Stick to a routineWhen working from home, I try and stick to the same morning routine that I would have if everything were normal. By getting dressed and having breakfast at the same time as any other day, I am getting into the mindset of going to work, even though I am not leaving the house. Having that initial push at the beginning of the day really works for me, especially right now as everything is up in the air.
This is a tricky one, as it really depends on your layout of where you live. If you are able to avoid working in bed it would be incredibly beneficial for both your work and your sleep pattern, as you’re telling yourself that there are designated areas for different things. If you’ve been in bed all day working, you might struggle sleeping as you’ve been in the same position all day (take it from someone who has tried this extensively!) If you have a desk at home, try and stick to working only at the desk to minimise distractions. Even though the bed does seem quite inviting, try and resist the urge to get in.
Using a rewards system, either monitored by you or someone you’re in isolation with, is often a great way to get work done. If I’m productive that day, for example if I’ve written a good amount of words or have gotten through some tricky reading, I will give myself more time doing something I love (or eating chocolate!)
Even though this idea can sound a little silly, I’ve found it to be one of the most effective motivation tools for me. Unfortunately, I am not a naturally motivated person, so giving me an incentive works very well and gives me something to work towards.
Equally, berate yourself or tell others to do so
On the flip side of this, giving your flatmates or siblings (or even parents, who I’m sure would love it) a chance to punish you could be all the motivation you need! If I haven’t achieved what I set out to do that day I often feel annoyed with myself, but it is also very easy to push it to the back of my mind and watch Netflix instead. Being accountable to someone other than yourself can really work well for your productivity. It is often the question of what works better for you, the carrot or the stick, so try both reward and punishment to see what you respond to more.
Make a to-do list
Even though it’s a bit of a cliché, making a to-do list really works for a lot of people. Breaking down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable elements, often makes the process more streamlined and allows you to be more productive and motivated. When faced with a seemingly insurmountable task, it is perfectly reasonable to shy away from the barrage of work you have been presented with but focusing on smaller steps is a good way to battle through it.
Remain up to date
The university has been keeping us up to date with the latest developments, but even so it is still an overwhelming amount of information to process. Try to sift through the emails and find things that are important for your studies, for example the assignment extensions and online resources, so you can achieve as much as possible during lockdown.
Finally, don't be too hard on yourself
These are all general suggestions that might not work for everyone but give them a try and see what works best for you. Having said that, the most important thing right now is to stay safe and keep in touch with those that care about you. Carve out time in your day to FaceTime friends and family, as they are more important than ever during this unprecedented time.
This situation is unlike anything we could have really imagined, and it is important to be kind to ourselves.