Being in self-isolation is tough in many ways. The world we know and our daily routine have been altered drastically, and there’s a lot of anxiety and worry for the uncertain future that lies ahead. It’s no wonder many people are finding it difficult to stay productive and focused. Here are some of our top tips to help you ease some of this “productivity guilt” you may be feeling while being cooped up at home.
Set Small and Realistic Intentions
Motivation comes and goes in waves. It can be hard to have any bursts of motivation being stuck at home 24/7. Try to create realistic intentions for the day that help make tasks less daunting. Even simply commit to doing 1 task for just 5 minutes. Chances are, once you start that task you will be more inclined to continue. Sometimes, starting is the hardest part. If not, stop after that 5 minutes. You will feel much more accomplished knowing you did something rather than nothing at all.
Write Out To-Do Lists
It can be overwhelming prioritizing between work, school, self-care and other activities you value. Begin each morning by writing a list of all you want/have to accomplish that day. This simple action can help ease some of that mental overwhelm. Our memory absorbs more information when you put pen to paper, therefore increasing the chances you remember your intentions throughout the day. Writing to-do lists can also help squash the looming feeling that you may have forgotten something. In addition, scientists have found that writing out to-do lists also helps you sleep easier, giving you a better chance to feel rested and recharged when you go about your daily routine.
Interlace Any “Work” With Enjoyed Activities
It can be easy to go on autopilot when you are trying to get things done. Try to break up your day with activities that will make you feel more present in your work. This could mean putting on an energizing playlist, going for a run, reading a chapter in your favorite book, etc. This type of routine can also help reduce burnout, helping you stay motivated the entire day.
Resist the Urge to Multitask
You may have heard this before, but multitasking is bad for us. In reality, multitasking is simply task-switching, as we truly cannot focus totally on 2 things at once. Not only does multitasking make us less productive and mindful, it also increases stress and decreases memory function. Instead, try to stay present and mindful on one activity at a time. For more tips on how to be more mindful, check out our blog on mindfulness here.
Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself
We are all coping with an environment much different than normal. This “new normal” is going to take some time to adjust to. Be kind to yourself. A famous tweet from Neil Webb that has spread around various media sites states “You are not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work.” Productivity is a practice, and its 10x more difficult to practice doing so in this environment. Affirm yourself that you are truly doing your very best right now under the conditions that we are all in.
Remind Yourself of Your “Why”
When caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, it can be easy to forget why you do what you do. When you have a task you’ve been putting off for a while, stop and ask yourself, “What are the benefits of completing this?” When we feel connected to our work and our “why”, the rest can easily fall into place. When feeling unproductive, take some time to reflect on your “why” through meditation, journaling, listening to music or another relaxing activity of your choice.
Want more tips on how to be your best self? Check out our self-care tips blog post!