By Shivani Saravanan, Creative Coordinator, Spring 2021
For me, one of the most difficult things about working from home is that it can be challenging to separate work time from relaxation time. When the lines between productivity and leisure start to blur, it’s hard to do either thing effectively.
This feeling occurs the most during the short 15-45 minute breaks I have between Zoom meetings. In that time that I spent walking between classes, or studying in the library on campus, I’m instead just sitting in my bedroom. It’s too short to dive into my more important tasks, yet too long to wait out. I have dedicated the past few months to finding activities that fit in this short space of time, and still maintain my productive flow. Here are my three favorites.
Do Some LinkedIn Maintenance If there’s one social media site that you shouldn’t feel guilty visiting between Zoom classes, it’s LinkedIn. LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for job hunting, networking and career guidance, but only if you maintain your presence. Take some time during 10-minute breaks to make an insightful post, or comment something positive on a connection’s post. It will make an impression on people you know now, and those you haven’t met yet. Organize Your Thoughts with Some Journaling
Now more than ever, when a lot of us are more socially isolated than we’ve ever been, it’s important to take some time to foster a healthy relationship with yourself. One of the best ways to do this is by keeping a daily journal. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, just open up a notebook and write about your day, thoughts, or whatever feels right. Doing this regularly can evoke mindfulness, help organize thoughts and even improve communication skills. Flex Your Language Learning Muscles Just about everybody has a language that they’ve always wanted to learn, but of course, not everybody takes the steps to learn it. Learning a new language is a huge commitment, but it doesn’t have to be so difficult. Apps like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone offer 10-minute lessons that you can squeeze in whenever you have time. Knowing a second or third language can come in handy in your professional life, and it’s also a great way to exercise your memory and problem-solving skills. End your break knowing that you have made even just a little bit of progress on an indispensable lifelong skill.
Working from home may provide you with freedom, but with that freedom comes accountability. At the end of the day, you are responsible for your own growth and productivity. The short 15-minute breaks you take will eventually add up to hours, days and weeks. So the next time you have a bit of free time, ask yourself: how do I really want to spend this time?