Staying organized, busy helps while quarantined


Photo provided by Alyssa Thompson

Francesca Alfieri, Staff Writer

Staying productive when working from home can be a difficult task for some. Students sometimes have to maintain their productivity while balancing family and other professional responsibilities. This can be overwhelming and hard to manage. 

Many Utica College students have developed methods to stay on top of their routine and activities. 

Sophomore Carin Smida said she needs to have a schedule in order for her to stay on task. 

“Every Sunday, I use my weekly calendar whiteboard and make a schedule for the week to plan ahead,” she said. “This way, I know the things I need to do and it helps me stay productive.”

Smida said she also finds it helpful to assign each class a specific color for her schedule. With a color-coded schedule it was easier for her to transition to an online learning environment. 

Freshman Rebecca Norman said she keeps a record of her schedule and assignments.

“I keep a planner on what I need to do for the week and usually try to get most of the bigger things done on Mondays and then space out my homework through the rest of the week so I’m not too overwhelmed,” Norman said. 

Sophomore Alyssa Thompson said she prefers to stick to her typical class schedule. 

Every day, Thompson tries to complete the classwork she would normally be doing on that day or time for those regularly scheduled classes. 

“I also have a set up study area at home to work on schoolwork and have been trying to stick to my normal study habits,” Thompson said. 

According to, here are 9 ways according to them to stay on task at home:

  1. “Select a space based on your needs:” When selecting a space based on your needs consider finding a quiet and private space to work or next to other people, of course following social distancing. When working on an important assignment that requires much of your attention, staying in your bed might not be the best option.
  1. “Declutter:” Do not let your brain get distracted by the mess and things around you. The less of a mess, the less of a stress. 
  1. “Get ready for the day:” Getting in the right mindset can help you to be more productive throughout the day. Putting on fresh, clean clothes and getting ready like you normally would for school will help you stay in the school mode. 
  1. “Put yourself in a good mood:” Make sure there is enough surface space around you to let your creative energies flow. A large space that allows you to stay organized will help.
  1. “Turn on the lights:” Natural light can be nice during the day but in-home lights can give you targeted task light, especially at night.
  1. “Create a home office ambiance:” Take advantage of creating a cozy workzone at home. Make things personalized or relaxing like a candle or flowers to keep you cheerful.
  1. “Set your schedule:” Set out a start time, midday break and end time to each work day. This way, you are more efficient and wont feel like you are doing work all day long. 
  1. “Get out:” Taking some time outside and taking a break from work can be refreshing for your brain. This can also help flow more ideas if you take a step back or think about your assignments from a different perspective.
  1. “Log off!” Give your body and brain time offline and without electronics. Create a balance that is both beneficial to your work life and social life. 

According to the Utica College student success center, here is a link made by Dr. Andrea Casuras on how to succeed during online classes: