When School and Home Become One: Tips for studying during COVID

              With the current Covid-19 pandemic and schools starting to open back up, you are probably doing most of your work remotely at home. Although working from home does have its perks, such as the company of pets and cozy dress code, it can be isolating at times.

              I want to share a few tips that I have been using to make the process less lonely and more efficient.

Tip #1: Schedule calls with your advisor and classmates

              I started the CDE program in September of 2020, and with the pandemic situation, I did not get a chance to go to campus or meet classmates in person. Organizing monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly calls with classmates and my advisor created structure and created community remotely. The opportunity to connect with people in the program and hold each other accountable for assignments and class discussions made the typical Zoom calls enjoyable and welcoming.

Tip #2: Have a dedicated workspace for schoolwork

              As we can probably all relate, the remote reality of the pandemic has erased the boundaries of work, home, and school. I would recommend having a designated area for studying and school-related work. For example, the kitchen table or a corner of the bedroom. Creating this dedicated space may help uphold boundaries around school and help regulate routine. I like to think of my desk as if I am going to the library to write- a dedicated schoolwork space.

Tip #3: Having a go-to lunch or snack

              School can get overwhelming, especially when a screen separates school and home. One thing I like to do to ease the anxiety is to “pack a lunch” for myself. This usually includes making a large batch of a dish to have for lunch on Sunday, so I am stress-free for the week. This takes away any decision fatigue around food. Some of my favourite lunches that I have ready to go are:

  • Rice and chickpeas with any sauce
  • Toast with peanut butter and jam
  • Hardboiled eggs and veggies
  • Soups (canned or made in batches and frozen)
  • Oatmeal bars

Tip #4: using “study with me” videos and Pomodoro timers

              I have genuinely enjoyed the “study with me” video on YouTube while I work. It sounds exactly what it is- people recording themselves studying with a Pomodoro timer. A Pomodoro timer is used to analyze or complete tasks in breaks, most often in intervals of 25 minutes of work and a 5-minute break, and then repeating. Here are a few of my favourite videos to study:

2-hour study with me/ relaxing jazz + fireplace/ Tokyo-Sky tree at sunrise/ with countdown + alarm

Study with me- 2-hour Pomodoro technique with instrumental jazz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-UWk5LR14o&list=WL&index=7&t=152s&ab_channel=MusicforyourBrain

3-hour study with me, jazz café ambiance, Pomodoro 25/5, timer

4-hour study with me, calm piano + gentle rain sound, Tokyo at Rainy Morning, timer & bell

4-hour study with me [quiet study music] 45/15 Pomodoro

header image by Chris Montgomery @ unsplash.com