I am typing this on a Friday night and I had just finished one of my online midterm exams. This would be an appropriate time to scream ‘Yay!’ but seriously it’s more of a… yay?
Tell you what, my brain’s absolutely exhausted. So, I’m here all ready to write off the exam week stress. Now, that’s one exam down and although I’ve got another two-part exam due on Monday (the yay variation now makes sense, doesn’t it?), I really just want to give myself a little break tonight and talk about how online classes have been going.
But don’t get me wrong, yes, while things may have been stressful lately, there are a few things I do to deal with all the deadlines and work load during this new remote learning set-up.
maintain a clean work space
I recently got a new desk which I’m seriously so happy about because it has more space than my old one, way too happy that sometimes I go crazy thinking if it’s neat enough for me. Productivity-wise, and I’m sure you know this already, but it really helps to have a clean desk space. The less distraction there is, the better. Optimize your space, be as minimalistic as possible, and make sure your things are organized. I personally love the feeling of facing a clean desk space before I prop my laptop open and start studying.
time block the day
Time blocking is a productivity technique (more like a hack, if you ask me…) where you plan every minute of every day by scheduling your tasks to fit specific time blocks. My tip would be to stay as realistic as possible with the tasks you want to do and for how long you plan to do these tasks. I typically set an hour and a half for each chore and insert five to ten-minute breaks in between just to keep me sane. You can use your built-in calendar app to do this, but I totally recommend the app TimeBloc (available for free on the App Store and Play Store) because it’s clean and designed to keep you focused especially when it comes to online classes where your schedule’s really all up to you.
stay hydrated and have meals on time
I know, and I struggle, too. On busy weeks like literally right now, I find myself glued to my desk all day that sometimes I forget to drink and eat, too (not kidding, I actually forget it). But when I overwork myself and accidentally disregard my meals and water intake, I notice myself starting to get all cranky and upset and my brain just can’t seem to take in information properly. Can’t go running around reading Shakespeare and Louis Althusser with an empty stomach, damn right that’s what I learned.
do other things, too
On your breaks, pick up other things you can do that won’t be of much distraction. Listen to classical music to help you relax, journal for a bit about how you’re feeling, sketch if you can, or maybe simply grab a stress ball and play with it. Really, anything that will take your mind off of what you’re studying for a bit. Breath, it’s gonna be alright.
develop a night routine
If you don’t have one yet, trust me, this one changes everything. Not only does it prep you for a good night’s sleep, but it also kind of reprograms your mind and keeps you grounded after a long day’s work. This is the perfect time to really just relax for an extended amount of time in the evening. Go ahead and read, watch an episode of your current comfort show, meditate if it helps, or journal about the day.
Usually I like to begin my routine by setting up my diffuser just to get the ambiance going (trust me this grandma needs the scent of essential oils every night), then take a warm shower, settle in bed, read for a bit and then watch some Big Bang Theory. This routine has been keeping me sane for weeks now.
Now, excuse me while I go have my Sheldon Cooper fix before I start crunching on more research papers tomorrow. See you!