This article is all about productivity when we work from home during this tricky time. I’ll go through my top 10 tips to keep on keeping on whilst in quarantine, and hopefully you’ll gain a bit of motivation!
Side note: I do understand everything is easier said than done, but these tips are not out of reach by any stretch of the imagination, they’ll just take a bit of conscious effort and discipline (like anything worth-while)!
So, as we are now in our third/fourth week of home learning here in Melbourne, Australia, things are starting to become more routine and we are seemingly settling in, to the ways of remote learning… And as I have reiterated in previous articles, once you do something for a while, it is easy to become comfortable, or in the case of home schooling, just doing what you need to do to ‘get by’, doing the bare minimum (not ideal!).
Now whether you are in year seven or year 12, you should always strive to do your best. For the younger year levels, whilst the results you receive may not be as important as the students’ in their final year of school, it is still ever so imperative that you keep trying your best, keep striving for good results, because this builds the habits you’ll need for when you are in your final year of school. Now it may be a tricky concept to grasp, “oh, ‘good habits’, pfft no I could change my ways whenever I wanted to, habits are a myth” or the “pfft, if I tried I would do well, there’s no point in me trying until I’m in year 12”. Well, if I’m completely honest, no, good habits are unbelievably invaluable to have up your sleeve when transitioning into year 12. Coming from a year 12 who has actually seen the struggle that some students go through when they don’t have these habits compared to the ones who do, there’s a stark contrast in their end of year results. Period.
The point of the above paragraph is to reiterate the importance of self-discipline, and especially in the home learning scene, because no matter your age, there will always be a part of you that wants you to do the bare minimum and stay in the comfort zone, wafting through the days.
Anyway, onto my 10 TIPS AND TRICKS FOR A PRODUCTIVE HOME LEARNING EXPERIENCE
- Wake up at 7am
- – By sleeping in, we lose so much of the day and it also sets up the day to be completely unproductive. I also find I worry less, because I have more time to do morning activities than if I were to wake up at 8:00 and have 30 mins before school starts!
- Get up within 10 mins of waking up
- As soon as you wake up, try get out of bed. Don’t procrastinate, don’t hit the snooze button, don’t do anything that will provide you some comfort. I recommend literally bouncing out of bed. Clap your hands together as loud as you can and go straight to the shower!
- Have a cold shower
- Yes I know, the last thing you’ll want to do in the morning is have a cold shower, but that’s why it’s so good! It’s like the first serious challenge of the day. If you can do this, the rest of the day will feel like a breeze, this one act can build HUGE discipline in a person if you do it consistently, I cannot stress this enough. Also, make sure you focus on your breathing when you get in, so you don’t choke on your own breath, but it is a serious test of mental strength and that’s why it’s so valuable. Give it a go, after a few minutes you’ll acclimatize anyway, and it won’t feel nearly as cold 😊
- Eat a nutritious breakfast before school
- After you’ve hopped out of the shower, leave about 20-30 minutes for breakfast. Five to ten minutes to make it, and 20 to 25 minutes to enjoy it. It is so important to eat breakfast before school, not only because it makes you feel like you are sticking to more of your natural routine, but because it allows you to think clearer and focus better earlier in the day.
- Exercise at recess and/or lunch (and go for a little stroll if you like after school – simulate walking home)
- Exercise is imperative, especially when in quarantine. Whether it be going for a bike ride, run, or walk, go outside and get some fresh air whilst keeping active at your recess and/or lunch breaks. However don’t overdo it. If you start to feel run down and need a lunchtime to just relax, do that too. But definitely exercise at one of these breaks. Also go for a brisk walk after school, it simulates walking home from school and makes you feel like you are in more of a routine. As well as the added health benefits of exercise, exercise is great for the mind.
- See a friend for a walk when you can
- Here in Australia, you are allowed to exercise with one other person (1.5m away), so take advantage of that and do so. It’s the time when we need to be there for each other, so make your friends feel happier by reaching out for a walk and a chat.
- Video call family (outside of the ones who live in your house)
- When you get a chance throughout your week, give family a call. With the extra time on your hands, it’s the least you could do. Not only this, but whilst making their day twenty times better, you’ll also feel great. Don’t overlook the power of a simple 10-minute call with family!!
- Read 10 pages of a book as the last thing you do before sleep
- This is also a big one. It’s really hard to start doing if you don’t do it often, but it’s absolutely worth trying. Read 10 pages of a book, and then go to sleep. Don’t check your phone, just go to sleep. The benefits are largely improved sleep quality, and also more sleep in general, as a book does not emit the blue light (which keeps you awake) that a phone does.
- My FOUR favourite books are linked at the top and bottom of the site, I highly recommend checking them out!
- Get eight to nine hours of sleep minimum
- This is essential. Sleep allows us to repair and restore our muscles, immune system, and neural connections. It also keeps the healthy balance of hormones in check, whilst NOT getting enough sleep increases the likelihood of weight gain and decreased concentration/problem solving skills. Go to bed early, wake up early, it’s simple!
- Get a whiteboard!
- This is my favourite. One whiteboard for my exercise schedule and one for my blog schedule/’to-do list’. It makes sticking to a plan a lot easier, as you have it there in writing somewhere in your room. I couldn’t live without structure, and a whiteboard really helps with getting tasks done…
So there you have it, my 10 tips for a productive home learning. You’ve just got to think in the way where you know there are not a lot of other people doing this with their time in quarantine. It’s the perfect opportunity to separate yourself from the pack and develop highly effective habits for the future… Don’t waste this opportunity!
Give it a go legends! If you can do it for a whole week, come back to this post and write a comment to let me know!