Pandemics in human history often result in untold and sometimes unparalleled problems requiring great experts to make solutions. Our experience with the Covid-19 pandemic is like waking up into a different world and the outbreak has completed changed our life and daily activities.
The number of Covid-19 cases continues to grow exponentially, affecting countries, and has forced the government to implement state lockdown. Businesses are obliged to shift to the work from home setting and are now entering their 3rd month of controlling their operations online. Schools were closed down and teachers and students were mandated to practice distance and online learning.
It may seem like a dream, work just a few step away from the bed and kitchen, no troublesome commute, and in pajamas the whole day but there is a thin line between professional work and personal matters, and most work-from-home employees are having difficulties managing work deadlines and household chores and errands at the same time. Even students are juggling productivity with their online classes.
The outbreak has snagged our focus and is forcing us to pay attention to so many different things. As the pandemic gets worse, it is problematic to stay focused and productive amidst all the chaos. Anyone, as of this moment, is constantly forgetting important things, misplacing items, is stressed, restless, and unable to concentrate.
Employees and students, in the comfort of their homes, are often distracted by news updates and social media. Other than that, there are also distractions around the house that make it hard to be productive.
We don’t know when the pandemic will slow down and we might be working from home for at least a few more months and that’s a few more months of being distracted and unproductive.
However, there are several ways to ensure productivity and methods that help boost our mental energy and improve focus.
5 Tips to Stay Productive during Covid-19
1. Organize your day
While Covid-19 has interfered with our lives, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have to remain organized with our daily activities. It is important to give your day some arrangement. It is proven in different studies that organizing your schedule can reduce stress, depression, and boost productivity.
You can start by listing your day’s to-do-list, prioritizing to finish every task, be sure with your scheduling, and include some time for regular breaks. Allocating a time in the morning to organize your day will allow your brain to have time to reset and refocus while helping you keep track of your tasks. Sometimes, you’ll feel excited and motivated to finish a project, knowing that you have a break coming up.
There are many ways to make your day’s to-do list. You can write it on a piece of paper, on your bulletin board, or install a time-management application (on your phone or on your PC) to see what are tasks needed to be done that day. If you find yourself often misplacing things, make it a habit to designate places for important objects like cellphone, wallets, and keys.
2. Minimize distractions
Staying updated with the latest news about the Covid-19 outbreak is necessary and almost all of the time, these updates are from in-app notifications from our phones, which can mean that after reading the latest news, which is the only thing you intended to do at that time, it is relatively easy to be tempted to check other social media apps. Then your “staying updated” turned into “staying distracted.”
To prevent this, put your phone on silent mode and put it somewhere far away from you. Unless you are waiting for an important call or your phone is a necessity at work, turn off as many notifications as you can, especially those from social media. Give yourself a time limit on visiting your socials and reading the news. There are applications you can download that will help you utilize your productivity, blocks out distractions you’ve indicated, and encourages you to stay away from your phone.
3. Practice Mindfulness
With all the commotion happening in the world right now, it is easy to let your mind meander. Whether you are busy reflecting on your reports, anxious about your future, or thinking about household chores, you may discover yourself feeling miles away from what is going on right in front of you. That is why practicing mindfulness helps you a lot to stay focused at the moment. You can do some exercises to improve your motivation, focus, memory, and attention span.
Make sure that you take a break to move your body every hour and try to release some stress by meditation or breathing exercises. Practicing mindfulness can calm your mind. You can do it on your own, or you can rely on some applications that can guide you.
4. Get enough rest
Even though you are at home, but with all the workload, it can be easy to get stressed. To avoid this, don’t overwork, practice office working hours, and get enough rest.
Sleep is a major contributor to improving your focus, organization skills, mindfulness, and motivation. You might think you are being more productive by cutting off on sleep and working more but the truth is, less sleep equals feeling less energized, less motivated, sluggish, and more hesitant. Lack of sleep also is associated with being easily distracted.
If your work schedule and workload have stressed you enough that you are having a hard time falling asleep, it won’t hurt to try and limit your caffeine intake after 12 PM and even avoid reading or watching stressful updates right before bedtime.
Sleep is good for both the mental and immune system. It is much easier to deal with emotional problems when the brain is rested and healthy.
5. Keep Exercising and Meditating
What’s good about exercising is that it releases body stress, increases your energy, and keeps your body flexible. A good exercise regimen can improve your focus, productivity, and even help you get your sleep quality. There is no excuse not to exercise at the moment because you definitely have some extra time when you’re at home.
You can start your exercise every day by taking a 20-minute walk in the morning and allocate some time for cardiovascular exercises to maintain healthy lungs. Remember, Covid-19 is a respiratory illness and its main target is usually the lungs so do any exercises that you can that will make sure your lungs stay healthy.
You can do a 1-minute plank or a 5-minute jump rope five times a day. Since it’s not advisable to go to the gym, do everything you can to formulate home workouts.
Meditation also helps and comes with many health benefits. Regular meditation helps calms the mind and the nervous system. It also clears your mind from troubling thoughts. If you are struggling with meditation, Youtube has tons of tutorials and there are even cellphone applications that will guide you through the process.
Don’t let Covid-19 keep you from being less productive. Don’t let stressful news updates distract your daily activities. Don’t let yourself be less motivated to do important things like achieving your goals in life. The best we can do right now is to take advantage of the situation and keep moving forward.
Staying at home amid the pandemic could bring changes in our daily activities and allow us to have some quality time with our family and loved ones. It could be stressful to do office work at home while doing laundry and taking care of children, but we cannot change the fact that we are enjoying fun things that can only happen at home.
Covid-19 pandemic gives us a unique moment to slow down and honor emotional and mental needs. By doing so, you can utilize different ways necessary to reach the level of productivity you desire. You can also embrace the current situation and explore big benefits, lessons, and opportunities you can have along the process.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, we could also expect some positive outcomes that could happen at this very moment.