Jacob Turnbull (a.k.a. @jacob__turnbull), Photography.
As we no longer need to leave the house to reach our ‘offices’, the discipline to keep your studies on track could easily slip. That lie-in lasts just one more snooze, lunch gets earlier and longer lasting, and the Playstation in the corner of your eye purrs with encouragement (more about that below). However, as Jacob says, structuring your day can help combat these temptations and something as simple as a timetable can be the first step to a productive and satisfying day.
There are many different ways you can do this and all you need in a pen and some paper (but those extra-organised of you can use apps like Excel, Notes or Reminders for example). General advice encourages short periods of work (90 mins at a time), scheduled breaks (30-60 mins) and a good night’s sleep, but the best thing about WFH is that how your days look is ultimately up to you!
Bethanie-Jayne Smith (a.k.a. @uk.beth), Health & Social Care.
As we mentioned earlier on, there are plenty of distractions around the house which can lead to procrastination. Take a moment to look around you right now and I bet you could lose count of the amount of other things you could be engaging with than college work… structured breaks are an important part of the working day, but you’ll never get there if you’re too distracted to do the work in the first place!
We are all connected to friends and family and currently it’s great to keep in touch with those who you are close to. Letting them know that you need to take a break from your phone and social media to focus on your studies should be just as important to your friends and family as it is to you, so you should send them a gentle reminder that you’ll get back to them later. And if that doesn’t quite cut it, the age old method of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ should do it!
Sam Gallagher (a.k.a. @_sam_gallagher_), Music.
Doctors advise 30 minutes of physical activity at least 3 times per week and you may have heard that there are many benefits to exercise - be it weight loss, mass gain, or even positive mental benefits - but you might not have been encouraged to before now; the college day is long, and by the time you get home all you want to do is slump in a chair and binge watch Drag Race… But now that the college day is as long as you make it, and predominantly happens in the comfort of your own bedroom, there’s no better time to try and add some exercise to the daily routine.
“But how do I do this without any weights or other sports equipment?” you ask. Well there is an absolute ton of stuff out there now that doesn’t require you to use anything but yourself and a space to do it, be it your garden, front room, or anywhere else you can do some high kicks without breaking something! Not only is it great for you, but it helps break the day up, so get inventive, get active and be sure to let us know what your favourite home work-outs are.
Oliver Sutehall (a.k.a. @arqito), prospective Engineering student.
We’ve seen the importance of starting the day on time, the benefits of including exercise in your weekly routine, as well as removing all distractions, but Oliver reminds us that WFH isn’t all ‘W’. In order to be as productive as possible, it’s important - vital even - that you make sure you give yourself a break. If your routine becomes work, work, work, you’re more likely to experience burn out than actually achieving top grades and that’s especially true now that college and home are one and the same.
And if the thought of not having anything to focus on is daunting, you can still use this time productively, but for other things than college work. You could discover a new work-out routine (see above), write a blog, indulge yourself in those books you’ve been meaning to read, practice an instrument, learn to juggle… and so much more. Whatever helps you pass the time, just remember that you need (and deserve!) a break from time to time.
Thank you to Jacob, Bethanie-Jayne, Sam and Oliver for your ideas; you can find many more on our Instagram page. If you come up with any other ideas, do let us know at @canterbury_college.