During this crazy time that is quarantine, we are required to work on school assignments at home. Between siblings, chores, Netflix, and anything you may do for fun, it can be hard to find the motivation to do your schoolwork with all these distractions around us. While talking to teachers and guidance counselors, I have received some good advice on how students can work more efficiently that I would like to share with you.
1. Time Management: When you are stuck at home, it is easy to postpone your work until later because it feels as though you have an infinite amount of time to complete it. However, this could be your downfall because you may forget about your assignments until the last minute. Mrs. Bronleben advises, “Setting a schedule, even if it is just getting up at a certain time, and focusing on certain tasks or assignments at certain times… I think that helps a lot”. Doing this allows you to focus on schoolwork at a certain time of day and keep it from taking up your whole day.
2. To-do lists: Making a list of your assignments and their due dates allows you to keep track of all of your assignments and make sure you do not miss anything. I write my weekly assignments on a whiteboard to keep myself organized. Plus, crossing out or erasing assignments on my list can be very satisfying.
3. Taking breaks: If someone focuses on school all day without taking breaks, they may have a hard time focusing and may feel overwhelmed and miserable. Mrs. Bronleben, Mr. H, and Mrs. Smith all agree that one should take breaks throughout the day keep yourself motivated and focused on the tasks at hand. It could range from playing games with your family to watching a video that you like, anything that will motivate you to finish your work and give yourself a mental break at the same time. Along with this, Mrs. Smith also suggests splitting up an intimidating assignment into chunks and taking a break when you finish a chunk.
3. Maintain normal routines: Everyone has things that they do every day in normal circumstances. Mrs. Smith recommends that you keep up these normal routines as much as possible. That may include going out for a morning run or just getting dressed for the day. Anything that can give you a sense of normalcy during this crazy time can help make it feel like a normal school day even while being at home. Moreover, make sure to eat and sleep well to keep you energized and prepared to work.
4. Create a work area: Working on your bed can make it hard for you to focus since your body is used to sleeping there. Similarly, working in the living room where the TV is on and people are talking can lend to having more distractions. Creating a location to work is crucial to helping you focus. This location should have as few distractions as possible to ensure that you can focus on the task at hand. Working at a desk or a table would be preferable since you would work at a desk at school.
5. Eliminate electronic distractions: Mr. H recommends using the Do Not Disturb function or turning off notifications on your phone when working so your phone does not keep distracting you. A phone ringing could steer you off task and on social media, instead of your work.
These are only a few tips for getting your work done but keep in mind that different things work for different people. Right now is a good time to experiment with what works for you and what does not. Remember, it is a chaotic time so as Mr. H says,” focus on your humanity as that comes first”. Do not beat yourself up over school and enjoy the time you have with your family. Teachers are also here for us; all you have to do is reach out to them. We are all in this together. Stay safe!