How to stay productive during COVID-19 outbreak

COVID-19 has run rampant all over the globe, confining people to their homes. With WKU amidst the universities in the middle of shut down, students are being told to leave campus, vacate their dorms and do the rest of their coursework online. This major change may not only have you down about missing out on friends and campus activities but also struggling to keep up with coursework. Who cares about Math 105 when the world is coming to a screeching halt? Adapting to an online course load may be difficult if your classes are discussion-based or require face-to-face interaction. Why would you worry about English 300 when you could easily just lie in bed all day and sleep? Well, we’ve got your back. Here’s some tips on how to sit down and get to work, even if it is from home. 

Don’t work in bed! 

Don’t worry. This doesn’t mean you have to get dressed. Simply get up and move to a different area of your house. Try to make your bed a place of relaxation. Even if you live in a confined and small space, you can still dedicate one area of your home to work. In any other non-home-confining scenario, you would have the option of going to the library or a coffee shop to do your work. With those options gone, it can be harder to stay focused and productive. Finding a clear, flat area where you can sit down and designate your working space can not only increase your productivity but also decrease stress. This will let your bed be a place to eat chips, watch Netflix and sleep, its rightful purpose. 

Make sure you’re moving

I’m not asking you to run five miles a day — but if you want to, be my guest. Just try to at least stretch and move around. We are all much more sedentary now. Even actions like walking up the Hill (a preferred form of Topper exercise) is eliminated if you moved back home. Taking time out of your day to move will make you feel better and more focused. If you spend time on yourself, then you will be able to also spend more time on the things that matter. 


Make a schedule and stick to it! 

As classes move online, a lot of students are losing the structure of a class schedule. Staying on top of your classes can be a lot harder when there isn’t any apparent time constraint and no class to attend. Try to wake up at the same times you would be anyway, if classes were still in person. Use the time that you would be in class to do online coursework. Schedule movement time into your day, make lists of what needs to be done and give yourself a bed time. The best thing you can do to support your immune system, your mental health and your motivation is to sleep at least seven to nine hours every night. Get the rest you need. 

Turn off your phone

Obviously, phones are a major distraction to getting your work done. Any college student knows that. However, it can become difficult to know when to turn it off with little to no structure. Not only that, but who wouldn’t be tempted to check the news every five minutes to see the current state of affairs? We can hardly blame you. Shutting your phone off during designated class times will help you stay on top of the work you don’t want to do. This will make you more productive and give you time to decompress from social media. 

(Try to) eat better 

This one is trickier. Access to good, substantial food is limited anyway, but those who are at high risk of getting the new coronavirus may not be able to get out and get nutrient-dense foods for themselves. Always protect yourself first and use what you can. Eating better will make you feel better and ultimately lead to better productivity. If you want to eat “out” and save the food in your pantry, try ordering from local restaurants and ordering foods that have a wide range of nutrients. Try to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet if at all possible. If all else fails, make sure that you are feeding yourself. You can’t focus and stay on top of your work if your body isn’t properly nourished. Scheduling applies here, too. Make sure you have a break in the middle of your day to eat lunch and take time to take care of yourself. 

This is a stressful time, and it may seem like the sky is falling. All any of us can do is be kind to one another and be compassionate, not only with each other but ourselves. Focus on what needs to be done and keep taking it one day at a time. Give yourself the space to be productive, and don’t get discouraged. Take this time to be the most productive and happy version of yourself you can be, and we will all weather this storm together.