WFH Tips from a working student of Psychology

Devika Kapur Employee Health, General Psychology, Mental Health

In the era, where we were promised flying cars and trips to the moon, no one in their craziest dreams could have predicted this worldwide pandemic as a kickstart to the new decade. Along with the updated catalogues for online streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime, our laziness and inability to step out of our houses, the addition of having to work from home has caused the deterioration of our general will to work hard. For some it’s the agony of starting the task, for others it’s with finishing it in and most people, like myself, just find it harder to stay on course with the project and let distractions dissuade me from maintaining my concentration. There are many ways we could combat these issues in these desperate times.

The first idea revolves around making short term goals. Since Covid-19 wasn’t a part of any of our plans for our future, we should not allow ourselves to feel stressed out when things aren’t following the same timeline as they were before. Give yourself some more room to breathe and instead make daily or weekly goals that you have to achieve. Managing your workload and creating slots for everything you have to do in the day gives you more downtime to yourself to be able to destress and spend time with your family or call up your friends to have a conversation. This will help you plan out your days better and don’t forget to give yourself more flexibility based on your mental health that day.

Next, this might seem like the toughest one for the younger generations but wake up early. I know that it seems like the last thing you want to hear but maintaining the same schedule as you did during work causes your mind as well as your body to be ready to follow the same amount of work or routine as earlier. It also gives you more time to be able to reach out to your associates and bosses, during normal work hours, for more collaboration on the tasks.

On the same trail of thought, cutting down distractions or putting your phone away might seem as more of a sacrifice than staying inside during this pandemic and I apologize for it, but our phones are the biggest distraction from getting work done regardless of whether we are on it or not. Having the phone lying on the table and hearing the buzz or alert go off, triggers a sort of reflex in us that just makes us reach out for it. Try putting your phone on the other side of the room when using the laptop for work or mute all your social media apps and use it only for phone calls with the office. One hour of this torture might help you be productive and ahead of your schedule during the day, allowing you to achieve more in less amount of time.

Another thing that is important to get your mind on the right track is to exercise. Many of the big fitness companies as well as celebrities have been partnering up with apps and YouTube channels to make short workout plans, which you could easily have access to on the internet. I have personally experienced the difference in my mindset towards deadlines if I am able to squeeze in a run on the treadmill or something as simple as a 5-minute HIIT home workout. It gets your heart rate up and also helps you not feel lethargic the rest of the day.

My last suggestion is to take smaller breaks more frequently. A break could be anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes depending on your preference. Use it as a reward after completing a certain task, whether you choose to spend this time to do other chores around the house, stretch your legs or just to grab a snack or a cup of coffee, it keeps your brain stimulated and doesn’t allow you to feel too boxed in. It helps boost your productivity and perform better in an uncontrollable situation.

At the end of the day, this is a difficult and unprecedented time for us all but try to put your health, physical as well as mental, ahead of any deadline and don’t hesitate to reach out to  talk to someone if you are feeling overwhelmed with any aspect of this situation. Stay indoors and stay healthy!

Devika Kapur is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree with a self-designed major in Business & Psychology at the Jindal School of Liberal Arts & Humanities (O.P. Jindal Global University). Her interests lie in the area of marketing, sales & business psychology.

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