Classes will continue through remote delivery of instruction remainder of Spring 2020 semester. Many employees are working remotely; as a result, some services may be modified or limited. Updates at mtsu.edu/coronavirus
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How to Effectively Work From Home

Amid the COVID-19 craziness, there are plenty of questions that everyone doesn’t necessarily have an answer to yet. One that you might not be thinking about however, is how you can keep focus and be productive outside of the classroom setting.

As all classes are being moved to an online-based distance learning style, professors are working hard to rebuild and restructure their courses in a fashion that provides a great learning experience, albeit in a different format.

We can’t let these changes keep us from finishing the semester strong! Here are a few things you can do to still thrive and learn effectively, so read on to transform your living space into a productive space!

Set up a workspace

I know what you’re thinking. “Nice! I can watch lectures and do all my classwork from my bed? In my pajamas, no less? Awesome!”

While this sounds like a childhood dream come true, you aren’t exactly setting yourself up for success. To get the most out of these virtual classes, you need to take it seriously and put yourself in an environment that allows you to stay focused and productive. 

If possible, set up your workstation in an area that is separate from where you typically do your relaxing. This will help keep you from getting distracted when you need to get some work done.

Speaking of distractions, do your best to minimize them. If it means leaving your phone in another room or staying away from TVs and other unnecessary electronics, then do so. Trust me, you’ll be much better off if you do so. 

When you are working hard, you don’t want your focus to be ruined by a dog barking or people talking. Perhaps consider using a pair of noise-canceling headphones to stay “in the zone” and block out outside noise.

Finally, make your workstation a place that you want to get work done. Try to find a space with natural light and keep clutter to a minimum. A dark, messy space could hold you back and keep you from wanting to work!

Hands typing on a laptop. Table has a plant, cell phone, eyeglasses, pencils, and a plant.

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

 

Focus on communication

Perhaps the hardest part of distance learning is the lack of face-to-face communication. Professors at MTSU truly care about their students and typically offer a wide range of office hours to answer questions and help you do well in their class.

Although this face-to-face interaction isn’t possible under the current circumstances, your teachers still want to help you succeed. You should keep in contact with your professors and ask questions digitally so that you get the help you need.

One thing to note, however, is that you may need to be proactive and perhaps a little more patient. Remember, this is a challenging time for them, too!

Another group to consider is your classmates. While you may not be sitting right next to them anymore, they are still your classmates and you can still succeed as a team.

Set up some sort of group chat to work together on group projects, review lecture material, and even to simply chat! Social interaction is still an important part of the college experience.

Keep a positive attitude

I know, I know. MTSU is typically a living, breathing campus filled with fun and informative events, great conversations, and lots of people. We miss meeting on campus, too.

It is important for us to keep a positive attitude and make the most of this period of distance learning. While it may not be perfect, we are all still Blue Raiders and everyone is working hard to keep that True Blue experience alive.

As you work through the remainder of this semester, don’t forget to get some fresh air, call a friend, and take some time to better yourself. 

Remember when you said that you’d read books if you had some free time? Now’s the time! Finish up that show you’ve wanted to catch up on, learn a new skill, or connect with old friends. 

No matter what you do, keep working hard and finish strong. A change of scenery is no match for a positive attitude and a great work ethic. You can do this!

Author Kobe Hermann is a senior at MTSU, majoring in management in the Jones College of Business and minoring in economics and business administration. The views and opinions expressed above are his own.


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