How many times have you been at work and thought ‘if I was in charge, I would do that differently’? Well, here is your chance to be self-sufficient, to be your own manager and to test your personal and time management skills. An interesting perspective in this situation is you are no longer surrounded by your peers, but that peer pressure has been replaced. It has been replaced by you. Whether you like it or not, you are a source of pressure for habits both good and bad. As you are your own manager, working from home provides you with an opportunity to repair some of the bad habits. Examples of negative peer pressure for students (and yourself) include procrastination, day drinking and generally wasting time. To help work on these habits, Florida Atlantic University provides a nice guide to identify and break bad habits.
Working from home efficiently requires self-discipline and self-discipline is a skill rather than a natural trait. As your own personal manager, you should be aware of deadlines (both school and work) to allow you to plan our day effectively and maintain momentum. This step requires the use of timetables, to-do lists or other tools to break up the day which allows you to manage expectations.
A problem with working from home is the lack of physical dislocation between work and home where you can mentally adjust between the two venues. Now your work is at home and when you finish work, chances are you will resume your normal after-work activities. For many this will be watching a movie, series, etc - that’s a lot of screen-time. For this reason, we advise you to be aware of the eye strain caused by working with computers and how your posture can result in injuries.
Movement is so important for your mental and physical health. We referenced this during our previous blog about making self-isolation your friend. Whether it be during a work call, making lunch or moving every hour or half an hour. You can use movement to chop up your day and allow you to mentally reset, allowing your eyes to adjust and your body to stretch to avoid strain and injuries caused by poor posture.
Humans are creatures of habit and routine. We at Student-Helpr hope this blog has made you think about your own habits and how to be your own manager. Our last tip is about enhancing your ability to develop self-discipline with outside elements. We recommend organising annual meetings in the form of conference calls with team members, your boss (if applicable) and those you have delegated tasks too. But just like Goldilocks and the three bears, you got to get that frequency just right. Too many meetings and you are spending more time in meetings rather than working which wastes time and too few meetings and the output can be delayed. This annual communication allows for everyone to recalibrate their program and maintain accountability for their part. If you are working solo, you can still practice holding yourself accountable when you plan your agenda by reflecting on what has worked previously and what did not.
We hope this blog has helped you come up with new ways to maintain focus and develop self-discipline. If you have any questions about working from home or doing an internship remotely, feel free to email Student-Helpr.