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Wednesday, 2 September 2015

My Guide on How to (efficiently) Study/Work from Home:

Hello there you beautiful beings of the blog-o-sphere!

I will begin this post by saying that I am approaching my third year of university (studying art history) and this upcoming year, my timetable consists of 3 hours of seminars/lectures twice a week, specifically Tuesdays and Thursdays. This leaves me with a completely clean slate for the other three days of the working week. I think that even at university, it is really important to have some kind of routine that you can count on every day. I thought I would share with you some of the things that I do to make sure I study from home efficiently and get the work done instead of procrastinating- which is all too easy to do! 

1. Set an alarm! 

For me personally, a good routine starts by setting an alarm each morning at the same time. From the second that alarm goes off in the morning, that is when the day begins and my routine starts to take place. 

2. Nourish that mind and body of yours and fuel yourself for the day ahead! 

Usually I begin by taking some time to grab a cup of tea or coffee and clear my head for a few minutes so that I feel I have had some 'me time' before starting my day. First off is breakfast! For me breakfast really marks the start of my day and it usually consists of a hearty bowl of oatmeal- this is perfect as it is warm, nutritious, and keeps me full so that I don't crave sugar or snacks throughout the morning. If I am having a study day at home, I try to stay off any social media during breakfast and really take the time to unwind so that I am ready to leap into my studies with a clear conscious. I usually take around 30 minutes to have my breakfast and unwind. 

3. Get dressed! Resist the temptation to be a couch potato!

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After breakfast I will then brush my teeth and get ready for the day ahead as if I am going out to lessons/lectures. It is very easy to want to stay in your pyjamas past midday when you are studying or working from home and to slouch around on the sofa or use your laptop from your bed, but is is really important to treat working from home as if you are in an office or a classroom. Get dressed in something casual and comfy, but not too comfy as that can make you feel more in cosy home mode than a 'get shiz done' mode. I personally would wear something along the lines of jeans and a top with a cardigan or sweater as it is comfy and casual but it also something I would wear out and about. 

4. Find a space in your house and treat it like your office! 

The next thing is to set up a designated work space, whether that be at your desk in your room or a makeshift work area somewhere in your house, it is important to separate your 'personal life' at home from your 'work life' and to have a space where it is studying only; for me I work best at my desk in my bedroom . In order to make sure that I make the most of my time, I will plan out the things I am going to do the day before by making a checklist; this ensures that when I sit down at my desk I am ready to go and not trying to organise everything and getting in a fluster. Organise the day before- it is both time efficient and will reduce your stress levels! 

5. Take regular breaks!

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One key thing to remember is to take a break! Every once in a while get up and perhaps make a cup of tea or coffee and re-hydrate, talk to a friend for a bit, read a chapter of a book, grab a snack, take a toilet break, watch one or two youtube videos or an episode on Netflix. For longer breaks, go outside and walk around the block or up and down the street, take a 15-20 minute power nap (no longer or you will fall into a deep sleep and never want to get back up again- trust me!) Do something to separate yourself from work for a minute and take a breather. It is important to get a little exercise, a snack, a bit of fresh air and to disengage from what you are doing so that when you go back you are refreshed and full of energy again to tackle the rest of your studies. 

6. Find a routine that works best for YOU and stick to it!

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Work out what suits you best, like the time of day you work the most efficiently, the ways in which you find it easiest to study- do you prefer working in complete silence or with music on in the background? Do you work well alone or with someone else to motivate you? Figure out the best ways you get things done and then incorporate those things into your day. Make sure you stop to take longer breaks for meals and if you have errands to run like food shopping or social plans such as going out to see a friend, go ahead and do those things but just make sure you get the work done and then you have your 'free time' later on. If you work best in the morning then get up earlier and work until midday and then set time aside in the late afternoon to evening to go out with friends and do something to unwind. If you work best in the evening then change your plans accordingly- that is the joy of being at home- you can decide when you work and when you 'play'. You are your own boss/teacher which is both amazing and also stressful. 

With a little time management, willpower, self discipline and determination, it is quite easy to study from home and be productive. If you have any tips or tricks please do share them with me either by contacting me on twitter @Olivia_CA95 or leave a message in the comment section below :) Good Luck with your 'study at home' ventures!

Thanks for stopping by! 

- Olivia Charlotte Alice



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