“12:30!?” I exclaimed to myself after waking up and grabbing my phone to check the time. I stared at my phone in disbelief because of how late I had slept and how half the day was already gone. So much for getting my stuff together. As I scrolled through the notifications, I saw a list of Canvas notifications. At that moment, I felt the stress but had no motivation to get up and complete the assignments. So instead, I continued laying in my bed scrolling through Instagram, watching Tiger King, and wasting more time.
That was me 2 weeks ago. I was in a lazy mindset and wanted to do nothing but chill. Assignments and lecture videos began piling up and I was behind. It was then that I realized I had to actually get my things together. I knew I was still responsible as a student for my assignments and I was the only one that could hold only myself accountable. Over time, I developed healthy habits to get back on track. Now I am delighted to pass on some of my tips, from peer to peer, in hopes it can help you become motivated and energized. Don’t worry - I will try not to bore you... but if I do, at least you now would rather do your assignments than continue reading.
1) Wake up early
- Yes, you read that right. What I mean by this is wake up in the morning, not after 12 pm. It might sound pointless, because why wake up so early, if we can wake up any time since we’re all in self-isolation? To hit you with reality, the later you wake up, the more you push your assignments back, which eventually leads to them being pushed back a day, or worse. It is better for you to wake up in the morning so you can create a productive mindset and have more hours in a day to work. I was once a late sleeper and late riser but now to get my stuff together, I have changed my habits.
- Set an alarm if you need to. For me, hearing the loud alarm brings back terrifying memories of having to crawl out of bed to attend class. Those feelings and fear are what actually help force me to wake up early.
2) Make a list of what needs to be completed in the day
- Yes, I know - the typical “make a list” - but trust me, it really helps. Before you ignore this tip, hear me out. When you make a list of the assignments and tasks needed to be done, it is a start to getting it done. You now know what needs to be accomplished within the day instead of spending time checking on the due dates and hoping you still have time for other assignments. You’re able to pace yourself and give yourself the necessary breaks in between each task. At the end of the day, when you’re finished, you will be able to watch Netflix or do whatever without wondering and worrying about the assignments you should be doing.
- Please try it out. Maybe it won’t be your style or maybe it ends up being the most helpful aid, but you won’t know until you try.
3) Create a schedule
- This tip goes along with tip #2. Making a list and schedule is a way to stay organized and ensure you are in control of you and your assignments. It also helps to give you a sense of the fixed quarter schedule that we all as college students used to have. Having a schedule will help you stay focused as you now have a dedicated time to watch a lecture video, complete a task, or eat lunch during the short time you used to have before running across campus to your next class. A schedule makes working at home less like working at home because you now have the feeling of what your Spring quarter schedule would have looked like.
- This tip is recommended by many peers as well. Those in the Student Leadership Development Program, a leadership program led by CLL, have recommended creating a schedule as it helps them stay on track with their assignments. See, it works! Maybe it might work for you too!
- Yes, I know it’s the word you did not want to see. Before you skip over this tip, hear me out. I don’t want you to have the image of running a mile or lifting weights because even I don’t do that. Exercise is different to every individual. It does not mean every person should work out until they feel the pain but rather do what is in your comfort zone. A simple walk around the block with your mask on is already beneficial as you are not confined to the same setting every day. Setting aside a small time, like 10 minutes to stretch or follow a quick YouTube video is already an exercise and a great progress to maintain your health during this time. Before you know it, 10 minutes is already up, and you will definitely feel different and more energized than before. There is a reason why many exercise in the morning before continuing on with their day.
- If you still have doubts, I have set a goal of mine to exercise every day. In fact, during this time of quarantine, I have set a goal and have been doing 10-minute exercise challenges from YouTube. I know I can afford to set 10 minutes aside because, well, I’m not going anywhere and have no excuse. On a happy note, so far I have seen progress and am genuinely happy to work towards the goal I have always wanted to achieve.
5) Socialize Virtually
- It can simply be forming a group chat with classmates, your friends, or even family. You might be wondering what can we talk about when nothing much is going on? Here are some ideas: update them on your class and work, livestream a music concert together, watch Netflix together (there’s a way to do this if you search online), or do an exercise challenge together so you both are having fun and staying healthy. Just having a friend in the background while you’re working makes a big difference. Even though it won’t be the same as hanging out in person, it still beats not talking to anyone.
- We are all social beings and communicating is necessary for us. Even us introverts need to socialize.
If you made it to the end, thank you for taking the time to go through all the tips. These tips have helped me and other peers, and I am hoping it can help you as well. You might have heard some of these tips from others, but I hope hearing it from a peer who knows what worked for them and what didn’t changes your mind. CLL wants you to strive for your best and we are here to help you with that. Don’t feel intimidated and down with the situation we are in but rather make the best out of it!
Constance Wong is currently serving as a communications volunteer for the Center for Leadership Learning. She has joined DLDP and is hoping to use her experiences in both positions to learn more about herself and her career. She knows that being a good leader incorporates a lot of qualities that are not just taught but learned and she hopes she can become a great one in the work field.