We started work from home and virtual school this spring. Now it’s Fall and we are continuing to cocoon at home. While we were surprised by these changes, now we can be certain that these work stations are a necessity for awhile longer. Here are some tips for improving your productivity and surviving all the togetherness.
Design your ideal space
Start with the end in mind. This applies to designing your spaces to work for you and your students. Look at what has worked well and assess obstacles. See where your home has potential to add work space for the short and long term. Use your design skills to approach this with a fresh perspective. Assess your furniture and learn what you can repurpose. Are there opportunities to change up your furniture needs inexpensively? Cute counts when it comes to organizing.
Organize your work and school spaces
- Stuff has built up in our spaces since we began our work from home. Declutter and edit what you have experienced to be weighing you down.
- Everyone needs a designated work space, including you and your students. With cooler weather outside, this can be a chair and table in your backyard (as long as your wifi connects where.) Separate spaces are great for everyone to work without distractions.
- Set up easy access storage for materials and resources. Carts move to where you and your students are located. Each person needs their own storage area for school supplies and related materials. Use an accordion file or file box for papers you are printing for your students. Label the sections with the names of each subject. Your student can file these papers each day to keep organized.
- Zoom and video meetings continue to be requirement of work and school life right now. Getting the right set up and lighting, as well as background enhance your meeting. As you are establishing everyone’s work space, think about what others are seeing and eliminate background clutter.
Update your technology
Get your tech set. Technology happens! Nothing is more frustrating than inadequate internet speed or coverage. Update and increase your internet speed by adding both range extenders and a mesh network system to provide coverage throughout your home.
Technology happens in a not good way too. It’s very important to set boundaries on technology. Have a common charging spot for all devices and computers overnight. You will be completely charged both on your devices and physically from an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
Use technology smartly. Have a great set of headphone or air pods for everyone in your family. Label them with each person’s name so when these get lost, these are easily returned to their owner.
Set up routines supporting organization
The best systems require good routines. An organized work space is best supported with an end of work routine. Model how to finish up your work day and your student’s school day with a closing routine. Reset all books and supplies to their places, tidy up your area with trash and push in your chair at your space. Host a discussion on what your end of work routine includes so that everyone knows the value.
Setting up a great work space takes a little time, energy and creativity. Your newly updated space will help you be more organized, in control and less anxious.