So excited to be graduating from the Zoom School of Law this month!! All jokes aside, I am both extremely excited and disappointed about graduating law school at this time. Therefore, I thought it would be a perfect time to talk about my advice for law school and working online since I had both an externship and class this semester.
When the pandemic started, everything transitioned to remote access. I hate to admit it, but the transition was rough at first. I was seriously unmotivated and lazy. Before the pandemic, I thought it would be easy peasy. I was wrong. However, I fixed my ways and have felt extremely productive the last few weeks of the semester. Below are my top tips.
1. Treat working from home like you would a normal day, such as having a routine. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but it worked for me. Seriously. Just do it, okay? For me, I woke up around 8:00 AM everyday, got dressed, made coffee. All that nice stuff morning people do.
2. Work outside. I am fortunate enough to have a balcony where I live. Working outside gave me a space separate from my desk and fresh air at the same time. If you are unable to use a balcony consider moving your work space outside of your room. Separation of my room and work space, helped me be more productive and felt like I wasn’t just at home all day.
3. Take a lot of breaks. When I worked at school or at the office, I didn’t need to take that many breaks because I was able to work through large chunks of time without my brain getting mushy. For some reason in quarantine, my brain can’t handle working for more than a couple hours without a break. I make sure to give myself a brain break pretty often. A little time after an hour or so. When I was in between work and school, I make sure to take longer breaks to allow my brain to transition to the next task.
4. Take walks. I took daily walks before quarantine and it always helped with my productivity. I kept the practice while in quarantine and I really think everyone should have daily walks. I like to take my walks in the afternoon some time after lunch when I feel that my brain is getting cloudy.
5. Exercise. I have been working out 3-5 times a week during quarantine and I think that it has helped tremendously. My brain feels refreshed because it is also another break I take during the day, and I feel good because it is a healthy activity. Don’t be afraid to switch it up if you are feeling bored. For me, I weight lift 2-3 days a week, take online dance classes 1-2 times a week, and do intense stretch sessions once a week. I do this because I get bored pretty easily. There are so many free resources online right now that there is no excuse to be active at home.
6. Socialize virtually. I have been texting, calling, FaceTiming, and Zooming many of my friends during quarantine. More than I used to. When you are an extrovert like me, a lack of human connection can really mess up your “vibe”. I always feel better after spending some virtual time to talk, laugh, and smile with others.
7. Find something to do with all the extra time you have! As law students, we rarely have “leisure” time. Now is a great time to read that book you’ve been wanting to read (I started Becoming Michelle Obama because she is a queen), catch up on some shows (Tiger King), or start/get back into a hobby. It feels great to have a little extra time on my hands because it has been YEARS since I’ve felt like I had leisure time that I could spend selfishly.
8. Re-inspire yourself. I found that I was severely lacking motivation because I no longer felt inspired. What helped me was watching some YouTube law school vloggers, watching Legally Blonde, and taking some time to contemplate what I want from my future. This re-inspiration reset helped (bend and) snap me back to life. Do what truly inspires you, whatever it may be.
I took this chaotic and anxiety-inducing time to look inward and find how I can best spend my time. The above listed items are suggestions, and things that have worked well for me after taking some time to understand why my “vibe” felt off. I highly recommend spending some time to look inward and take advantage of the time we are all spending at home. Make a promise to yourself to make this quarantine a positive and productive experience. You won’t regret it!
If you have any additional quarantine suggestions, please share. I would love to hear them and add some things to my list. Stay safe and healthy everyone!
Featured Image Credit: I was unable to find the original source for the image. If you are or know the owner, please let me know so I can give them credit.