How To Work From Home Effectively

By Danielle Wirsansky on December 3, 2019

Working from home is a great idea for some students and a less ideal opportunity for others. There are plenty of pros and cons to why you should or should not work from home. Some people need to be in a formal working environment while others prefer a more relaxed space, like home. Others need to be by themselves while some students thrive in the company of others while getting their work done.

But let’s take that question off the table. Do not ponder whether or not you should or should not work from home. Imagine that you have no other choice: you must work from home. Whether you are doing your homework at home now instead of at the library because it is closed for the day, or you are working remotely but your favorite coffee shop you like to work at is not yet open, or even if you need to work on your personal work (like art or hobbies or leadership) but the student union is overly crowded and you do not have a spot to work.

The next best option is to work at home. How can you do that effectively? Read on for some strategies to help you learn to work from home as effectively as possible!

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Make a Plan

One of the hardest things about working from home is that it can be easy to get sidetracked. Maybe your family or roommate are chatting you up, maybe your pet keeps wandering by and demanding attention, maybe the TV keeps calling to you but you know that if you turn it on you definitely will not get any work done.

It can also be hard to know where to start. What do you do first? Should you do important life-related work (like paying bills) or should you catch up on your emails? Should you do your homework? Which homework? For what class? It can feel overwhelming and be difficult to start.

Sometimes when you are working in a library or coffee shop, it seems a little bit more straightforward because you can only work on what you have with you, but when you are at home, you have everything there—plus more things, to distract you, to weigh on you, to tempt you.

What you need to do is make a plan. Decide what you want to do and what you have to work on. Ask yourself questions like, what is due first? Do I have all the necessary elements with which to complete a specific project? What can I actually get accomplished in the amount of time that I have to work in? Use these questions to help you narrow down and focus your list of tasks so you can be as efficient and productive as possible while working from home.

Schedule Time

One of the cons of working from home is that it can feel like a time suck. You woke up, ate breakfast, got ready, and now half the day is gone? Maybe you kept telling yourself one more episode is fine, you have plenty of time only to discover that you did not actually have plenty of time? Maybe your roommate roped you into a long conversation or you woke up way later than you expected to. Where did all the time go? How can you get all the work done in the time you have left and still make it to the dinner you planned with your friends?

It can be easy to put off doing your work because you feel like you have plenty of time, only for you to run out of it. That is why, when you work from home, you must absolutely schedule your time. Decide when you want to wake up, when you want to eat, and most especially when you want to work. Cut up your time. Decide to work on this project from 10 am to 2 pm. Work on your bio homework from 2:15 pm until 3:30 pm. Keep yourself on track and accountable!

And don’t forget to schedule in a few breaks along the way!

Get Rid of Distractions

This is obviously easier said than done. Do whatever you must to get rid of distractions that might stop you from doing your work. Shut your cat out of your room. Turn off your phone’s notifications except for emergency contacts. Close the Facebook tab on your laptop. Put a do not disturb sign on your door. Whatever it is you need to do to make sure you can stay focused, do it. While you are in school, your work has to come first.

Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

Even if working from home is not your cup of tea, following these strategies may help make the experience more positive and effective. And if you are the kind of student that prefers to work from home, hopefully, these strategies will help you become even more efficient. Happy studying!

Danielle Wirsansky graduated from FSU with a BA in Theatre, a BA in Creative Writing with a minor in History, and an MA in Modern European History with a minor in Public History. While a graduate student, she served as the Communications Officer for the History Graduate Student Association and President/Artistic Director of White Mouse Theatre Productions. She studied abroad in London, England for the Spring 2015 semester at FSU's study center for the Playwriting Program and interned for the English National Theatre of Israel in Summer of 2015. Her first musical, City of Light, opened as part of FSU's New Horizons Festival in Spring of 2016. She has also won the MRCE and URCAA Research grants from FSU. In the past, she served as the Marketing Director for the FSU Student Theatre Association, the intern for the Holocaust Education Resource Council, and the research assistant of Prof. Nathan Stoltzfus. She has previously written for Context Florida (Contributing Writer), USA Today College (Contributing Writer), Sheroes of History (Contributing Blogger), No(le)Reservations (Contributing Blogger), Female, Reloaded (Arts/Entertainment Editor) , I Want a Buzz Magazine (intern), Mandarin Newsline (youth arts update columnist), Distink Designs (Guest blogger), whatscheaper.com (associate editor), escapewizard.com (associate editor), Spark TLH (Contributor), the Tallahassee Democrat (contributor), Elan Literary Magazine (Head of Marketing), and the Improviser Newspaper (Opinions Editor). Danielle has been lucky to be writing for Uloop since 2015 and to have served as the FSU Campus Editor since 2015.

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