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March 24, 2020

Together. . . College-Student-Returned-To-Home-Due-to-COVID-19!

So, I’m the eldest of a brood of 9 or 10 Heyck Cousins. . . and I try to take my responsibilities as the Biggest Cousin (even though I’m often the shortest!) very seriously. Here is a small sampling of the Cousin Brood at a family event this past fall.

One of the youngest of my dear cousins (Cousin E, next to me) was sent home from her study abroad program in Rome during the COVID-19 situation. She is now faced with living at home with her parents (who are awesome), taking all of her occupational therapy classes online, and generally figuring out how to structure her time. And when your big cousin deals with time and task management for a living, you call in the forces via Instagram. She said, “I need you to make ME a homeschool schedule!”

Here is what Cousin E and I constructed over the weekend using some Together Tools. . .

Step 1: Brain dump everything you have to do and want to do into one list.

Cousin E says,

“Days may change depending on if a bigger project comes in for these classes, but I don’t have any Zoom lectures so I can structure my own time.”

Great start for Cousin E, but then we have to take it a step further since lists alone can be overwhelming!

Step 2: Categorize the list by brain power and time limits.

Cousin E and I looked at the list above and considered what would take greater cognitive power and what would take the longest chunks of time. We also built in an Energy Boosting list. This helps make the list manageable and lets us more easily figure out what can be done WHEN.

Great work! Now, another step to move this ahead!

Step 3: Plot out a week using the chart above.

Step 4: Get specific about the school work.

We all know what can happen to vague “work time” in a schedule – or at least in mine. (Hello, Zappos.com!). I asked Cousin E to take an old-fashioned post-it note and get specific about her school work for the day.

Step 5: Rinse and repeat.

Cousin E is committed to mapping out her unstructured time for the rest of the semester – both to keep the school work moving, but also take advantage of some leisure time. I checked in with her yesterday and she said,

“It makes me feel good to have everything laid out in front of me. That way I know exactly what I need and want to get done. Having checkboxes motivates me to complete each task until I have them all checked off. When I complete my goals for the day, I feel very accomplished!”

Way to go, Cousin E! Keep up the good work in these challenging times.

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