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AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability

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Tips for Productivity When Working from Home

All universities and colleges have closed their campuses with many classes and lectures moved to an online format. A change to working from home is a big change for a lot of students, and can leave you worried about productivity and keeping focused. GetAHEAD have put together 6 tips for students to help keep productivity going and course work getting completed.

  1. Keep a Routine
    It can be challenging keeping focused on tasks when so much of your daily routine has changed. Routine can be really helpful to keep us in the right frame of mind to get work done. So, try create a home routine that works for you. Pick a time to get up at on the days you want and need to work and stick to it as much as you can. Keep as much of your routine the same, get up and dressed, have breakfast, schedule break times and lunch etc.

     
  2. Set a Schedule
    Breaking down the time you’ve allocated into different segments of work you want to get done will help keep you on task and stop you from getting bored with one topic. Have a schedule for tasks you want to complete i.e., reading, note taking, attending online lectures, online group meetings with classmates etc.

     
  3. Have a set work station
    If you have a desk, great! If not, try find a certain spot outside of your bed where you can work. This will help get you in work mode and will also help allow you to switch off and get enough sleep at night. Don’t forget to make sure your workstation is set up properly by using ergonomic principles and take regular breaks.

     
  4. Look after your mental wellbeing
    This is a particularly stressful and unknown time for everyone, so it’s important you look after your mental health and wellbeing. Make time in your day to take regular breaks, check in with friends and family. You can use Google Extensions like Netflix Party to watch a film/series on Netflix in real-time with your friends. Although it’s good to keep informed, try to take some breaks from consuming information about Covid-19, especially on social media. Think of things that help you relax and work them into your schedule.

     
  5. Eat Well/Stay Hydrated
    Alongside looking after your mental wellbeing, try to eat well and stay hydrated. It’ll help you have energy to get work done! No better time than now to try out a few new recipes!

     
  6. Use Apps
    There’s a number of different apps that can help your productivity and keep you focused while working from home. You can use google or outlook calendars to put in a daily study routine, Toggl is a free app that helps you track how long you’re working on a task, Forrest helps you manage time and is highly visual, Zoom can be used for online meetings with groups and can share documents easily. If you’re finding it too noisy at home (or even too quiet), desktop apps like Noisli can provide personalised background noise for productivity. If possible, get in contact with the AT officer or Disability Officer from your college and see if they can recommend any other apps or assistive technologies.

Also, GetAHEAD are currently working on a Facebook group/forum for students with disabilities, a place where students can get advice/share experiences with peers and somewhere AHEAD can signpost to opportunities we have and hear the student voice first hand. If this is something you are interested in, email GetAHEAD Co-ordinator Hannah.kelly@ahead.ie to get involved.

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