School has started, and it has already gotten the best of me, but as I learn to manage, I will definitely keep everyone posted about it all. But for now, there are a few things that have been working for me (in no particular order). Some might seem cliche and might be something you've heard a bunch of times before, but this is your sign to just try it- just for one week. It may work wonders for you.
1. SCHEDULE YOUR DAYS (include breaks)
It’s easier to be productive when you have a schedule, so if you end up off task, you’re reminded of what you should be doing-by the schedule.
You can either use a written planner, Google Calendar, or the iOS Calendar (which syncs on all of your Apple products)
2. PLAN/PREP MEALS
This is an easy way to save time throughout the day. Instead of taking time to think about what to eat or cook, you could already have it prepared. You can either prepare your meals in the morning for your day, the night before, or even the first day of the week.
3. MAKE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH A PRIORITY
I've found that meditation is a great way to detach from a stressful reality and give me some much needed time to decompress. You can find many useful videos on how to meditate the right way by a quick google/youtube search. Working on your mental health can alleviate the stress and burden of our everyday lives and help you get into the right frame of mind.
4. TRY A CHANGE OF ENVIRONMENT
Personally, I get tired of sitting in my room all day for my classes. It’s hard to see the same four walls for a long time, but there are so many different places you can go for a change of environment that may boost your productivity.
Some examples are a park, a hotel (my personal favorite), a lounge area, or even a friend’s house.
5. HAVE A DEDICATED SPACE TO WORK
Dedicating one area of your house/room to study or work at will help you remain organized and stay focused in that area.
6. SPEAK TO YOUR FAMILY/THOSE YOU LIVE WITH
Let your household know what your schedule will be like. The only way to work peacefully is to communicate with others so that they know to either keep the TV down or not to call you out of the room.
7. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR TEACHERS/PROF/TA
If you are unable to complete an assignment, struggling with an assignment, or dealing with circumstances that may affect your performance, the best thing to do is reach out to your professors/teachers. After all, they are there for you and want you to succeed, however, they wouldn’t know your circumstance or what you’re going through if you are not vocal about it.
8. TALK TO CLASSMATES
Being remote means making new friends almost impossible, but it’s not! If you’re on zoom, using the private chat feature, you can message people. The good part is that everyone wants to make friends too!
Simple things you can say to start a conversation
“Hey, you look familiar, I think we had a class together before”
Respond to a comment from class or mention something you agree with that was said in class
9. PRIORITIZE/TURN DISTRACTIONS OFF
This one speaks for itself. Turn off your phone, leave it in another room, or if you can work with no notifications popping up, turn on "do not disturb" which is in settings on your phone. Do not disturb will only show notifications on the screen when you pick your phone up. My bed screams at me while I’m at my desk 2 feet away sometimes.
10. REWARD YOURSELF
If it helps, make a promise to yourself. For example, "If this assignment gets done today I'm going to treat myself to sushi!" Little things go a long way, and after all, you deserve a reward for your hard work too!
11. TAKE CONTROL AND STAY POSITIVE
This is your life. Whenever things get a bit chaotic (which is normal), remind yourself of why you're doing what you're doing and who you're doing it for.
Personally, I remind myself that I want to make my parents as proud as I possibly can. I want to live a life in the future that I will enjoy, and school is my way to secure the lifestyle I imagine. I look at the time that has passed in my life and realize that this too, will go by quickly if I focus and get it over with.