Are you tired of being stuck at home? At times, lockdown can feel like it’ll never end. Even though we’ve all done it before, it’s never easy to spend weeks at a time stuck in the same place with the same people.
Most schools have pulled together effective online learning programmes, with some extracurriculars continuing as well. However, whichever way you look at it, you’ll still need to find the motivation to do more self-guided work than normal. Finding this motivation can be the last thing on your mind – the ‘lockdown funk’ is a real thing, and it’s tough to get past.
But it’s not all bad news! If you take a few deliberate steps, you can both survive and thrive in lockdown. Here are five of our recommendations for making the most of it:
Make sure your workspace is well set up.
One thing that takes a bit of getting used to is spending the majority of your working day in a single place. If you normally have your classes in different places, you never have to think too hard about how well you’re set up in a single location. When you’re spending all your time in one place, though, it’s worth taking the time to create a healthy working environment.
There are a few simple steps you can take to make sure your workspace serves you well. Ensure that you’ve got enough light and fresh air coming in. Set up your desk at the right height so that you’re not bending over to see your work! Finally, try to remove distractions so that you can concentrate on what you’re doing. A few simple steps such as these can go a long way towards making your work much more comfortable.
Try get a little bit of exercise in every day.
During normal times, most people will walk anywhere from four to ten thousand steps in a day. During lockdown, you might find you walk less than a thousand steps all day! This is a pretty drastic reduction in the amount of exercise that you do without even thinking about it, and this can start to affect your work and motivation even if you don’t realise it.
A great idea can be to exercise right before you start your schoolwork. You’re probably used to walking at least some distance to school – whether this is from your house, or simply from the bus or car to class. To replicate this while working from home, you can do something as simple as walking around the block (or your yard) for five minutes before you start. This gives your body the same little ‘boost’ that you’re used to before you get into your work.
Set specific working hours.
When you don’t have the structure of a school day to keep you accountable, it can be easy to let your work and personal times blend into each other. This usually isn’t good – it means you can get distracted while you’re working, and thinking about your schoolwork when you’re meant to be unwinding. When your work is less effective, and your free time less relaxing, nobody wins!
To solve this problem, you can give yourself designated ‘schoolwork time’ where you always try to focus on your work. This might include both school hours and a couple of scheduled hours for homework or extra study. The important part is that you concentrate on work during this time, and then relax after it’s finished. Even though you might be doing all your work and play in the same place, giving yourself set times for each will help create a separation between the two in your mind, and help you to unwind better.
Don’t stay up too late!
Dragging yourself out of bed at 8:55am to attend your first class at 9:00am might be possible in lockdown, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the best thing to be doing! It’s usually a good idea to try and go to sleep and wake up at around the same time as you normally do. Not only will this help keep your sleep cycles in check while you’re stuck at home, it will also help you to readjust to a normal timetable once you’re back at school!
With the time that you’re used to spending travelling to and from school, particularly in the morning, you might like to try and find other activities. This could be going for a longer walk, reading the news or books you enjoy, or doing a bit of extra revision to prepare for the day. You might enjoy it so much that you want to get up earlier to keep doing this once you’re back at school!
Find ways to stay connected with the people around you.
It can be easy to lose the social connections you have with the people around you in lockdown. While in the short term this might mean that you have more time to focus on your schoolwork, this is almost always a bad thing in the long term. Why’s that? Well, us humans are social creatures – when we don’t talk to those around us, we can lose the motivation to do our work.
To get around this, it’s good to make a deliberate effort to connect with the people who you’re used to talking at school. This could look like anything from a quick message to see how your friends are, to a Zoom call after school or a Discord session while gaming. There are plenty of online games such as skribbl.io or Gartic Phone that can serve as a great excuse to have a catch up with people who you might not normally reach out to! Remember, we’re all in this together, so don’t forget to check in with your mates and talk to those around you.
EduExperts is here to help you achieve your educational goals, whether virtually or in person! Want to know more? Get in touch with your local centre here.