We have seen how 2020 pushed more and more people towards working and studying from home. It has definitely been challenging on all fronts and this was also an opportunity for everyone to organise their own working corner. Personally, I had a lot of fun in adjusting my home into an office during the day and I want to share with you my top-tips in doing so. If you are in the process of setting up your own work/study space, I highly encourage you to read this article.
Your end result doesn’t have to look like mine, but I recommend trying all the things below to see what works best for you. Also, don’t forget to get creative!
- Clean and organise your desk
I didn’t think this was such an important aspect to take into consideration until I found myself in this situation.
If you know that you are juggling university, part-time job, personal projects, gym, social life and your schedule is jampacked, a proper desk with a comfortable chair can make the difference for you. The reason I am so convinced about this is that I tried working from home for two weeks whilst I was on placement, constantly sitting on my couch. If you are like me and you associate the time spent on your couch with watching TV and eating, you might not be as productive with your tasks. Therefore, I would always have a bad posture and no energy to do my work.
Buying a desk and a comfortable chair changed the situation completely for me as it would resemble more like being at my actual job. If you have those already, cleaning and organising your corner are essential. As you declutter your working station, you declutter your mind and this way you will become more productive in getting things done.
- Get more natural light
Working next to a window where you can constantly get natural light are extremely important too. Multiple studies have shown how as people get more natural light during the day, they increase the intake of vitamin D, are less likely to be prone to seasonal depression and sleep better during the night.
Adjusting a studying schedule from home can be tricky at the beginning with no actual set boundaries for when to wake up, what to do and priorities, therefore the last thing on your list would be how to get more natural light in your room.
Trying to work and study during the day as much as you can, ditching the blinds and having regular breaks outside are my recommendations of getting more natural light into your schedule.
- Say no to distractions
Easier said than done, right? From my own experience, being on a zoom call and not having a manager or tutor constantly checking in can make me check the phone more often than usual. Getting lost on social media was my biggest distraction as the 5 minutes that I think I spent on my phone are actually 20.
One solution that worked for me is that if I knew that I had an urgent deadline, I would leave the phone in a different room in order to get on top of my workload with no social media distractions. In addition, if some work that you do is from your phone, placing it upside down slightly further away from you on silent mode can be an option too. This way you know that you will only pick it up when you actually need it.
- Create lists and use your highlighter and post-it notes
We like to think that we are superhumans and we can remember everything, but the reality is that we don’t have to! Writing down your tasks for the day, highlighting the most important quotes in a textbook and inserting post-it notes wherever you think you need them can save your day.
In my own experience, I found that when I get something done and I cross it off from my to-do list, it gives me an immense satisfaction moment. It is indeed only for 2 minutes, but it keeps me going. When I don’t do that, my mind wanders in a million places and I stress out with all the things that I struggle to remember.
Declutter your mind, write it down, get it done, cross it off, celebrate the small wins and focus on what you get done during the day.
- Design your desk
This is definitely not a necessity, however adding a small cactus on my desk made me feel so much better. If you know that your work is within the creative sector, adding inspirational quotes, paintings, sculptures, plants or any artwork that resonates with you can work some magic.
This is your opportunity to get creative in designing the perfect studying corner that will actually work for you. Explore multiple settings and find what suits you best.
Let me know if this article was helpful and if you tried any of the above. I would love to connect with you on social media:
Written by #HallamInsider Daniela Baicoianu