During this pandemic, staying safe is just as vital as work and school these days. Decreasing your potential exposure to COVID-19 by working and going to school remotely is a wise move, but it’s important to set yourself up for success. Follow these tips to make the time your family spends on remote work and school as productive and comfortable as possible.

Get Your Work and School Spaces Ready

Insulate yourself from distractions as much as possible by choosing a dedicated space in your home and making sure that people and pets won’t interrupt important meetings or class lectures. Choose seating that’s comfortable and ergonomic but not so comfortable that you have trouble staying awake. Stock workspaces with everything required, make sure your internet speed is adequate, and learn how to find your Wi-Fi password and refresh your signal after an outage. You don’t want to be stressed five minutes before a big meeting without it!

Keep some light snacks and drinks nearby so that you don’t lose time getting up and preparing them. Make sure your space doesn’t have anything in it that violates school or work rules. Inappropriate material within view of cameras can lead to job loss or suspension.

Minimize Digital Interference

Turn off your phone or set it to vibrate before class or work. Deactivate push notifications and any programs or apps with audible chimes. Checking your phone often can be distracting and keep you from focusing on your work. It could also tempt you to procrastinate by playing a smartphone game or checking social media. When you’re not at work, let everyone know that you won’t reply to emails or phone calls unless there’s an emergency.

Update Hardware and Software if Needed

Make sure all of the programs and apps you intend to use during your classes or meetings are up-to-date. Professors, teachers, and bosses won’t wait for your updates to download and install. They’ll continue classes and meetings as usual, and being unable to participate could harm your career or your child’s education.

Open all of the files that you’ll need, and stack their windows and tabs according to the order in which you want to use them. That way, you won’t need to interrupt your workflow to search for the next file on your to-do list. If more than one person in your household is working or learning at home, you may need a Wi-Fi signal extender so that you can work in different rooms. Also, make sure you have a quality webcam, a microphone, and noise-canceling headphones.

Schedule Everything Carefully

Resist the urge to put things off, and avoid forgetting about meetings or assignments by setting a precise schedule each day. Allow for required work and school tasks, meals, and breaks. Also, leave some extra time in case you need to do unexpected work. That way, you won’t have to worry about missing deadlines. Give yourself some time to relax and unwind as well. Feeling stressed or burnt out can hurt students and employees. Reward yourself with a fun activity or a delicious snack after completing important tasks, and check on kids regularly to make sure they’re staying on task.

Stick to these methods, and you’ll be on your way to a comfortable and productive time at work or school online. Working and learning at home is the safest option, and it lets you save time on commuting and conserve fuel.