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Preventing Procrastination While Studying from Home

What I am doing to prevent procrastination during remote learning at the time of COVID is the following: creating a morning routine, establishing a workplace, and minimizing exposure to the news. First, I used to have a variety of habits with which I started my day; however, working remotely has changed all aspects of my life, including my morning routine. My previous morning routine included commuting to school, which used to be “buffer behavior” between home life and work responsibilities. Although losing this “buffer” made a difference in terms of the time in which I had my morning habits, I created a new morning routine full of joy and enthusiasm. According to Regina Borsellino (2020), taking small steps before attending classes, such as dressing in appropriate clothes and taking a shower, can change a person’s level of productivity throughout the whole day. In my current experience, I start my day at 7 am, which gives me two hours before class to have my coffee, read for 20 minutes, check on my family, and then dress for class. Having a morning routine helps me prepare for classes physically and mentally, which has greatly influenced my ability to be productive for the rest of the day.

Second, the power of the environment in which we attend classes and complete tasks is invincible. One of the efficient tips that Borsellino recommends is establishing a workplace to have a sense of separation between home and work and to create a signal that alerts the brain when the time of work begins or ends. Borsellino explains that going to work -physically-was a people’s way to draw a line between work hours and relaxation time, and by losing this privilege we need to draw another line. Personally, the workplace that I created in my living room is my new classroom; from the moment that I enter into my office corner, my brain shifts unconsciously. While being away from my workplace gives me the feel of “home sweet home” that I used to feel when I arrived home after a long day of work. Drawing the line between home life and work was a bit challenging for me in the first couple of months; however, having a designated workplace helped me a lot to be more organized. Finally, being in the middle of a global pandemic generated people’s need for checking news constantly, which caused tremendous distraction (Borsellino, 2020). Borsellino considers news as a massive distraction that prevent both workers and students from full concentration and causes stress and anxiety.

Although it is important to know what the news headlines are, the continued exposure to the news will cause severe stress (Borsellino, 2020). In order to control the distraction caused by news, Borsellino suggests two tips: setting a fixed time for news and disabling news apps notification on phones. Based on my experience, Borsellino’s advice worked perfectly for me. I used to check the news every hour, especially COVID-19 news, and that caused ongoing concern. Now, I listen only to a news brief in the morning; after that, I focus only on myself. By minimizing the amount of news, I have become more stable, which reflects on my performance. In short, my methods to be productive after shifting to virtual classes are forming morning habits, creating a workspace, and reducing the amount of news. Remote working is an enormous challenge, but if people overcome these obstacles, they will be more disciplined lifelong.

Author Razan Aljohani, a native of Medina, Saudi Arabia, obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication with a concentration in Journalism from Taibah University. In 2018, she started working as a teaching assistant in the Communication Department in her alma mater. By the end of 2019, she received a scholarship that covers studying English as a Second Language and obtaining a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication. In her free time, she likes to read on various topics, watch movies and talk shows, and meet new people from different backgrounds.