When our days are scheduled for us, or when we have a list of tasks to achieve, staying productive isn’t such a tough ask. However, when the ball is solely in our court, creating a daily routine that keeps our minds active can be harder than it sounds. With all the distractions and comforts of home, we wanted to discuss 10 ways to stay productive during lockdown!
1. Stick to Your Routine
A lot of information online would suggest that you need to create a new routine to be productive. For most of us though, we are already conditioned to be in a routine already. So if you don’t have to- don’t reinvent the wheel. If the routine you were in when going to work was the most productive version of you, stick to it!
That means waking up at the same time, showering, brushing your teeth, doing all the things that your mind and body are used to doing, before beginning to work. In doing so, we can activate the neural pathways that set us up to be productive, and begin the day.
2. Separate Your Space
One of the hardest parts about working from home is the definition of space. Without the need for a daily commute, your home has now become your workplace, rest space, play space and everything in between.
For others, however, staying productive during lockdown means physically separating the spaces within your home. This can be something like creating an office space, rather than working on the couch. Or simply closing doors or partitions, 1. to block out the distractions of T.V. or entertainment, and 2. to create an actual ‘work’ environment, which again will help you to stay focused on the tasks at hand.
3. Break up Your Day- With the Right Things
On a normal workday, scheduled ‘breaks’ are often decided for us. A regimented lunch break, or morning tea, these things are all part of a regular routine. When working from home, however, you can break as often and as long as you’d like. Whilst this may sound great, it more often leads to being unproductive. So, if you’re going to take breaks, be it for lunch, or exercise, or anything else, set yourself a timer, and stick to it!
4. Tasks and Lists Can Help You Stay Productive in Lockdown
For many of us, this is the first time we’ve been encouraged (required) to work from home. It’s new and exciting and it can be a nice change to the usual routine. However, as these lockdowns look to be extended, potentially for the next few months, we need to implement real, practical ways to achieve our daily goals.
Creating task lists, and we mean physically creating them, writing them down, and checking them off is a simple and intuitive way to stay productive in lockdown. Not only does it help us to organise our day, but it also helps us to stay focused, with up to date and running feedback as to whether we’re actually achieving these goals.
The need to stay fit and healthy has never been more important. Not only can exercise break up your day (or help to keep you in a routine), it is imperative for your physical and psychological wellbeing. We definitely advocate getting outdoors and out of your house, but if that isn’t available to you, there are plenty of online personal trainers offering free boot camps, yoga, meditation and workout routines via Facebook and other platforms.
The best part about working out from home is the opportunity for you to try out exercise regimes or new disciplines. We no longer have the ‘I don’t have time’ excuse, and you can join them all from the comfort of your lounge room, so no reason to be embarrassed either!
Maintaining- or starting- a regular exercise regime releases all the ‘good’ hormones, and boosts your immune system, which we all know to be vital at this point. This can help to regulate your mood, improve focus, burn off excess energy, and get a good night’s sleep. Which brings us to the next point!
6. Read. Consume. Integrate.
Literally, everything you have ever wanted to know has been recorded. EVERYTHING. Every business principle, every story of hardship or success, every single thing we have ever learned as a species from the beginning of recorded history is at your fingertips. In your pocket.
Do you want to be more productive during lockdown? Learn!
Read new information, learn how to perform new tasks or overcome your own thinking, answer the questions you’ve always had, and keep your brain stimulated!
7. Sleep Well
This all goes hand in hand with maintaining a good routine, but if you want to stay productive on quarantine you need to sleep well! Research has shown that a lack of sleep is actually like being under the influence of alcohol, and can cause:
Lack of focus
Feeling restless and irritable
It may seem simple, but making sure you get a good night’s rest is probably one of the most crucial ways to stay productive in lockdown. That means turning off your phone and T.V., saying no to watching another movie and laying down early. Being in lockdown might be the only chance you get to wake up without an alarm, let your body readjust and wake up naturally (and rested) and seize the day.
8. Be Social!
This one might seem a little unusual, especially considering the social distancing principles that are now in place. But the human connection does not have to be physical. We are social animals, and the feeling of connection is actually something we require to be happy. Thankfully, in our modern world, we can stay social and connect with the click of a button.
To stay more productive in lockdown, you need to remember that we’re all in this together. For most of us, this is uncharted territory, and being social and talking to other people (regardless of the fact it’s on the phone/through a screen) can help you to maintain your sanity, and do the same for other people. So remember- lockdown doesn’t mean any talk or contact is banned. It just means we have to be more creative, and considerate, of both our own needs and those around us.
9. Learn or Play an Instrument
For most of us, we picked up an instrument in high school and haven’t looked at it since. Whether it was life or work that got in the way, more often it was just too hard to get over the ‘hump’ where we could play enough to actually enjoy it. But research has shown that learning an instrument can improve your focus, time management, and reading skills, as well as giving you another outlet or means of self-expression.
Not only can these things lead to improved productivity in lockdown (and life in general), research has shown that it only takes 20 hours to become ‘pretty good.’ At least good enough that you’ll enjoy it! And you now have all the time in the world to make it happen.
10. You Have the Time. Use It!
You no longer have any excuses. If you want to stay productive during lockdown, or even become a more productive person in general, it will take will power. Setting routines can help to augment, or circumvent our mental conditioning, and give us the will power we need to push through those barriers.
Ultimately, staying productive is up to you, and it all comes down to your mindset. If you see this as an opportunity, rather than an inconvenience, you now have the time and all of the resources necessary to learn, and improve on your work, not just subsist with it.