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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tech Wellness Guide

A guide for productivity and tech mental-wellness during remote coursework.

Making it through, Keeping on track.

Creating a structure for your day and projects will help to naturally manage your work. These tools can help you create a mindful day-to-day.

Organizing your time

Maybe you already have a system for your routine and productivity locked in. Maybe it depends on your natural rhythm and you are able to focus and complete projects easily. Maybe this is the time to create a system to manage your work. These apps can help you plan your days and the work you need to get done in order to stay organized and avoid becoming overwhelmed.

Apps for planning your work: 
Todoist: (iOS and Android): Daily calendar for planning your day, breaking up projects into microtasks. Simple design and functionality for the minimalist.
Microsoft To Do: Sort tasks into basic lists that you create and create sub-tasks. Easily collaborate on projects by linking accounts, things you didn't check off from previous days stay in the “Yesterday” box
The Calendar On Your Phone/Laptop: An easy one. Schedule your classes, recurring sessions or appointments easily, while also blocking time for specific work or breaks.

Taking Breaks

Taking breaks is crucial for remaining upbeat and productive. When we're stressed, the impulse to work until we're tired is at its strongest. Building structured breaks reduces strain and anxiety. 

Think of two kinds of breaks:  Short breaks that you take frequently, and long breaks that you schedule in. 

For short breaks:

  • Time Out app (iOS): Easy, customizable break reminders. Options to change display by making screen blurry or a different color when prompted to take breaks.
  • Stretchly (iOS and PC): An app that reminds you to take breaks away from your computer. It suggests both mini breaks and longer breaks. You can adjust the schedule, if it skips breaks when your computer is idle, and more.
  • Mindfulness Bell (iOS): Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh Free has been developing using bells as part of a mindfulness practice, where ringing prompts you to take a step back on your work and reflect. Mindfulness Bell allows you program a digital bell to randomly ring throughout the day-suggesting small moments of reprieve and reflection. 
  • Mindfulness Bell (Android): Similar to the iOS version of Mindfulness Bell but created by a different developer.

For long breaks: 

  • Schedule in long-breaks by blocking out your time in your daily schedule.