In the wake of the escalating Covid-19 pandemic, universities around the world are shutting their doors and moving their classes online. At SUVA, our faculty members are committed to providing quality education for our students in these difficult times. Artists and designers are trained to be highly adaptable, and this is a great opportunity for you to practice adaptability. While the format of your classes are changing, you will still learn what you need to be successful in your fields.
That being said, it’s understandable that during times of instability it will be difficult to focus on your work. This will be especially taxing if you’re looking after a loved one, or are recovering from an illness yourself. We aim to teach compassionately during this period, and with that in mind, we have come up with a guide in how to help you focus on your work.
Create a timetable
In order to boost productivity and manage your time better, create a timetable to allocate specific time slots to your assignments. Give yourself regular breaks as you would be given in class, but be strict with your time in order to avoid procrastination.
If you’re juggling being a student and looking after loved ones then this approach may not be the best one for you. In this instance, give yourself loose deadlines in order for you to keep up with your work. For example; This week I aim to complete X,Y and Z and use whatever opportunity you have to complete these tasks.
Turn your notifications off
We are all being inundated with news of the virus escalating at every moment of the day, so much so that it’s becoming harder to concentrate on our work. One option is to turn your notifications off so you don’t become distracted. If this isn’t enough, perhaps suggest to a family member to hide your phone/device for a period of time in the day, and allow yourself the opportunity to fully focus on your work.
Many of our students and faculty are experiencing a heightened sense of stress and anxiety. This is both normal and understandable. There are many strategies to combat anxiety including yoga, journaling, exercise and medication. Another way to reduce anxiety is to practice mindfulness.
“Mindfulness is about paying attention on purpose to the present moment. And I believe mindfulness is a powerful tool we can use right now.”
Kristin Lothman, Department of Integrative Medicine and Health
In short, mindfulness techniques can be an effective tool to deal with global events such as Covid-19. When we’re engrossed in obsessive thoughts and fretting about the future, taking a step back to focus on the here and now can help stem anxiety. Watch Kristen Lotham discuss mindfulness.
We’re all in this together
These are unprecedented times that we’re all adjusting to. It’s important to be mindful that nobody asked for this, and that the collective end to the semester off campus (and subsequent move to online teaching) will be difficult for many.
We’re going to be more reliant on technology than ever before and for some of our students and faculty this can be a learning curve. We will be using Google Classrooms and Google Meet to discuss assignments online. Watch how Google Classroom works.
We have to more communicative than ever before to combat our isolation and loneliness during these times. Pick up the phone, connect with your tutors and classmates via video conferencing. We’re all in this together and this won’t last forever.
Last but not least, it’s vital to stay creatively inspired in the weeks and months ahead. This can be easier said than done, but here are some examples of how to keep your mind engaged in your work when you’re struggling to concentrate.
- Listen to music you love and that inspires you.
- Go on a Pinterest binge and get some boards together.
- Exercise. Go for a walk, jog or cycle ride, but take some time to get out of the house when you can while practicing safe distancing.
- Critique each others work when you’re feeling stuck. Upload your work to Google Classroom and ask your classmates what they think.
- Be kind to yourself. It can be difficult to focus in times like these. But take some time out in the day to switch off and engross yourself in your work.