Build and Keep a Schedule – Starting with the One You’re Already On:
In this transitionary period, “start out by sticking to the same schedule” you had when you were coming to Emory Law every day (Miller, 2020). This might seem impossible, especially if your daily schedule started with a coffee at Miss Jean’s! Fear not - there are a lot of ways to mimic your old schedule. Try starting with making your coffee at home, and making some time to drink and enjoy it before class. If you typically met up with friends after class to study, message or consider video messaging with your classmates through FaceTime, Zoom, GChat, Facebook, whatever works for you!
Most importantly: Set a schedule and stick to it. Keeping a schedule will help keep your mind in tip top learning shape!
We rely on a lot of natural breaks in our day to tell us when to stretch our legs. Class ends, and you might take a short walk or get a drink of water. When working from home, without this routine “everything can start to bleed together” (Miller, 2020). Make sure you’re scheduling time to recover during the day, including lunch breaks and time to get up from your work area to stretch and get water!
Set Space Aside
Though it may feel silly designating a spot in your own home as ‘school’, making a “sharp distinction between home and office” will help draw you away from distractions that will be all around you at home (Noguchi, 2020). This is especially relevant in keeping your routine. If you don’t binge Netflix while you’re working here at Emory Law, don’t do it at home! Barrett suggests going by this simple rule: “don’t do it at home when you’re working” (Barrett, 2020). Additionally, Khoury recommends not working in bed at all! Your bed and bedroom “should be places you associate with rest, not studying” (Khoury, 2018).
Not only will setting aside space as “law school” allow you to focus better, but also it will allow you to know when to stop working as well. If you work all over your personal space, it will be hard to ensure you’re destressing so you don’t burn out!
Dress for Success
Working from home! Comfy clothes time! Right? Maybe. To maintain your focus “try to get dressed and do it around the same time every day” (Lyons, 2020). In the same way you want to keep your daily routine intact, the way you dress will also keep your in the right headspace for getting things done. A sudden jump from a nice button-down to pajamas might decrease your motivation.
What do you normally wear to class? It might feel weird, putting on your shoes to go sit on your couch, or your set working space, but it will make working from home a lot easier!
Besides, after a long day of getting things done, changing into your PJs and bunny slippers will feel so rewarding!
Keep In Touch
Isolation is tough, even for introverts! The baseline human interaction you get going to class will certainly be missed, but it can be recreated. Try to reach out to others, “rather than waiting for someone to reach out” (Miller, 2020). Being social is part of being healthy, and being healthy will keep you thriving here at Emory Law!
Apps, extensions, and sites like Netflix Party, Rabbit, and Gaze make streaming with friends easy! You might also want to start a Discord server with some friends for easy, fun chat!
Barrett, Brian. (2020, March 03). How to Work From Home Without Losing Your Mind. Wired. https://www.wired.com/story/how-to-work-from-home-without-losing-your-mind/
Khoury, George. (2018, December 03). Should You Study or Work in Your Bedroom? FindLaw. https://blogs.findlaw.com/greedy_associates/2018/12/should-you-study-or-work-in-your-bedroom.html
Lyons, Kim. (2020, March 11). How to work from home. The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/11/21171349/remote-work-how-to-home-coronavirus-quarantine-productivity-tips
Miller, Jen. (2020, March 12). How to Work From Home, if You’ve Never Done It Before. New York Times. https://login.proxy.library.emory.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.proxy.library.emory.edu/docview/2376319854?accountid=10747
Noguchi, Yuki. (2020, March 15). 8 Tips To Make Working From Home Work For You. NPR. https://www.npr.org/2020/03/15/815549926/8-tips-to-make-working-from-home-work-for-you
Transitioning to a work from home routine can be tough! But the team here at MacMillan Law Library are here to try and help you transition into this new process. These tips are based on a range of sources from various news agencies, if you want to check them out for yourself.
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Or download these tips as a PDF below