How to be your best: Productivity is still important


The Daily Illini File Photo

Alma stands proudly with her arms spread wide on a summer day

By Haley Bickelhaupt, Contributing Writer

Amidst of what would be one of the busiest times of the school year, Alma Mater looks out over the University of Illinois campus with arms wide-open but no students in sight. 

Throughout the chaos of the current COVID-19 pandemic, students across the country are quickly adjusting to a different lifestyle: online schooling. No longer do students walk across the busy Main Quad to attend lecture in Foellinger Auditorium or to spend time studying in Grainger. Now attending online lectures, students are communicating with classmates through technologies like Zoom and FaceTime. With the current shelter-in-place order, students are spending their days inside.

Adjusting to a new lifestyle online is not easy, especially in such a short amount of time. As a result of this change, many students have come to experience a loss of productivity, as well as frustrations with mental health and family relationships. In hopes of controlling some of these factors, here are some tips and tricks to help improve this season and make quarantine time, quality time. 

Stick to a schedule

Although it is tempting to sleep until noon each day, creating a schedule similar to the one you had at school is beneficial for productivity and mental health. 

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It is best to start the day waking up at a reasonable time, getting a well-balanced breakfast and to begin grinding on the work that piled up. Use a planner or a list to block out specific times for classwork and watch your ability to accomplish tasks skyrocket! 

Create a productive space

Despite the fact that staying in your silky sheets with your pajamas on may seem like the dream place for accomplishing all of your goals, this comfortable, sleeping environment can greatly inhibit your productivity. It is easy to fall prey into TikTok and realize two hours later that you have not accomplished anything on your to-do list. 

Instead of staying in bed, pick a good study space. Disconnecting from your sleeping environment will help limit any distractions. Make this a space where you go to study every day. This, along with sticking to your schedule, will allow your brain to focus better and to efficiently accomplish your tasks.

Stay active

Staying active is one of the most underrated tips to improving your study habits at home. Doing just a twenty-minute workout, taking your dog for a walk or helping your family with a renovation project can be a great way to incorporate physical activity into your quarantined life. Not only will this exercise help you burn off a few calories, but will also give you more energy and focus to accomplish your schoolwork.

Communicate with your friends. (They miss you too.)

No matter if you are an introvert, extrovert or somewhere in-between, staying away from close friends and family can begin to take a toll on everyone. As a key component of college life is making friends and socializing, this sudden change of pace is certainly different for many throughout the country. 

Although it is advised to decrease face-to-face interaction, Zooming or FaceTiming your friends from school can brighten dreary days. Texting a family member, sending a letter or mailing a gift is a great way to continue interacting with those you do not have the ability to visit. Community is important for many aspects of life — so reach out to those you love. You are probably being missed more than you might think!

Yes, spending life away from campus may be a challenge for many students, but it is best to implement these tips in hope to continue furthering your education. As Alma Mater stands, arms widespread for students to return in the fall, let the entire University of Illinois community continue to work hard in hopes to better themselves for those happy children of the future. 

Haley is a freshman in Aces.

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