student life

3 Ways to Stay Motivated as you Work From Home

It is possible to stay sane and productive as you work from home.

It is possible to stay sane and productive as you work from home. Keep a positive attitude, keep in contact with friends and family in the outside world, and . . .

1. Take care of yourself.

Working or studying remotely is not an excuse to stay in your room wearing sweats all day, living off Pepsi and cheetohs. Wake up at your usual time, enjoy a nutritious breakfast, and keep up the exercise routine.

One way to stay healthy is to continue taking your lunch break. Yes, I mean a whole hour off – just as you would if you were joining coworkers for lunch on an ordinary Tuesday – and use it well. Hey, I won’t judge. Maybe you day’s been extra rough and you really do need an hour in front of Netflix. All I know is, if I don’t get some exercise in regularly, it’s a matter of time before I go a little crazy.

Lately, I’ve enjoyed breaks that include taking my dog for a walk (that still counts as an essential activity, I swear!) while chatting with family. It’s a sanity check, a healthy source of exercise and sunshine, and a refresh button before returning to my desk. A morning jog (literally fifteen minutes or less because I have the stamina of a carrot) also helps. Keep up your regular fitness and diet routines, and if it has recently become a public health crisis to do so (*sobs* they took my dance away), find new ones.

2. Document your progress.

Don’t let your work become lost in the swirl of quarantine. Checklists are a perennial favorite (I know I’m not the only one who loves to check things off); why not bump it up to a timed version and see how you do? Log how frequently you distract yourself with a trip to the pantry or the phone. Keep some sort of documentation as to what you accomplished each day – anything you can look at and remind yourself, “I am, in fact, getting something done.”

3. Maintain a regular work schedule.

Don’t use this time as an excuse to stay up all hours of the night. Work with the windows open (or better yet, outside) so that you have no excuse to lose track of daylight and whittle 11+ hours away from an isolated corner of the house. Set an alarm to go off at the end of your workday, and have other things to do once it goes off. For the love of all that is sacred, find non-work (or non-school) things to do before turning into a crazed hobbit (not the charmingly introverted kind, but a legitimately crazed kind). No one wants to become holed up and only ever work, all day, every day.

You and your mental health deserve better than that! I can only bring my best to work the next day if I set boundaries on my schedule the day before. So keep a schedule, and try to be nice with the people you’re trapped with in the meantime.

  • Have you struggled with staying motivated as you’ve worked and studied from home?
  • What are your favorite productivity tips you’ve worked into a new stay-at-home routine?

BONUS Semi-Healthy Apocalyptic Orange Breakfast Muffins

Ingredients:
Oranges growing out back in large enough quantities to survive the apocalypse
Items that were logically hoarded into an emergency pantry:
– 3 cups flour – 1 cup brown sugar – 1 tbsp baking powder – <1 tsp salt
– 1 tbsp. vanilla
Things you may have to fight tooth-and-claw for at the grocery store:
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1/2 cup softened butter
– A handful of fresh blueberries (optional)
– A handful toasted walnuts & dried cranberries (optional)
– A handful of possibly the last chocolate chips that exist on earth (optional)
An egg substitute because who knew eggs would be among the first to vanish in an apocalypse:
– 2 tbsps. flaxseed meal soaked 5min in 6tbsp water, or
– 2 tbsps. chia seed soaked 5min in 6tbsp water

Directions:
Preheat oven 400F and grease muffin tin (or bread dish because if you’re anything like me you think muffin tins are way more trouble to clean than the muffin itself is worth)

  • Peel 5x oranges and wash the rind of a 6th orange. This is your zesty orange and you must grate the entire thing off.
  • Throw the peeled/zested orange slices into a blender and whip it up into orange juice. You will only need ½ a cup of this but congratulations now you have muffins AND fresh-squeezed orange juice.
  • Mix the dry ingredients.
  • Stir in the butter.
  • Stir in the remaining wet ingredients.
  • Stir in the orange zest + your favorite muffin additions.
  • Bake 30-40min, or 20 if you are more patient than I and went with the muffin tin after all.

Enjoy!


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