Tips & Resources for Establishing a Good Working Environment At Home
Adjusting to remote learning or working from home can be a hard transition. If you are used to working in the library, a coffee shop, or an office, finding yourself at home brings new distractions. With COVID-19 causing FSU to go remote at least through the Summer B session, it is important to figure out ways to boost productivity and maintain focus. Video games, TV, pets and family members are just some of the new distractions, students may face as they try to accomplish their scholarly goals and complete assignments. Luckily there are resources that can be accessed via computer or phone that can help tune out distractions and focus on tasks at hand.
Websites such as Noisli and RainyMood are excellent sources for creating the perfect study atmosphere. Both services are free. Noisli.com allows users to craft unique soundtracks out of pre-made recordings like “rain”, “thunder”, “bonfire”, and many more. If you are used to working in bustling cafes, the “coffee shop” option is perfect for you! Brew your coffee or tea and press play, and you’ve got your caffeine fix and comforting background noise. Users can create personalized mixes for different occasions, but Noisli also has some of its own pre-sets like “motivation”, “productivity”, and even “studying”. RainyMood.com is a similar concept that uses recordings of thunderstorms to relax and focus users.
Getting dressed as if you were going to class is an essential part of staying motivated. It is tempting to stay in pajamas all day while practicing social distancing. Even if classmates cannot tell during your Zoom classes, it is best to trade in PJs for something closer to what you would wear to physical classes. This helps remote learning feel more structured and as close to “normal” as possible. Keeping a routine for when to wake up, get dressed, and get ready can help keep more disciplined with attending classes, doing the work, and studying.
Make a dedicated workspace for yourself if possible. Whether that is a desk, a table, a space outside, or even the couch, having a space primarily for working is key to staying focused. Avoid studying or working in areas of your home where you are more likely to goof off or find distractions. Try to separate recreational spaces from workspaces. It works both ways—it keeps workspaces for work and fun spaces for fun!
If you need more motivation for staying off your phone, try apps like “Forest” that encourage productivity. You can set the amount of time you want to work and select a tree you’d like to grow. Your tree continues to grow as long as you don’t exit the app and look at something else. This can be helpful for staying off social media during study hours. Find a productivity app that works to motivate you.
Do not forget to get exercise if you are able. Working from home can often feel isolating if you are used to walking around campus, going out for lunch, or running to grab coffee. Taking short breaks for walking or other exercise can be a great way to refresh your mind and body before jumping back into assignments.