Skip to main content
Nikolina

Nikolina Lalic

SFU Co-op Student
Beedie School of Business › Human Resource Management

empty
two people talking over zoom with masks on
Ultimately, working from home has been a major shift for many people, and everyone has different ways of managing work and staying productive. It is important to figure out what works for you and form habits that will help you stay motivated.

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the workplace; working from home is now being coined as “the new normal”, with remote work taking over office life as we know it. In the midst of this cultural shift, productivity can become a challenge.

So, how can co-op students stay motivated while working remotely? Here are five tips for finding productivity during a global pandemic

1. Dedicate a Workspace and Draw Boundaries

Working from home tends to blur the boundaries between work and personal life. This is especially apparent for students who live at home with parents, siblings and even pets who roam around the house. Dedicating a space for work and communicating boundaries to others you share a living space with can help get you in to the “at work” headspace. A “do not disturb” sign gets the job done as well.

Nikolina's workspace

2. Set a Daily Routine

Although a global pandemic is beyond our control, we can still decide our daily routines. Routines help manage stress levels and lend some normalcy to the challenges of working from home during a health crisis. In the morning, try to avoid waking up at the very last minute. Take a shower, exercise, eat breakfast, meditate or do some chores before starting your workday. I find that getting dressed as I normally would and making myself a cup of coffee before going online increases my motivation throughout the day. 

3. Write a To-Do List

A to-do list: that seems simple enough, right? Although many of us have a working mental list of things that need to get done, breaking down and writing out your goals for the day can help you organize and tackle your workday. Once you identify the tasks you need to complete, prioritize the most important work that needs to get done. If you find yourself having a slower start to your morning, crossing off a couple of quick tasks can increase your motivation and help you get into the flow of the day.

4. Eliminate Distractions 

Students know all too well how easy it is to get distracted while studying at home. To eliminate distractions, close the door to the room you are working in and put your phone on silent and away from sight. Keeping hydrated can reduce food cravings and snacking throughout the day.  Also, putting in earphones and listening to music can help drown out distracting conversations and noises. 

nikolina's workspace

5. Remember to Take Breaks

One of the most important strategies to remaining productive is taking regular breaks. Working for long periods without taking adequate breaks can lead to stress and exhaustion, which will make it more difficult to remain productive throughout your workday. Taking regular breaks will help you set several deadlines to work towards and motivate you to complete your tasks more quickly. Taking a 10-minute break every hour or so is usually sufficient for me.

Ultimately, working from home has been a major shift for many people, and everyone has different ways of managing work and staying productive. It is important to figure out what works for you and form habits that will help you stay motivated. I hope these tips help!

About the Author

Nikolina

Nikolina Lalic

SFU Co-op Student
Beedie School of Business › Human Resource Management
Nikolina Lalic is a fourth-year business major concentrating in Human Resource Management with a legal studies minor. Nikolina spent one year working in government for the Employment Standards Branch, Ministry of Labour.

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Seeking, Work Term Extension

author, courtney, smiling
A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

Having completed my first work term for Health Canada as a Communications Officer Intern, I was eager to try something new, and the government was not where I believed that was going to happen. That is until I was offered a position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada...

picture of glichelle pondering a though
Surviving Workplace Politics

Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

 

person with their head in a book
Responsibility and Success

One of the most memorable parts of my time in co-op was the collection of accidents, errors, mistakes, and mix-ups that happened in the course of working in the laboratory.

 

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

Paull standing beside the Google headquarters sign
My Long Journey Through Computing Science

Paul takes us on his journey as a Software Systems student and how a field trip helped to inspire him to greater heights eventually, helping him to land his dream job. His journey highlights the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity given to us as students.

(Left) Yassemi's profile. (Right) Title of the blog with three circles underneath it.
An Experience Learning with Kids with Special Needs

Saba did her very first co-op work term at the Mediated Learning Academy. In this post, she shares her experiences working with children between the ages of 6 to 9 with special needs and the things she learned with them along the way.

Person typing on Macbook keyboard
Finding Light at the End of the Co-op Tunnel: Failures and Expectations in the 2020 Pandemic

Finding a co-op placement can be quite stressful, but if you stick with it you might just find your dream position. Read John’s article on persevering through a difficult job search and making the most of a co-op placement.