Increase Your Ability To Work From Home | Stay Focused & Effective at Home | Amy Norton | Skillshare

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Increase Your Ability To Work From Home | Stay Focused & Effective at Home

teacher avatar Amy Norton, Freelance Writer & Productivity Whiz

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Intro: Being Effective Working From Home

    • 2. Before You Start Your Online Class Or Job

    • 3. Motivate Yourself

    • 4. Planning During Your Semester/Job

    • 5. Tips For Staying Disciplined

    • 6. The Pomodoro Technique

    • 7. PEM - Preparedness, Effectiveness, and Motivation

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About This Class

This class is for you if you've ever struggled to stay focused or productive while studying or working from home. This class will give you my tips and tricks from being a successful online college student for over 3 years. This is what keeps me focused on my schooling and studying while dealing with all the distractions that the home or library can bring. We will also cover some of my best tips for eliminating distraction and working more effectively not harder! All of these tips will give you more student tools and tips for successfully working from home. 


My Youtube Channel: MissAmyxo

My Instagram: MissAmyXoo

My Email: [email protected]

My Cute Boston Terrier's Instagram: Nickel.Pickle.The.Boston

Meet Your Teacher

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Amy Norton

Freelance Writer & Productivity Whiz


Hello there! I'm Amy and I'm so glad you've stumbled on this page. I am really excited to be sharing videos here on Skillshare and Youtube. I am very passionate about being as productive and creative as I can be. On Skillshare, I am sharing videos about different productivity techniques that I have studied and had success with as well as writing, freelance, and entrepreneurial tips that have helped me as I build my writing business. I love to use my time to the very best of my ability and I love trying new practices to stretch my time out. When I find things that work I am so excited to share them with you, so I hope you will check out my classes and let me know what you think!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and have a fantastic day! 

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1. Intro: Being Effective Working From Home: Hello and welcome to my sculpture class. Today's video is going to be my tips, tricks and how choose for being a successful online student online employees, anything where you have a flexible schedule, work or study from home, that sort of thing. I personally have about 2.5 to 3 years of online schooling experience. I recently graduated with my bachelor's from that, and I get asked quite frequently. How do you have the discipline for it? How do you plan this? How do you do this? So these are my tips and tricks for how to be motivated, how to stay on top of things and for our project. Would you have a checklist down below, which you can use death later in the middle of semester, but have a recommend using the checklist before your semester, because it will help you to be more focused on to make sure you have everything all set up to the best of your ability. So if that is interesting to you on how to be a successful online student, online employees, please keep watching 2. Before You Start Your Online Class Or Job: awesome. I'm so glad you joined me for this part of the class. This first section is going to be about your prepping before you start. You can't, Of course, do these during the semester. But if you can, I would ideally recommend checking out the checklist at below. Go ahead and print that out. You might put a few out if you're taking several classes, but let's go ahead and go over the basics of what I recommend to get started before you start your online classes. First of all, print out your class syllabus. Usually those are available before you start the class or they're available in the first week so you can get that started. Print out that class syllabus and go ahead and write out all of your possible due dates like either. Sometimes they have, like a table where they have all the due dates. You can put that in your bulletin board, keep it in a folder, that sort of thing. But I do recommend using some type of planner. I personally love my happy planner. There will be a section more in depth about how you use this later on, but go ahead and take all the duties. Make sure that you have those written out or printed out written in your planner, written in your online calendar, that when you have those all you don't have to worry about writing out do days each week, they're just already there. I do recommend I personally found this to be useful the last year of college. What I did was I would take the duties, and I would write that it was due a day before it was actually do in my planner. That way, if I got sick, if I got behind, I would have a little bit more of a cushion. And that really helped. If you are new to this school or this website, I highly recommend checking out blackboard or the website they're using for the only class before you start that way, if you have any questions, you can email your instructor ahead of time. Go ahead and read that class syllable. A lot of my classes. How'd you take like a short quiz to make sure you read it anyways. But go ahead and read that there's any assignments related to Silva's. Take those right away and email your professor. If you have any questions ahead of time, that way you don't put it off and you're not stuck in the class wondering about that midterm that you didn't really understand your syllabus. Another, they recommend, is to purchase books and materials on time. I know sometimes it can be tough on instructors. Don't use the textbook as much as they say. So it seems like it's not like worth it. But most of the time I needed the books that were on that syllabus for sure, and a lot of times you would need them right away within the first week of class. So definitely purchased books, materials, programs if you need a new notebook. If you need a planner, any of that stuff, purchase it before you start. If you can, that will really help you out. Take that stress off of you for me, writing at all my due dates in my planner calmed me down. I felt more secure about the class I knew kind of what to expect, so I find that to be very helpful. Another really important thing is you need to select an area to study now. Of course, everyone has different circumstances. You might have to study after work. You might have kids you have to watch while you're at home doing this. Of course, everyone, circumstances are different. You might have a roommate. You might be a noisy dorm, that sort of thing. But to the best of your ability selected area where you can study so some people. Maybe that's the library, but for most of us, it's probably from home or a dorm. So go ahead and make sure that your desk is cleared off. Take off any old material. So if you have your syllabus from your last class, you could go ahead and just get rid of that. Clean out your folders, clean out your planner, ending any of that. Get rid of paperwork. You get rid of your put your textbooks away that you're not using. Make sure your desk is clear that when you look at it, you feel calmer. You don't feel like Oh my goodness, it's a mess. It's distracting, trying to get rid of any instructions you can if you need to pick up headphones so that you can have a little more quiet when you're studying or you can listen to music while you're sitting. I do recommend it could be very easy to want to study from bed. I recommend if you can help it to not study from bed because it's so easy to fall asleep or , you know, or to start texting like as many distractions you can eliminate. I highly suggest, even if you just have a little corner in a bedroom with a beanbag and your textbooks, that's fine. But just try to eliminate as many distractions clutter all that. If you can eliminate that, go ahead and do that. It's gonna make you feel so much more calm and in control of what you're doing. You'll feel much more prepared, which is really important for online classes, especially because you're not going to be going to class, and the first day of the teacher will be sitting there for an hour, telling you all this stuff. You have to read it. You need to make time for it. Another thing that is very crucial, I think, for schooling in general, but especially online schooling is you need to make sure you're checking your email every day. That is super important. I highly recommend. If you're not used to check, you invalidate. Put a post it on your computer. I've done that before, setting alarm or reminder on your phone so you will get in the habit of checking your email every day because it is really important. You might get updates on your test, your classes, all of that. It is very important, especially if you're the only student. And, lastly, to the best of your ability, make sure that you have a good source for your WiFi, the best computer that you can pop personally use. Whether that's a library computer, just make sure that you do have somewhere you can go. Ah, lot of online tests. If your WiFi fails, it could be hard to get back into the test you might lose. Points us you want. Make sure you have somewhere you can go or or you have it home like a good source of WiFi, because that's gonna be really important. Especially you're taking tests and stuff is. Sometimes My teachers would not let you go back into the test if your wife I feel so. Of course, that depends on your situation, but the best of your ability to try to make sure you're good WiFi and a decent computer that you can use 3. Motivate Yourself: the next part of this class. This is gonna be a quick overview of the benefits of online schooling. Because sometimes I think if you focus on the good things, like instead of focusing on oh, I need more discipline or this is gonna be harder. This focus on some of the positives on the checklist that is downloadable down, down in the description. There is a place for you to put your goals for this online class. So if you have a certain grade you want to match if you are taking this class to further your career if you're changing careers if you're working towards a degree, put those reasons on their make them happy. So and remember some of the benefits of almond schooling. You have a flexible study time. So for me, I worked retail, and I had a very flexible work schedule because of that. So I made a hard to take classes, but because I took online classes, I was able to pick up more hours at work because I was more open while still getting my degree done. So I was able to pay off more of my degree during while I was taking it because I was able to work more hours with my flexibility. So that's something I always reminded myself was. Sometimes it's hard to do online classes, but I have a flexible work schedule and maybe you don't work. But maybe that is good because you watched Children or you have other obligations. Also, remind yourself that you're probably saving time and driving parking. Working from home could be more convenient because you could just wake up and go. You don't necessarily have to get dressed if you want, so it's just it's nice you have the flexibility that you're saving time, money on travel, all that sort of thing. Also for me. I found it benefited me taking online classes because it translated to me having more self discipline as a whole, which has helped me in my building, my YouTube channel and working from home currently. So I have more discipline because I've taken online classes, so maybe it's hard at first. It definitely can be, but just remind yourself that you're gonna have more self discipline, which is going to help you so much in life. Whether you work from home, have your own business, even If you work for someone else and you work and you have to go to work, it's still gonna help you to have that discipline. It's gonna help with anything else in your life, Really? So I always remind myself that I'm building more self discipline from this. And then another thing I checked out was that oftentimes, if you're taking a purely online degree, that can be more cost effective. So again, something to consider. I also took online community college classes to supplement and transfer those credits and set up taking them from my university. So it saved me a lot of money. So definitely pronounce that checklist down below and go ahead and filling those reasons as to why you are doing this. What your goals are that Would you have these positive things to focus on this Well, versus just the fact that you know it's a little bit more difficult because you have to schedule. The only cost is yourself. So remind yourself of your goals in your reasons for taking this class, whether it's personal growth to finishing an online degree, having that work flexibility, having flexibility, watch your Children any of that stuff remind yourself and write those reasons down as to why you're doing this and that way, when the going gets a little tougher in the middle of the semester and everything's crazier , you'll have those reasons to be like Okay, it's tough right now, but this is why I'm doing it and I'm excited for these goals. 4. Planning During Your Semester/Job: Okay, so next part classes the planner set up. I am a planner lover, and I know there's a lot of people probably groaning at that. I know some people are like, Why you don't necessarily have to have a physical planner like I do. I personally used the happy planner. This is the medium sized one, and I love it. It is It's really amazing. So it has your overview, your your month calendar on their which I love. But then you have a weekly lay out. Mine is personally the horizontal layout. I find that most effective. So what? I'm in class. I will have all my due dates already written out on the whole semester. As far as I can go, I find it to be very helpful to have a physical planner. That is just my preference. I know other people who use just a normal calendar. Just they just use the monthly overview for the classes. Maybe they don't have. They don't need to write down introduce for every day. They could just write it on a monthly overview. That's fantastic. I know someone who has a whiteboard in their room, and it's not having a plan or a calendar. They write at all the due dates on there, and they check them off as they go. So kind of like a giant to do list on their wall. So they have all that space and they can erase things. It's very easy for them. I know a lot of people also use calendars on their phones or computers. So whatever it is, find a system. You need something with those due date, so you're not gonna forget about them. Like we said in the before, You start section, go ahead and write out. Dude, it's early, if you can if you if you are someone who thrives with routine. And I think a lot of us do, especially if you're new to online schooling. I would recommend trying to pick specific days of the week where you can study now. Of course, this is dependent on your schedule. Like I said with me, I have retail work, so I would work different days, different hours every week. So what I would do is I chose to every Sunday, go ahead and fill up my week. Um and I would write at all my shifts And then I would pick a good day to really go ahead and buckle down and do different class works. So that really works for me. Eso if you can, I would consider a specific day or time of day. Two studies. You get into a habit if you can. If not, I recommend scheduling it. Write it down somewhere or put it into your online calendar that would you have it a commitment to study during that time. So just in summary with this, whether you have a digital planner, a physical planner, a whiteboard, a calendar, just have something where your due dates are written out, you can see them. I recommend writing those due dates and having like work shifts and other obligations written on that same day. So you could really look at it and think about how much time you're going to need. Always give yourself a little bit of extra time if you can. That's why I do recommend running out your due dates a day early and your planner and calendars. That gives you an extra cushion because unfortunately, things do happen. You know, we get sick, your kids might get sick. Your work. There won't be a bunch of sick employees, and you need to work extra hours to cover for them. There's always gonna be things that come up so the earlier you can plan and work on things the better. I do recommend, too, if it's a class that you really need to study for quite a bit like a few of exams. If you're in calculus, I definitely had to set a lot for that. Go ahead and schedule in your assignments, but also write down times to study just dedicated times. Simon Skeleton. And then you got in your good and then you're going urine sediment in your Simon that, like it is in your hands. Get go in them and then you get a good in demand in your good hands, in your in your gold and your gold and your is in your thing 5. Tips For Staying Disciplined: All right, So this section is going to be all about discipline tips these airways to help you avoid distraction and to develop more self discipline. So, first of all, when you are sitting down to study or do your homework, grab water, gravel, small snack. Grab everything you need your textbook, your study notes to grab everything you need. That way, you're not getting up constantly to grab more stuff and then getting distracted in the kitchen because your dog is doing something cute. You know, just have everything grabbed, so you're ready to go other things before you start. Turn your phone on silence. If you can't close your door close out of all other tabs on your computer that are not relevant to your schoolwork, so close Facebook. If you have Teoh, I recommend using a block site application. There is literally one called Block said, but there's a bunch of different applications you can install on your computer or your tablet or whatever you're using digitally that will block certain websites. So if you have a bad habit of starting to do homework and then having to check Facebook or having to do this or go on YouTube and you get stuck watching a bunch of videos use the block site. Enter those websites in that you just tend to get sucked into distraction. With that Would you can't go on that. You can set them for a time so you can set it for 30 minutes. You can set it for an hour. That way you cannot lock on those websites. That way you will study and you're gonna get your work done faster so you can actually go on Facebook after you're done and enjoy it rather than feel guilty. My other recommendation is when you're looking at your to do list for the morning, I recommend if you can start with what Mark Twain calls the frog, start with your hardest task. The one and that could be in one that's the most time consuming or the most draining. But it can also be the one something that you just don't like to do. I don't like to make calls and make appointments. So even though that is kind of an easy thing, and that's something that doesn't take a lot of time up, I will purposefully make myself make phone calls right after I eat breathless and get up that way, it's done. What? I'm looking at, my steals. I don't have to think about making that call later. I don't put it off and then it's five o'clock in places close. Just do whatever is the most scary to you. So whether it's the most time consuming, the most difficult or something that you just personally don't like to dio because it's just uncomfortable for you. It's not your favorite thing. Whether that's laundry or making a phone call, just eat that frog first. As you put it that way, you're done with it, and you'll already feel very productive and motivated because you just got rid of the hardest things on your to do list. And that's always a good feeling, because it's like you got the hardest thing done. Your fresher in the morning. Now, definitely, some people are definitely not morning people. Some people are night people to figure out what what does work for you, but generally you'll have a little more energy earlier in the day, so put your mind to what is the hardest task, or what's the most difficult or the most the thing that you're avoiding the most. Put your mind to it that way. It's done. You feel good, It's checked off, and everything else in your to do list seems a lot easier after that. So I definitely recommend doing that if you can. It really, really helps me out when I'm avoiding certain things. 6. The Pomodoro Technique : Okay, so next section we're gonna talk about the Pomodoro technique. I am so passionate about this technique. This is basically the idea. Pomodoro is a type of tomato, and if you remember, there's like a tomato like kitchen timer. You can like crank, so it's kind of workouts name from Basically, the idea is you set a timer for 25 minutes, and you you make a certain task or something that you want to dio break in the chunks. Make it a realistic thing that you could have called Bush in 25 minutes. Or you can get a chunk of it done, or a couple smaller things that you can get done. And once you set that timer, just do it, just like rush into it. Put all your energy into it. Just start, Okay, let's just start putting all of your attention to that because the idea is is 25 minutes. Remind yourself it's only 25 minutes. You know it's on Lee. 25 minutes. A calculus. It's on Lee. 25 minutes of laundry and wiping down the counters. It's on Lee 25 minutes where I'm cleaning up my room, making my bed. You know, picking this up, just things like that. Because once you start get going really hard in those 25 minutes, typically my motivation starts going through the roof because I'm like, Oh, I'm getting the sun faster than I thought. I'm checking these things on my to do list. Look at that. Oh, I have five minutes left. Let's go and do this really quick like you get really into it. I've personally introduced us to a couple of friends. My boyfriend and a lot of them have found it to be very helpful, whether it's for online classes or cleaning the house. Anything at home that you're trying to accomplish if you just tell yourself it's on Lee 25 minutes, it seems more feasible. You have that timer. And then after 25 minutes, give yourself a five minute times break. So go get your snack. Go. You know, go use the Russian. Go do this. Go pet your dog. You know, just take us five minutes. Go check your Facebook, but set a timer. That way you are not going to give yourself more than five minutes and then set another 2.5 minute timer and go ahead and go again. Usually what I C recommended is to do four Palm adores, which is 4 25 minute segments. And then after that, instead of a five minute break, you get a 20 minute breaks. So that's a really good thing. Time Teoh. You know, watching YouTube video you've been wanting to watch, eat lunch, that sort of thing. What I personally use you can use a kitchen timer. You can use a timer on your phone, but personally, I love this app called brain Focus. So basically, the brain focus up here is quite easy. You have a 25 minute timer, all set. It actually has account in the corner for four palm adores, and it will give you that 20 minute break. Which reminds me, because sometimes I forget. And then once you've finished the 25 minutes, you do actually have a five minute timer set that automatically begin. So I find that to be very helpful. But of course, if your phone is too distracting, you can go ahead, use a kitchen timer anything like that. But I find when you time yourself and you think, Oh, it's on, Lee twice admits. I start to get very inspired and spurred into action, and you'll find that 25 minutes you get a lot done a lot more than you think. And it's a great way to really push yourself. Well, I got stuck on writing essays and stuff. I would set the timer, tell myself 25 minutes, and I would type out far more than I ever thought I would, because you're kind of putting a bit of pressure on yourself and you start to turn out more work. So that is what I recommend. It is also good because you can break your projects into chunks. So if you have a large project, if you have a large essay, do your first Commodore and go ahead, outline your paper brainstorming. You know, get your sources going, that sort of thing. Go ahead and break your projects into chunks. It's going to be less overwhelming, and you're gonna go through it faster than you thought you would. If you just try to tackle the entire thing and one sitting 7. PEM - Preparedness, Effectiveness, and Motivation: All right. Thank you guys. So much for making it to the end of the class. Don't forget Teoh downloaded the checklist down below. Fillon out. Put that on your bulletin board. Put that on the first page of your notebook or your binder anywhere. You're going to see it. That's gonna be a reminder of why you're doing this. And it's gonna help you prepare if we're gonna go ahead and do a quick roundup. Just a quick few things. Remember, one mistakes happen. We've all missed an assignment, and it's easier to do when you're online. So if you make you make a mistake, you miss an assignment. Don't beat yourself up. Just go ahead. See if you consume it late to sometimes teachers. Will you submit it late and you'll get a percent off Or, you know, if you can't just tell yourself it's okay and go ahead and work on the next thing. So basically, what I'm saying as I know, a lot of us are perfectionists, myself included. Don't let one mistake ruin the entire class. You can bounce back from it. You will be OK. So we're gonna hand end with a quick acronym and the acronym is pen P E. M. This is what I want. You remember? If you don't remember anything else from this, go ahead. And, Pierre, prepare as much as you can. So that that includes before you start this class, do the things on that checklist. Get your books, get your anything you need, but also when you're doing your online school and prepare as much as you can if you get ahead on the whole work, if you could do the due date If you could write your due date early in your planner and work on a day ahead, that's gonna help you so much. And it's gonna be so much more stress relieving. In case you it's sick. Your kids get second. Your work needs you any outside circumstances that you can't control as much e is for effective. Make the most of your time instead of just taking an hour and procrastinating and writing two sentences on that essay and then feeling bad because you kind of were browsing the Internet. But you don't enjoy it because you felt guilty. Just do those palm adore techniques. That is my favorite technique to set the 25 minute timer and just go to town and you will be amazed at how much you get done and you're gonna have more free time to do other things that you want to do. So instead of feeling guilty, checking Facebook and not getting anywhere on your assignment, just sit down, commit yourself to doing it. Set that timer, clear your distractions as much as you can and just go to town on it. And then you go, go ahead and enjoy your brakes and actually enjoy being on Facebook or playing with your dog instead of feeling that guilt. Lastly for motivate yourself that checklist that have down below. Write down your goals. Remind yourself why you're doing this. You're taking these classes from flexibility. You're taking this class because you want to make a career change that's gonna make you happier. You are taking this class because of the subject you enjoy or you try and finish your degree. Remind yourself why you're doing it. That's really gonna help you when you don't feel like doing the palm adores or you don't feel like turning your phone off, just remind yourself why you're doing it. Remind yourself that being effective is better than ours of not being effective. And you're gonna save time ultimately, by just buckling down doing it highly recommend. Anyways, please leave me common some below. I would love to know your thoughts. If you've taken online classes. What are your tips? What are your tricks? Do you prefer using a planner or a calendar? What do you like to do to keep track of things? Thank you guys so much. And don't forget to download the worksheet down below. Go ahead and post that in the projects. I would love to see what inspires you while you're taking these classes. That would be so fascinating. Thank you again for joining me for this video today. And I'll see you guys in my next video by