Getting Into a Routine
Getting into a Routine
Working from home can be a challenge, as we recognise home as the place to relax, not work. Here are a few tips which should help to organise and motivate you:
Establish a Working Area
Find a clear place to work with limited or no distractions. If you find you are having to share a space, negotiate a timetable determining a time slot for each person.
Use an Object of Reference
To differentiate between time to relax and time to work, place a physical object relating to college on your workstation. For example, your college lanyard or your pencil case, anything makes a link with college will do. This presents a mental image and helps to give you the message that it is time to work.
Determine a Routine in the Week
This is another way in which to distinguish between relaxation and work time. Getting up, dressed and ready for the college day at the same time each morning will establish a routine for you. Save your lie-ins for the weekend!
Use your college timetable as if you were in college. Stick to your lesson times to either complete your work or attend your live lessons on Teams. Accessing Teams even when lessons are not live is always a good way to connect with classmates, through the chat.
* ‘Taking Charge of Your Learning – organisation and Time management’.
In our busy lives today we can often find it difficult to wind down. Taking time to rest and recharge our energy store is important. This can take many forms, but setting aside time for yourself each day is key to a healthy mind and body.
Create a to do List
If your mind is racing with everything you have to do, then write it down! Often we cannot switch off because of the demands of modern life, writing a to-do list with all you want to complete will help you to relax.
Exercise can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Try any of these to feel good: yoga, walking, running, cycling, football, tennis, or even a gym session/class. All forms of exercise are good for calming the mind, releasing positive endorphins and improving wellbeing.
A good book can help you to switch off and drift into another world. Allowing yourself time to sit and read can help to reduce stress, aid sleep, alleviate poor mental health and improve memory. If reading isn’t for you then listening to a story can be just as fulfilling. There are lots of audio apps on-line including free ones too.
This is one of the most important things you can do when winding down. Staying hydrated, eating a balanced healthy diet, reducing your sugar and caffeine will all help to make you feel healthier and energised.
Being creative is a super way to really switch off and calm the mind. Drawing, colouring, painting, knitting, dance, drama, photography, creative writing, and sewing are all ways in which we can express ourselves.
Emptying your thoughts onto a page can be a form of meditation and mindfulness, studies have found it can lead to better sleep, enhanced mood and memory, an improved immune system and greater self-confidence.
Stepping Away from Technology
Switching off social media, emails, texts just for a short time can help with both mental wellbeing and calming the mind. The solitude provides the stillness and quiet to evaluate and reflect. Instead of consuming, take in what is around you. Instead of looking at a screen have a face to face conversation, listen, laugh, talk and have fun! All these things will help to build a stable mind and body.
Step Away from the Computer
Having a timetable at home as you would at college can help to keep a work/life balance. Set out how many hours you are going to work, keep it within normal boundaries and step away from your computer when the timetable says. Use timers or a family member to ensure you take a break.
Remember: winding down each day has an array of benefits, try and follow some of these suggestions each day and you’ll soon feel healthier and happier.
Working with Others
This new world in which we are living has encouraged us to find innovative and novel ways of staying in contact with others. We are discovering different ways of working together, such as; online study groups - joining chats and forums with other students studying the same subjects as you.
MS Teams and Zoom
Both have become the new ‘normal’ way to keep in touch. At Winstanley the use of Teams has blossomed throughout the college, it has become the ‘go to’ place to experience your live lessons and group chats. The use of this platform has become essential in staying connected with your teachers and peers. Alongside your lessons, you can use this facility to ask your teachers questions and discuss your lessons with your peers, to ensure you have a clear understanding of the topics you are learning.
If you wanted to switch off from your learning, our Enrichment Officer, Ben Rutherford, hosts the ‘Winnie Pub Quiz’ every Thursday at 1pm. Look out for his emails with the codes to join the quiz.
Zoom has arisen as a place for either a group video chat or a party with friends, organise a time to be online at the same time as your friends and release your stresses with fancy dress parties and quizzes!
Social media can also be a positive way to stay connected to your friends, don’t forget to drop them a message to let them know you are thinking about them.
Reading to Learn
‘I find myself spending lots of time rereading notes, but not sure if I’m actually learning anything!’
Reading to Learn is an Important Skill.
Try to condense your notes so you are not as overwhelmed when you come to read/learn them.
Your notes can take many formats:- (Find what works for You & Your memory).
- Condensed notes
- Mind maps
- Cue cards
- Highlight/underline key points or words.
Once you are happy with the format of your notes, the learning can commence!
You could try:-
- Read, Recall and review, by setting yourself questions to answer once you have read your notes.
- Focused reading - read the section of notes you need to learn, carefully.
- write down the key points that you remember.
- go back and read the section of notes again, noting down anything that you missed out
- now re-read the section and repeat the steps above.
* ‘Memory and Learning’, ‘Proof-read’ & ‘How helpful are your notes?’
It is still possible to access support for Study Skills. You can do this through self-referral, by emailing:
Alternatively, you can discuss this with your PT, who can also refer you for support in this area.
What Happens Next?
Following your PT/self-referral, you will be contacted via email by our Referrals Assistant, who will assign a mentor to you.
The next step in this process will be the assigned mentor contacting you (via email) to discuss your Study Skill needs in more detail, before working with you to develop a plan in going forward.