How to create a positive workspace at home


My workspace

Now that we are all stuck at home trying to juggle between seven or so different subject’s worth of work, I believe that it is crucial to learn how to make your own positive workspace at home. At home, it is easy for you to become your own worst enemy, for when you are not surrounded by teachers and peers you are more likely to be relaxed, as you will not feel the same pressure or communal obligation to get work done. (Also: you don’t have to wear your uniform!)

So, what are a few things we can do to make sure we are staying on top of our work and not letting it pile up until it is the night before it is due, and we have not yet started it?

There are a few things you can do to achieve this.


Get up at the same time you would if you were going to school

I know what you are thinking but bear with me; though being rudely woken up by your alarm at seven in the morning might be a struggle, it creates structure to your day. By setting a time for yourself to work, you are more mentally prepared to begin working each day, which helps your productivity greatly. Moreover, by falling into the same rhythm you have when you go to school, your brain will be tricked into working more productively as it is already in the mindset to do so.

Believe it or not, one of the best ways to work from home efficiently is to dive straight into your to-do list, because it gives you less time to let the morning sluggishness wear away your motivation. Getting your work started first thing in the morning can be the key to making progress on it gradually throughout the day. 


Structure your day as you would at school

When working from home, you’re your own personal manager; you do not have your teachers with you to tell you when to work on one thing and when to stop. Due to this, you can be quick to lose focus or burn out.

To stay on schedule, segment what you’ll do and when over the course of the day. Personally, every evening, I write down the lessons I normally have the day after and set myself work to do during each one of them. This also helps in terms of concentration; it is easy to lose concentration after an hour or so of doing work, therefore, if you study in 45 minute increments, you are more likely to get through each one of them having actually focused and worked to the best of your abilities. 


Use a Daily To-Do List

I guess this one goes hand in hand with the previous point. It’s always best to have an outline of the work you are going to do throughout the day. I am not saying you will follow it completely; I do not finish all of the work I set out for myself everyday; but it is the act of having that plan in front of you that spurs you into taking action. 

However, you should make sure to have that to-do list prepared the night before; if you spend time in the morning figuring out what you’ll do during the day can take away from actually doing those things. And, if you plan it in the morning, you’ll have planned your task list so recently that you can be tempted to change your schedule on the spot if you are not motivated to do the work.

As you work through the day, make sure to cross out every assignment you have completed, as it will increase your motivation to complete more!


Take clear breaks

For me, I find it hard to include clear breaks in my planning schedule, worrying that I will not have enough time to finish the work I have if I take breaks. So instead of planning my break times, I often find myself on YouTube watching short videos or scrolling through TikTok for what seems like a short period of time but turns into two hours of mindless scrolling. Rather than doing this, plan for clear break times. Just as you are doing with your work increments, give yourself a set begin and end time for your breaks. If you find yourself easily distracted that you will lose track of time, set yourself an alarm. 


Get dressed

Hanging out in your PJs might be comfortable, but it doesn’t put you in the mindset to study. It puts you in the mindset to relax and sleep. I know you might be rolling your eyes right now, but think about it- when you get out of your comfortable and warm PJs and wear some proper trousers and t-shirt, you will  automatically be less drowsy and more energised, even if you don’t notice. Getting dressed in some more “formal” clothes will help put you in the mindset to work and to be productive. I am not saying you should wear your school uniform or shirt and formal trousers, but even just getting out of your PJ’s will work. 

The key is to do what you need to do to help you feel mentally like you are going into school because that is what you are doing.


Choose a focussed desk for your workspace

The same concept as your clothes goes for your workspace. Yes, I agree that a giant bean bag or even just your bed are going to be comfortable, but it’s not going to be conducive to helping you work more. In order to be more productive, you need a more professional working space, which may just be a sturdy chair, a clean desk and any device that you may need like a computer, software, and other tools. Whatever you would have in a classroom you should also have in your workspace. I find it helpful to have a school timetable and a calendar in front of me, so I decided to hand these on my wall in front of my desk. Whatever you may need to organise yourself and concentrate, you should have in your workspace.

Studying from home is usually the best of both worlds for people as they can feel more relaxed while also getting the work done that they need to do. However, I find that if you aren’t careful, you can be much less productive working from home if you don’t put yourself in the right mindset. These tips might not help everyone, but they are small steps you can take towards a productive and efficient environment away from school.