A student uses a computer in the Clark Family Library as seen October 21, 2019 during the Creosote Affects photo shoot at Washington & Jefferson College.

How to maintain a work-life balance during online learning 

Created: March 27, 2020  |  Last Updated: May 12, 2020  |  Category:   |  Tagged: ,

We know your classroom looks a whole lot different when it’s on your computer screen, and it can be tricky to make the adjustment to online learning when you’re used to seeing your classmates and professor in person. Setting a healthy boundary between study time and down time can help improve your focus and mental health during this time. To help you strike that balance, we’ve compiled a list of Dos and Don’ts that will turn you into an online learning pro.  

DO: Set up a space designated for work and class time.  

DON’T: Attend class in your bed.  

We know it’s tempting to stay cozy while you learn, but staying in bed while doing work can harm your sleep cycle. It takes a place that is supposed to be for rest and relaxation and introduces more complex thoughts that are better left for the classroom because they might distract your brain while it’s trying to sleep. Designating a separate space to work will help you keep that boundary, so the bed stays a place of rest.  

DO: Wake up early enough to give yourself some time before you have to be in your class.  

DON’T: Wait until five minutes before class to wake up and grab your laptop.  

You need time to mentally prepare yourself for your day. If you’re groggy when you log in, you might not be ready to receive new information and you could miss critical elements of your class. You might also feel rushed or disorganized, which could lead to anxiety. Allowing yourself time to shift into a learning mindset will make it easier to engage with your class and will help strengthen the boundary between work and life.  

DO: Get dressed—and put on shoes! 

DON’T: Stay in your pajamas.  

You probably aren’t going to class in your pjs, and even more likely you’re not going barefoot. Get yourself in the mindset that you’d have in a face-to-face class by preparing the same way. Put on clothes you’d normally wear to class. Maintain your morning routine—if you eat breakfast before class, continue to do so! Keeping that sense of normalcy will make the shift in learning style easier on you.  

DO: Ask for help or resources if you need them! 

DON’T: Keep quiet if something isn’t working for you.  

No matter how you’re learning, your W&J education is for YOU. If something is off, let us know! Your professor wants to make sure you’re getting the full benefit of their course and wants to hear from you if there’s anything they can do to help you learn better (and that goes for any time—face-to-face lectures included). Our staff and administrators feel the same, so don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns.  

Have suggestions that didn’t make our list? Let us know by tweeting us @wjcollege