#BacktoSchoolWithTRMC: Staying Motivated While Staying Home

September 8, 2020    

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Master the art of staying motivated while staying home – if you’re looking for ways to make sure you stay on your A-Game while at home, read on.

Eliminate Distractions

You finally sit down and open your textbook with full intention of getting some work done, you’re actually getting in the zone, and then… your phone goes off.

Eliminating distractions can sometimes be difficult when studying at home as opposed to being at school. However, it is possible with some willpower and creativity.

First things first, make sure those notifications are turned off. If you’re worried about missing an important call, play around with your settings to allow calls only, but silence all other notifications (not on vibrate – on silent).

If finding a quiet place to work at home is difficult, consider wearing headphones with music playing – everyone’s brain is different, so find a playlist that works for you. Noise cancelling headphones are another option, if you’re someone who needs complete silence to focus.

If you don’t have a separate room to work in, try positioning yourself so that you’re facing away from everyone else in your household, maybe facing towards a wall or window (one with a non-distracting view).

Plan Out Your Day

We’ve all had the experience of waking up in the morning with so many things to do that we avoid doing anything altogether as a result. This can be avoided by planning out your day the night before or even first thing in the morning. Write out all that you’d like to accomplish along with an estimate of how long each task will take to accomplish and order them in a way that will keep the day interesting.

Some people may prefer to focus on doing work for one class for hours at a time, while others may like to switch back and forth.

Remember to also allow time for breaks on a regular basis, don’t expect yourself to stay focused on one task for too long – which brings us to our next point.

Set Small, Attainable Goals for Yourself

Seeing the words “Read pg. 20-120” on your to-do list may feel so daunting that sitting down to actually do the reading may become the very last thing you get around to accomplishing.

Instead of expecting yourself to do the entire reading all at once, break it into smaller sections. Even if you still plan on reading all of those small sections in one day, checking off 5-10 pages at a time from your to-do list will allow you to visually notice the progress that you’re making and help motivate you to keep going.

Create a Positive & Healthy Workspace

Making sure you feel good in your workspace is key. The way you arrange your workspace will be up to personal preference, but a good place to start is making sure that it’s clean and clutter free, and that you have water nearby to keep yourself hydrated.

Once you have the basics down, the next step is doing what you can to make sure you’re taking care of your body. This means raising your laptop to eye level to avoid straining your neck and making sure you have enough space for your arms to be supported while typing. Check out this link for more information on ergonomic workstations.

Stick to Your Morning Routine

While it may be tempting to roll out of bed and start working in your PJs, doing this in the long run could start to make you feel like you have no separation between downtime and productivity.

This doesn’t mean you need to put on the same jeans you’d wear to school and be uncomfortable in your own home. Try finding a balance between the two, like wearing loungewear on the bottom and a nicer shirt on top – maybe something like leggings with a blouse, or joggers with a nice long sleeve.

Treat every morning the same as you would if you were going out, while opting for more comfortable options and switching sneakers for slippers.

Reframe Undesirable Tasks

It’s amazing what your mind can do when you shift your perspective.

Writing essays may not be everyone’s favourite task – but breaking up the work with positive intentions can help to motivate you to start working towards getting them done. For example, rather than having “Start essay” on your list, change it to “Plan essay outline”, so that you can give yourself peace of mind for when you actually start writing it. Remember that the more planning you do, the more stress and effort you’ll save yourself later on. So rather than thinking of planning as a dreadful, tedious task, think of it as a life-hack that will help you work more efficiently later on.

Another good habit to make is rephrasing your tasks and obligations from “I have to…” to “I get to…”. At one point or another, we were all high school seniors dreaming of attending a great University, taking classes that were focusing towards our own specific interests. Now that we’re all here, we can finally say “I get to learn about X this morning” rather than dreading waking up for that 9am lecture. It may take some work, but gratitude can take you a long way when it comes to finding motivation to do well in school.

Take Breaks

The most important thing to remember is to take breaks. Being in a comfortable environment at home may make it easy to work for hours straight, forgetting to give yourself breaks.

In reality, productivity usually starts to decrease after 40-60 minutes of work. That’s why using the Pomodoro Technique is a great way to gamify your productivity while keeping your efforts consistent.  

The Pomodoro Technique can be broken down into 5 steps:

  1. Pick a task.
  2. Set a 25-minute timer.
  3. Work on your task until the timer is up.
  4. Take a 5-minute break (take a walk, meditate, stretch, get a snack, etc.).
  5. Every 4 Pomodoros, take a longer 15-30 minute break.

 By giving yourself a short time limit, you can compete against yourself to get more and more done in those 25-minute sessions.

Stay Tuned for More

Make sure to follow us on all our social media and check back on our website for more tips and tricks on managing the WFH student life.

@ryersontrmc

Follow us for more tips and check out the link in our IG bio! Comment below how you stay focused✨ ##student ##canada ##backtoschool ##skillbuilding

♬ Do It – Chloe x Halle

Ryerson TRMC#BacktoSchoolWithTRMC: Staying Motivated While Staying Home
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28 comments

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  • Mariam Varghis - September 9, 2020 reply

    I’m using these tips this semester thank you!

  • Sashmi Pagoda - September 9, 2020 reply

    Amazing tips! Definitely will be using these this semester.

  • Anna Medvedeva - September 9, 2020 reply

    Thank you, I needed this!!

  • Natasha Yankov - September 9, 2020 reply

    So excited for the school year to begin now that I have these tips ready!

  • Shirley Macalalad - September 9, 2020 reply

    Excited to start following this guide for this semester!

  • Dalena - September 9, 2020 reply

    These tips couldn’t have come out at a better time!

  • Ankita - September 9, 2020 reply

    I love these tips!

  • Lina - September 9, 2020 reply

    Thank you this is so awesome!

  • Chumki - September 9, 2020 reply

    Yesss! I love the Pomodoro Technique too <3

  • Shayla - September 9, 2020 reply

    Sooo useful! Can’t wait to use these tips throughout the year.

  • Erica Park - September 9, 2020 reply

    Will definitely be trying out the Pomodoro Technique!!

  • Samar Jeddi - September 9, 2020 reply

    I loved this! Its so amazing to learn how such simple things can make such an impact

  • Cassandra Presedo - September 9, 2020 reply

    perfect for back to school at home!

  • Kevin Balkaran - September 9, 2020 reply

    Pomodoro timers are great! They really help me stay focused when completing my assignments!

  • Norah Kim - September 9, 2020 reply

    These tips were much needed!!!

  • Simon Carrabau - September 9, 2020 reply

    Using these as we speak! Thanks for the tips!

  • Laiqa Lalani - September 9, 2020 reply

    These tips are underrated but SO helpful and useful. Thank YOU

  • Anna Stepanenko - September 9, 2020 reply

    This is needed !!!

  • Sara - September 9, 2020 reply

    ready to go back to classes with all these amazing tips!!

  • Mili Sharma - September 9, 2020 reply

    great tips for back to school season!

  • Rishi Darubra - September 9, 2020 reply

    These are going to be used ASAP

  • Rishi Darubra - September 9, 2020 reply

    These TIPs are a lifesaver!

  • Esteban Garcia-Sanhueza - September 9, 2020 reply

    Wow, I love how in detail you go with each trick. Thank you

  • Jasmin - September 9, 2020 reply

    I love the concept re-framing tasks that you don’t want to do – the “I have to” to “I get it to” is an amazing mindset!

  • Izabela - September 9, 2020 reply

    I personally love these blogs, and I hope other students realize how good this advice is.

  • Kruti Dave - September 9, 2020 reply

    Such relevant, detailed and helpful advice that will ACTUALLY help me out – all I can say is Thank You <3

  • Vittoria Pileggi - September 10, 2020 reply

    I will definitely be trying these!
    Thank you for this – I look forward to reading more!

  • Kruti Dave - September 16, 2020 reply

    SUCH incredibly helpful tips & tricks!

Join the conversation