Welcome to quarantine 2020!
Wow, I really never thought I would say that, but here we are. We are all so close to finishing out the year here at Biola, and for a lot of you, you are so close to finishing out your high school career! While we are in unprecedented times that are challenging and unforeseen, this does not mean that your ability to thrive has to be compromised. When I moved home in the middle of the week in the middle of the semester in the middle of March, I had no idea how to thrive in an online learning environment inside my house. At Biola, I hardly did homework inside my dorm room. I had to go out somewhere on campus and be with people. However, these times are trying. Now, even more, I believe that in trying times we can prove how much we can handle and how much we are capable of because we have the Lord who is capable of all on our side!
Even in strenuous and discouraging moments, God is with us and He is what makes us capable in these times. He is what makes us able to thrive throughout it all because our hope is placed in Him. And though it has been an adjustment for me, here are some practical and tangible tips that I have adapted in order to thrive while working at home!
SET HOMEWORK TIMES
So when quarantine first started, I was doing my homework in my bed under a blanket with Netflix playing and my phone open on Instagram right next to me. My body had no idea if it was time to do homework or time to go to bed. In that setup, I found it extremely challenging to complete any of my homework, and whatever I did complete took me much longer than I anticipated and knew I was capable of doing. Trying to rest my body while doing homework in this way just left me feeling stressed, not rested yet exhausted, and I was not motivated.
I have found that when I actually set designated times during the day to do my homework and study, and in that designated time put away Instagram and Netflix, then I can finish my homework so much faster and actually give it my full attention. Since I am able to complete work faster in this way, it even allows me to have free time later that I can dedicate to resting. Overall, it is a win/win situation.
FOLLOW A SLEEP SCHEDULE
So, I do not know if you are like me or not, but I have the amazing ability to sleep for fourteen hours if I really wanted to. Despite that, I am actually a morning person and I am significantly more productive in the morning, and so that means that I actually need to get out of bed and start work. I have found that going to bed at a decent hour and waking up early enough to not feel as though I have wasted the day away has allowed me to be more productive. By setting up a schedule for your sleep, you are setting yourself up for the greatest possible success for being productive for the day. Also, sleep is very important!
MOVE THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY
I find that I can do homework for hours and hours on end and then overall end up kind of feeling like a blob. This makes me not want to do any more work for the rest of the day. When we are at school, we are constantly moving and walking from place to place. So even at home, get up and start moving! Moving as a homework break is a great way to refresh, refocus, and come back more alert. And it is good for you!
This can look like a lot of different things, like doing an at home workout, going for a run or walk around your neighborhood, or I even have a friend who will take a ten minute walk break every hour and a half during her time of homework to simulate her walk to class. Whatever helps you and best fits your needs is what you should be doing, but I promise that moving while doing your work and staying active will help you be productive!
GRAB YOUR ESSENTIALS
My ideal workspace always includes coffee, however at Biola I did not want to always spend my flex dollars, so coffee was more of a once or twice a week homework treat. Yet here at home, coffee is a constant, everyday gift that I can make every time that I step into a homework session. I also love candles, but I cannot really grab a candle and bring it into the library with me. And blankets! Not the most socially acceptable thing to wear around campus, but it is during quarantine! All of these things are essentials which help me create the best space I can for work, and these were things I could not always have at Biola. So whatever those unique things are that help you, go grab them! And use them to celebrate this time that you actually get the opportunity to do homework with them.
GET OUT OF BED
Quarantine can easily feel like the first day of a break from school- those days where you just want to lie in bed and binge watch Netflix. Yet school and your bed are not always going to be the best of friends, and in order to actually find rest at night in your bed, it is better for you to actually get out of bed and do your homework elsewhere so that your bed can continue to be a place of rest and your workspace can continue to be a place of productivity. While there are times where that can be combined, usually the greatest level of your success will not come from doing your work entirely in your bed or just by lying in your bed. Let your workplace be for work and school and your bed be for rest and relaxation- which you still very much need during this time.
Friends, you are so capable of accomplishing this. You have every capability to thrive in this new online setting because you have a God who is championing you on and who has never left you. I know that this time is unforeseen and difficult, but that does not determine who you are. You can still thrive. Finish this year strong like we know you can, and know that we are still praying for you every step of the way!