Contrary to what the groundhog may have predicted last week, I am choosing not to believe that we still have 6 weeks left of winter. Instead, I will be channeling the warmer weather by doing some spring cleaning.
When this pandemic started, like a lot of you, I didn’t expect to be working or studying from home for as long as we have been. Almost a year later and my #WFH space was in desperate need of a revamp. I made a couple of rookie mistakes at the beginning of the pandemic and over the past few weeks, I’ve done some long overdue upgrades.
One of my rookie mistakes was the decision to opt for a cute and stylish desk stool instead of a comfy desk chair. Fast forward through hours of studying and my horribly sore back made me realize I didn’t make the smartest decision.
Learn from my mistakes. Here’s how I refreshed my home space to optimize my productivity for Spring 2021.
I got out of bed
First and foremost, I moved my chargers and all of my devices to my desk. Yes, I too tried to convince myself that class from bed is just as effective as it is from my desk. But I think we all know that isn’t true. When I am in bed, I lose focus and frequently find myself taking post-class naps.
It’s important to create a division between workspace and relaxation space, even if it’s all in the same room. Try making a promise to yourself to only keep your chargers by your desk so that you’ll have to take class from there. We all know how fast Zoom drains our batteries, so you won’t last long from your bed if you can’t charge your laptop.
I maximized lighting
An affordable and effective way I stay focused is by having proper lighting – and no, I don’t mean an LED light strip. A bright room helps prevent me from getting sleepy and running back to my bed for a midday nap. Open the blinds, and invest in a desk lamp. You can find one for $10-30, so they’re a cheap way to add something fun and fresh to your #WFH space if you’re on a budget.
I created a new computer background
All the credit goes to TikTok for this piece of advice, but I found a fun way to create a personalized computer screensaver that helps you keep all your files organized. These backgrounds or screensavers can be made on Canva, a free user-friendly graphic design program. If you need inspiration, Pinterest has a ton of design ideas to help you get started! Here’s one of my favorite designs:
I got organized
I wouldn’t go to class without all of the supplies I needed, so I don’t log onto Zoom without doing the same. It can be disrupting to keep getting up and grabbing supplies from the other side of the room. Try reserving a spot on your desk for your calculator, pencils, highlighters, notebooks, textbooks, and even a blanket for when it’s cold. You can order an organizer or you can simply use cups from your kitchen to store your writing supplies. Check out this DIY recipe for how to make your own desktop organizer.
I am investing in a second monitor
I haven’t quite implemented this one yet, but I’m saving up to afford an actual monitor for my #WFH space. Dual monitors are a great investment for any student and/or soon-to-be graduate (like me) who anticipates working from home in the near future. While things are returning to normal bit-by-bit, I think remote work won’t fully go away. If you frequently find yourself splitting your window into two smaller ones so that you can see Zoom and write notes, then this is a great solution for you! Monitors range from $100-200 so if you save up your money, you can make a huge difference to your #WFH space.
If you can’t make this work on your budget, another option is to pick up a laptop stand for only $20-30. Raising your laptop to eye level is a small yet effective change that you can make without breaking the bank.
I dusted off my headphones
Headphones used to be a staple in my life when I was walking to class or studying in the library. Since doing the majority of work from home, however, they’ve spent more time in my nightstand drawer than on my head. I pulled these out and started using them for class recently, and it has made all the difference in the world! House/roommates are most likely not on the same schedule as us, so sometimes what they’re doing on the other side of the wall can be distracting. Using headphones will eliminate some of these distractions and help you hear your professor’s lectures better.
And… I got a new chair
I hope this inspired you to make a few changes to your #WFH space so that you can get a dose of energy, like I did, to finish the spring semester strong!
Hannah Frier | Marketing