Work and Learn from Home Successfully with These 4 Tips

A woman named Cathryn Curry Hasz, a WSU online MBA student, smiles outdoors

If a time traveler had tried to warn us that the world was going to shut down in 2020, I am assuming most of us would have giggled or rolled our eyes. The idea that a global pandemic would force classrooms and offices into our living rooms would have been unimaginable.

Yet, here we are.

Remote learning and working from home share very similar requirements: Students and employees alike need to remain organized, on task, and need to remove any and all distractions (as much as possible).

During the Online MBA program, I had designated time for working on the weekly assignments, attending the online courses, and studying, at which time, the TV was off, focus music was on (when applicable) and I was conducting my work in a space separate from the rest of the house.

Finding this focus is a challenge, one that countless people around the world are now experiencing as they split their homes with their families, everyone needing to remain productive and organized while all sharing their coveted portion of the dining room table.

Some tips and tricks to time management, motivation and balancing priorities include:

  1. Review your weekly schedule of assignments or tasks at the beginning of the week and reassess as priorities shift or change throughout the week. Communicate regularly with your professors (or bosses) if you feel you will be unable to meet a deadline.
  2. Set realistic, attainable timelines, whenever possible. Best practice is to under promise and over deliver.
  3. Motivation can be a struggle. If possible, plan your work around the time that works best for you. If you are a morning person, front load your day with the most arduous tasks and vice versa.
  4. Remember to take breaks, get some exercise and vitamin D, and drink more water than you think you need.

Luckily, professors and employers alike understand that all we can do is try our best. Parents are now operating as teachers, daycare, and entertainment for their kids, as well as maintaining their work and schedule assignments.

These are unprecedented times, and even though parts of the world are returning to some semblance of normal, many believe that things won’t ever be the same. This exercise in teleworking has taught or reasserted the need for each of us to be agile and resilient as we continue to adapt and grow.

By #CougaMBAssador Cathryn Curry Hasz