Editors’ Note: A version of this was printed November 2020, the content is the same, minus the intro paragraph.
Happy start of second semester! As we settle into the semester, now is the perfect time to evaluate how virtual learning is going for you and if there is anything you want to change. As we all know, virtual learning asks a lot of all of us and it can be challenging to change things up.. This is where the ARCs can come in!
We aren’t going to list here all the reasons each of us has to be stressed and anxious right now. But we are going to acknowledge that there is still a lot. Amidst everything though, we are also all students, meaning we have classes, and homework, and projects to think about — and that is exactly what we write to talk to you about today.
ARCs have collected the following tips and tricks from other Oliners on what has been helping them navigate learning during this period of virtual school which are listed below.
Task Management / Calendar
- Post-it notes : A simple physical post-it note on your laptop or near your desk is an easy access way to track tasks and it is super satisfying to cross things out.
- Todo list examples : If you are looking for a Todo list that is electronic and simple to set up, consider a custom google sheets template!
- Option 1: This option features a column for each class and a column for the random tasks like email with a due date and a checkbox to tick off tasks as you complete them
- Option 2: This option is set up for a planning out your work week and assigning different academic/personal tasks to each day of week
- Schedule it! : In addition to adding classes and meeting to your personal calendar, try scheduling “do not disturb time” to get focused work done.
- Track Canvas assignments: Try adding canvas deadlines to your email! Here are tutorials for adding your canvas calendar feed to outlook and gmail.
Getting into a Workflow
- Create a Commute – Before you hop on the computer for class or team meetings take a walk around the block , go for a run, or an activity that helps you to create space between school life and personal life.
- Bookmarks – When you sit down to get working, try bookmarking things like calendar, class websites, and other commonly visited websites. Having these links on hand means you can get to work quickly and not get distracted while trying to find the link to the zoom room!
- Find where work is happening – If you are living with other students, doing work together is a great way to build momentum towards getting things done while adding a little friendly accountability.
- Focused Work? This time technique comes highly recommended by a number of Oliners! The Pomodoro method involves 25 minutes of focused work with 5 minute breaks. This is a great way to build-in breaks while still being able to focus.
- Hide your Phone – Notifications on phones were designed to distract so moving your phone away from your work area or even out of the room helps to limit distractions. This tip can also be great when trying to get to bed on time! **Also try flora for a little extra motivation to stay off your phone!
If you find yourself wanting help implementing any of these strategies, or needing more options, feel free to reach out to Adva (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get connected with an ARC. For various reasons, getting work done right now can be challenging, but the ARCs are here to help you figure out how to get through these barriers as much as possible!
We hope that your semester is as engaging, well-focused, organized, and restful as possible! You are not alone!
Abby Fry, Grace Montagnino, Jocelyn Jimenez, Mark Goldwater, Reid Bowen, Riya Aggarwal, Sabrina Pereira