If you’re one of the thousands of workers who are currently stuck working from home this week, finding the strength to stay focused and motivated may be a struggle. I get it. Working from home for the past 2+ years has strangely prepared me for a lifelong quarantine.
If your days are filled with Netflix and lots of snacking on the couch, you may want to rethink your schedule a little. Not to say there is anything wrong with snacking and relaxing. If your day can afford it, take this time to recharge if you can.
But for those who are bored of sitting, bored of watching TV, and who are sick of getting nothing done, these tips are for you. If you want to have a productive week, have a productive week! And use these five tips to help you make it happen.
1. Schedule your time intentionally and as close to your everyday, normal schedule as possible.
For me, this looks like waking up, enjoying some coffee, and cranking out work from about 9 am to noon. I then take a break for lunch, dive back into things in the afternoon and usually finish up work around 4-5 pm. Although my morning and afternoon chunks of time and work look different every day, having the intention of busting out projects, scheduling social media, cleaning up my email inbox, and more all keep me on track for a productive day.
2. Find productive things you actually enjoy doing.
Just because you have the time to learn new skills, take online courses, or write an entire book doesn’t mean you have to. Find things that you truly enjoy doing and focus on those. That could be reading a new book, painting, writing a newsletter, researching a new skill, working on a passion project, and so much more. Even learning to cook a new recipe could be done in a super productive way. Change your perspective and approach to what being productive looks like.
3. Take frequent breaks.
I can’t tell you how much this has helped me. When I take intentional breaks, it makes me so much more focused. If I feel like a kid on timeout who can’t get up until the clock runs out, what do I do? I stare at the clock and get no work done. I try to break my “sprints” of working into 30-90 minute chunks. If I’m in the zone, I keep working, and if I need a mid-project break, I brew myself up another cup of coffee and take a lap around my house. Balance people.
4. Productivity doesn’t just have to be career-related.
Similar to point #2, you don’t just have to be doing work-related things all day long to be considered productive. Of course, if you’re getting paid to work from home, make sure you’re actually doing the work. But if you’re not or if you’re filling time outside of your work hours, take this time to learn something new or focus on other things that you can put your energy towards.
For me, this looks like organizing the house, getting rid of clothes I don’t wear, crafting, listing to an educational podcast… the list goes on. Don’t put yourself in a box of what you can and cannot be doing.
5. Don’t let your sleep schedule get too disrupted.
This one is always a huge lifesaver for me, whether it’s during this quarantine or on a long weekend over the holidays. Stick to your normal sleep schedule if you can, and you will thank yourself in the future.
It is so easy to get out of sync with your normal schedule. So, set your alarm, go to bed early, and get the rest you need. If you don’t normally take naps, try not to on these days at home. If you usually wake up at 5 am, sure give yourself some slack but don’t sleep in until 11 am. When your schedule does get back to normal, it will be that much harder trying to get back into the swing of things.
How are you using this time? Are you working from home or focusing on any cool new projects? I’d love to hear!