2020 has been a challenging year. Covid-19 disruptions has forced us to re-evaluate our relationship with work. Namely, how to work from home more effectively.
Here at NZIE, we have shifted to studying online.
This has been a challenge, that has also provided me with an opportunity. I no longer have to sit in traffic commuting, providing me more time to engage in productive activities. On the other hand, I am also presented with many more distractions at home. This balancing act can be a challenge, so I have created a post to help you embrace the prospect of studying from home. Hopefully my insights can offer some useful guidelines.
Routine: Stick to one!
Everyone knows routines are essential, however common knowledge does not make common practice. It is of vital importance to organise oneself in a manner that allows for efficient operation. At home, the temptation to neglect duties is bountiful, especially without structure to hold you accountable. Routine, thus, establishes and maintains a relationship of accountability to your studies.
Approach your studies with the same professionalism akin to a job. One effective method is goal setting. At night, set achievable goals and objectives, that you complete the following day. To reflect on a move from David Goggin’s playbook, review your goals in front of a mirror each night. Find ways to keep yourself accountable, whether this be through a simple checklist or an accountability mirror, find a method that best works for you.
If the accountability mirror piques your interest, look it up! Or if your lazy, follow this link https://firstname.lastname@example.org/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-accountability-mirror-and-how-to-use-it-97365686fee5
Do some exercise. I’ve found that running in the morning clears my head and gives me greater clarity and focus throughout the day. My morning coffee is no longer a necessity, hello savings! To justify my musings, I’ve conducted research to further incentivise exercise as an essential part of any daily routine.
There is a powerful connection between movement and brain health. Running is a physiological trigger that connects to the reward centre of the brain. Your brain recognises its importance and releases dopamine and serotonin in response, this increases your capacity to focus, reduces stress, anxiety and boosts your overall mood. According to the California department of Education, students with higher fitness scores, on average, scored higher test results. The importance of exercise, in relation to learning outcomes, is recognised by South Korea, who have increased school days by one hour to implement exercise as part of students’ daily routine.
To learn more, please view this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsVzKCk066g
I also encourage you to do your own research. If exercise was a drug, it would be the most valuable one ever developed.
Take pride in what you eat. Fuelling the body correctly is of utmost importance. You wouldn’t put 91 in a BMW motorsport, you’d put 98 in to give your engine the platform to perform. The same concept applies to food.
Recently, I’ve challenged myself to increase my green vegetable intake, and consume more fruits. My daily routine is this, water first thing to get hydrated, a smoothie for fibre and sugar before I consume a meal. Accordingly, water and sugar are important to increase your body’s ability to effectively process and retain nutrients consumed throughout the day.
Heres a quick cheat video for all you wishing to improve your performance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCa6ULGHsa8. It highlights the 10 best foods to boost brainpower and memory.
Besides, cooking food is both fun and highly rewarding. Channel your inner Gordan Ramsey and cook a meal that would make your Grandma proud.
The famous super smoothie!! aka Pearl Silk Road (Created with aid from a knowledgeable Korean).
Simply add blueberries (wild), banana, feijoa and coconut water – get those electrolytes in. If you want to be extra special, include spirulina and Barley grass powder. Avoid milk if you can, adding an additional protein source inhibits the full nutrient intake.
This one is definitely my personal favourite, and is based off my research into Wim Hoff and his methods; training and conditioning your flight or fight response, with cold immersion. Emerging after a cold shower, I feel reinvigorated with a renewed sense of clarity. Its like an adrenaline shot that allows me to engage my studies with purpose.
Cold showers is one method, alternatively go for a morning swim if that takes your fancy. Any sort of cold immersion works well.
Stay connected with class peers
One challenge of studying online, is that it can feel like a solitary venture. I’ve found that staying connected with classmates, through Zoom and WhatsApp has been super important. Checking in with classmates and collaborating on ideas, has helped clarify and develop my understandings.
Humans are tribal creatures. Connecting with peers has made our class feel like a community, keeping me accountable and motivated to perform. Its also always comforting to know; others are going through the same struggles too! You are not alone.
I understand that a lot of this advice is common knowledge, however, it is sometimes beneficial to receive a gentle reminder. If you’re contemplating studying online, or Covid-19 rears its ugly head once again, get stuck into your work at home and come up with your own methods to perform.
P.S. Here’s a photo of the man behind the smoothie, who is also studying Digital Marketing from home.
Author Tamarua Payne, NZIE Digital Marketing Student