12 tips and tricks to help you survive and thrive at home

Tuesday 31 March 2020 6 minutes reading time

12 tips and tricks to help you survive and thrive at home
Photo: Thom de Bie (Discover Groningen)

These are not the easiest times, but together and with the right plan we will overcome this period in no time. If you are one of the people that have to work from home you might find it hard to concentrate as well as in the office or at the university. So we gathered some tips on how to be more productive at home and how to fill the spare time.

Get work done

Concentrating at home can be a lot harder than in an office or the university, where everyone is focused on their own work. But there are a few things that you can also do at home to get more productive and continue doing a great job.

Make your own schedule

To get things started it might be a good idea to make your own schedule. Keep a certain routine to your life. Continue waking up at about the same time, maybe do some workout before diving into your home office area, schedule when you want to eat (maybe choose the same time as the break you usually have) and look forward to the end of the “work day”.

Reduce the distractions

To make sure you get your work done the simplest trick is to eliminate distraction as much as possible. If you get distracted easily by your phone and don’t need it for what you are working on currently, putting it in another room might help your concentration.

Reward yourself

You know the pictures of students that reward themselves with little snacks after studying a certain amount of pages? That trick actually works. Of course you don’t necessarily have to use snacks as rewards. You can say “after finishing this part of the project I will have a little tea break” or “have a stroll around the house to move a little” or similar. Just keep in mind to actually make it productive, the rewards should not outweigh the work you are doing.

Set work goals for the day

Setting your own goals for the day is one of the best ways to get work done. You can set daily, weekly and monthly goals. At the end of the day it will feel very good if you reach your goal. It can be something as simple as “Finish the project this week” or “Finish step one of the project”. But be realistic, don’t set the goals too high. It will demotivate you.

Get some fresh air

In case you feel like nothing is going right and you feel demotivated or like the ceiling is falling on your head, take a small break outside. It is important though to stay safe: So keep a safe distance of at least 1.5 meters, avoid crowded places and don’t stay outside for too long.

Maybe you’ll even get to know your neighbourhood better this way and find your new favorite place. If you like reading you can also check out a Minibieb near you. Also remember to let some fresh air into your home, open the windows to get some nice air into your workspace.

Foto: Ines Oliveira (Discover Groningen)

No reason to get bored

We also gathered some activities you can do to fight boredom and/or relax after working and studying. There are endless ways to make this time more bearable, these are just some ideas:

Let’s start easy: Series and Movies

There are a lot of good series and movies out there that you can watch. And now is the right time to watch them. There is no more exhaustion, work, studies and Co. keeping you from a great binge-watch session.


Feeling stiff after sitting for too long? Then it is the perfect time to workout. If you usually work out in the gym (which are closed now) you can still exercise at home. Even if you don’t have the equipment. Just browse Youtube for some nice workout videos: Working out without any equipment and just your body weight can be as exhausting, empowering and sweaty. Yoga and meditation can also help clear your mind. Several Groningen Fitness Centers make dance or workout live streams on Instagram. You can check out for example TUDCGroningen or springs050.


Get the latest book you bought and get comfy in your big chair. You can also use this time to re-read one of your all-time favourites. If you don’t have a nice new book you can get a lot delivered onto your doorstep. No need to leave the house.

Find a new Hobby

You know that thing you have been wanting to try out but never found the time? Well now you do have time. A lot of it. So try it out now. Maybe you will find a new passion. Do you want to try something new but don’t know what? Here are some ideas: Painting, reading, puzzling, exercising, gaming, and so on. The opportunities are endless. Another great idea is to paint your favorite Groningen places like mereljournals does: The best part? You don’t have to go outside for that, get your inspiration from Google or Instagram.

Foto: Instagram @mereljournals


Whether it is online gaming, on a console or with the family. You remember those board games you haven’t played in ages? Time to get those games out and have fun.

Clean the House

This is still important and it will also make these times feel more normal. With the right music it can be even fun: make your own #stayathome playlist.

These times might be hard, but we are all in this together. If you miss your friends and families, you can always call them. We can use the technology of this century to stay informed and stay social. And most important: Stay calm.

Support your locals and help each other

Last but not least: Remember that we are all in this together and that now is the perfect time to support our local stores and companies. You can find several ideas in our blog post. There are also several ways of helping others in these times. If you’re a student you can check out Student voor stad.

Ines Oliveira

This article is written by Ines Oliveira

Ines studies Linguistics and Spanish in Bremen. She enjoys writing, researching and photography. The passion for those three things and her studies brought her to Groningen.