Top 5 Friday

5 Ways to Stay Productive in Quarantine

If you’re anything like me, you probably have trouble staying focused when you’re stuck at home – or have limited freedom. It’s strange how so many of us homebodies now feel sort of trapped by this pandemic, yet here we are, walking back and forth to open the fridge for a snack we’ll never find, or scrolling through each of our social media accounts for anything new or interesting to look at.

Here are some of the ways that have helped me to complete my tasks during this pandemic:

Daily To-Do Lists

I will die by this one. Even the small stuff I write out, like brushing my teeth and moisturizing, as well as the bigger stuff like helping my oldest with his letters and laundry. Crossing off each 10 ounces of water honestly feels like an accomplishment and at the end of the day when I see how much I crossed, I feel good about how I managed my time. There are a ton of ways you can write your list from most important to least, or organizing your tasks into categories like “work”, “chores”, and “hygiene”. Check out bujo videos on Youtube or pinterest for some ideas or just write down a bunch of things you know you gotta do and consider that you’re starting point!

Turn Off Notifications

If your job or whatever you’re hoping to accomplish doesn’t involve social media, I highly suggest turning off all unnecessary notifications from snapchat, instagram, facebook, etc. I would even go so far as to say don’t start you’re day scrolling through your feed unless it’s relevant to your work – one of my income streams involves social media, and marketing for my serial cozy (not income-based) involves being on social media, but it doesn’t need to take up all of my time. Whether you need to clean around the house, get your workout in, homeschool your kids, work from home, etc. getting those pings will hinder your productivity. I know if I don’t limit my time on twitter, I won’t get any writing done.

Create An Ambiance

The best way for me to write in a particularly noisy place is to declutter the space and put my earbuds in. I listen to ambient sounds that actually boost my word count. My favorite to listen to is fire crackles and thunderstorms. Some people don’t actually find sounds helpful so finding some sort of noise-cancelling headphones could help tremendously. The same goes for when I’m teaching my oldest (I use the term teaching loosely because I am so far from a teacher), we create a clean space for him to do his ‘homework’ and turn off electronics.

Dress The Part

This one isn’t as obvious but it goes along with the idea that keeping a routine keeps you on task. A good chunk of workers kept a schedule before this pandemic. You would get up, do your morning (or whatever time your day started) routine, and wear the uniform or outfit necessary for your day. For me, I feel infinitely better overall if I don’t just stay in my pajamas all day but change into a cute outfit – even though most of my attire has me resembling a lululemon ad. Not only that but it keeps you connected to reality, “this is what I wore Tuesday”, “This is my OOTD”. Getting dressed for your WFH day can brighten the day a little more.

Take Breaks And Get Some Sunshine

This might actually be a tip that allows you more freedom than your usual work day would have permitted. Taking a ten minute walk every couple of hours can improve circulation and getting out under the sun will give you that much needed vitamin D, a huge contributor to reducing depression. Many of us have something called “stay at home” or “shelter in place” orders, which limits our time beyond our property lines. However, I’ve found that taking short walks improves my mood and the frequent breaks work a little bit like stretching the brain.

Those are my top five tips on staying productive during this pandemic. If you have any tips you’d like to add, leave us a comment below! Now is the time to help each other in whatever way we can, whether that’s to make each other laugh, venmo your struggling neighbor to help them with groceries, or sharing an extra bit of TP you have!

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