom fatigue which as the term suggests, is exhaustion from too many video calls. Let’s be honest, while we’re in meetings/classes, most of us multitask. This could range from answering emails to finishing a report or another assignment. And why shouldn’t we? We’re just being ‘productive’. However, our brains aren’t built for multitasking even if you’re the queen/king of accomplishing 10 tasks at the same time. We get exhausted from paying attention to too many (different) tasks at the same time.
- One way that I have learned to cope with this is the Pomodoro method. I break my tasks into time windows with a break in between. For eg; 20 mins for task 1 and a 2-minute break followed by task 2 for 15 mins and so on. Yes, it takes more time, but I am less stressed and I actually end up finishing tasks a lot faster with fewer mistakes.
- Take breaks- We all need breaks. Take a few minutes in between your work to just close your eyes and breathe or walk to your balcony and watch life and nature go past. Grab a snack or some water. And at the end of the day, spend some time with the people who make life worthwhile.
Ms.Anika, Counselor at CMRNPS