8 Practical Tips to Stay Productive Even in Lockdown


work from home

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The past year has been a pretty crazy ride and our new normal, well just isn't normal, yet. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced us into isolation and seclusion in our homes. It is quite jarring that we can’t go out for social functions, work or meet with friends and family without having to social distance or not at all when under lockdown.

The quarantine period has forced many of us into boredom and loneliness. On the brighter side, the quarantine has provided enough time to bond with family, study, or work from home. Confinement without a routine is quite daunting and has affected how most people operate. Life in the pandemic has been a call for adaptation, we have had to learn how to make changes in our life while observing the health regulations but also keeping our mental wellbeing in mind. 

Many of us have switched to working or studying from home which on the flip side does provide the opportunity for one to hone personal skills and stay organised. I've spent the past decade working from home so feel I can share some tips to help you maintain your productivity while working from home during this period when restrictions and lockdowns are still in our lives. 

1. Organise Your Day

During this period, you may have more than enough time to organise and plan on how to spend your day. Thus, you should implement a structure to help you manage your daily tasks. You may decide to plan daily or organise your monthly schedule using a personalised calendar. Start your day by sketching down a basic (but clear) to-do list. Set a time for each task that you intend to complete. You can use different colours for each job and make sticky notes as well.

Having a daily schedule provides you with a sense of control and responsibility. Ensure that you stick to your schedule and set aside break-times after tasks. Plan a few activities to help you relax after completing each task. Planning and sticking to your program not only increases your productivity but also improves your time and task management skills.

2. Have a Realistic Schedule

Making the wrong to-do list will make it difficult for you to complete specific tasks or spend too much time on one task. To avoid this, you should make a list of the functions that you intend to complete within the day using sticky notes, a diary, notebook, or an app on your phone.

You can then decide how you want to consolidate the tasks. You may prioritise each job based on the sense of urgency and deadlines. Also, you can break down your tasks into categories such as home, work, or school. Your tasks don’t need to be in one long to-do list as you can have multiple lists. It is much easier to accomplish your daily objectives if you break them down into short achievable tasks.


3. Regular Exercising

Lockdowns and restrictions affect both mental and physical health. Apart from observing your mental health, it is also a good idea to keep your physical health in check.

Make sure you take time out from work to exercise and get outdoors. Apart from exercising, ensure that you have well-balanced meals with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Also, ensure that you have access to clean and safe drinking water. Exercising, a proper diet and staying hydrated will keep you focused and positively impact your physical and mental health.

4. Have Different Work Places

You might be uncomfortable working in a restricted space primarily if you were used to going down to the coffee shop or somewhere comfortable for you. While working from home, you may set up your default working space.

Working from your desk may sometimes be uncomfortable and deem you unproductive. Although it is discouraged to leave our homes, you can still work in different places within your home. You can start your day by working on your desk, then move to the dining table and continue working. Your couch also provides a sweet spot for you to work from but don't make a habit of working in front of the TV as this could reduce your productivity. If you have a garden it may be nice on sunny days to also utilise that space. Working while switching your workspace keeps your mind and body proactive, thus enhanced productivity.

5. Consider Upcoming Deadlines

When planning your schedule, consider the tasks with limited completion time. Prioritise the tasks with approaching deadlines. Check your calendar to confirm the upcoming deadlines for your tasks. When planning your schedule, include the completion time of each task to know when they are due. Knowing the deadlines will enable you to work on tasks stress-free and without rushing to beat the deadline. The last-minute can save a man, but don’t let it get there.

6. Enroll for Online Courses

Sharpening your skills and gaining new knowledge will improve your work quality and knowledge base. In these uncertain times, online courses provide the best opportunities for learning and interaction. Online courses enable you to learn new things at your speed and from wherever you like. Take time from your work to expand your knowledge and acquire new skills.


7. Set Aside Personal Time

All work with no play makes Jack a dull boy. Don’t get buried in your books or work and seclude some time for doing the things you like or bonding with your family. Spend some time alone to reflect and plan. Solitude allows you to discover your hidden talents and abilities. Taking up some “me-time” may help you find more hobbies and build on your mental strength. Self-care is essential during this period, and spending time in solitude will improve your well-being and increase your productivity.

Also having hobbies and interests and making time for those is very important, regardless of what they are or how physically demanding they are, it could be hiking or walking or perhaps you enjoy boardgame or playing games online or watching spot and perhaps even trying your luck at soccer betting.

8. Spring Clean Your Home

Cleaning your house thoroughly reduces stress and provides a favourable working environment. Hygiene is particularly important during this time. Maintain the cleanliness of your home by cleaning regularly and create a clean and safe space for you to work.

Cleaning as a task helps you to keep you focused and will have an impact on your mental health. Before you sit down to work on your desk, ensure that it is dust-free, clutter-free, and well organised. A clean home or workspace equates to a healthy mind that is parallel to improved productivity.

Things will get better

Everybody remains hopeful during these trying times that a solution to the problem will be found soon. Although the future is uncertain, try and make the most of your present. Take this lockdown period as an opportunity to improve your physical and mental wellness.

Keep in touch with your friends or workmates through video conferences or social media platforms. Spend quality time with your family and learn something new. Find a new hobby, read a book, study, or do anything constructive to keep you occupied.

We are all eager to resume our normal lives. Meanwhile, stay at home, stay safe and stay well. Nothing is permanent so hold on, everything will be fine.

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