Working from home is never easy, but especially during this period of self-isolation, it seems almost impossible to stay productive. As students, the anxiety surrounding our future education is enough to cripple anyone’s work ethic. Over the next few months, we have a number deadlines for which we have limited resources, not to mention the stress of not being able to contact our tutors. But, there are ways to stay productive during lockdown, you just have to be creative. Here are 5 tips to maximise your productivity levels at home.
- Find A Routine
Finding a rhythm is so important when it comes to staying productive during self-isolation. You don’t have to be working 9-to-5 every day, but you must have a routine. If, like me, you tend to be more productive later in the day, don’t force yourself to get up early. The most important thing is to be consistent. Set yourself realistic tasks that you know can be achieved throughout the day, and make sure to celebrate those achievements! This will make time during lockdown go by so much faster, and will hopefully give you a positive outlook that you can carry with you throughout the day. We are all creatures of habit, and now more than ever do we need to find a routine to keep us grounded.
2. Avoid Distractions
During this time especially, we must avoid distractions. I understand it is a luxury to have a designated workspace in your home, but anywhere will do, so long as you can remain focussed. Listening to the news whilst your working is perhaps the biggest distraction, and must be avoided at all costs. I myself struggle to read the news every day, but I try not to let that interfere with my work schedule. It’s important to concentrate on the task you have set yourself by trying to recreate the working conditions you would have had at university. I have found that turning my phone on Do Not Disturb mode when I’m working helps me stay focussed, and to avoid scrolling through Instagram or Facebook for hours when I should be working. So long as you keep a healthy work/life balance, you can avoid distractions and maintain a high level of productivity.
3. Give Yourself Breaks
Taking a break from your studies is as important as the work itself. Working from home can easily cause burnout, so it’s essential that you set time aside for other activities. I have found that after a long day of work, exercise is by far the best way for me to clear my mind. Whether it’s a walk with my Dad, or an online Yoga class with my friend, fitness has become an escape from the stress of working from home. So, whatever your escape is, make sure to set time aside in your day to do something that will make you smile. Now is the perfect time to try out a new hobby, or to reignite a passion from your past. Being productive is important, but not as important as taking care of your mental health.
4. Find Inspiration Online
There is plenty of inspiration online on how to stay productive during lockdown. As an aspiring journalist, I have been attending Zoom masterclasses run by News Associates, the UK’s top journalism school. I have also been taking online courses from a Florida-based Journalism school Poyner in “How To Become A Good Editor” and “Journalism Fundamentals: Craft And Values”. This, of course, has little to do with my university education. However, in my opinion, anything that helps you get closer to achieving your goals should be considered as productive. If you’re missing a study-buddy, there are plenty of Youtube videos that offer a real-time “study with me”, creating the visual sensation that you are working with another person. This can help with avoiding distractions, and keep you focussed on the task at hand. Wherever you find your inspiration, it’s also important to recognise the power of self-motivation. Be kind to yourself, and know your limits.
5. Work Outside
Working from home doesn’t have to mean locking yourself in a stuffy room all day. So long as you are respecting the guidelines set out by the government, I would encourage you to take your work outside. There is nothing more peaceful than reading a book in the garden whilst listening to the birds sing. It can lift your mood immensely and provide a welcome break from the confines of an office. The minor distractions of working outside are far less impactful on your work ethic than looking at your phone. To be surrounded by nature is a luxury, and we should take advantage of any chance we get to escape the pressures of working from home.
There are countless ways to stay productive during lockdown, but it’s important to remember to keep a healthy work/life balance. Students especially need to use this time to reflect on the year they’ve had, filled with endless disruptions and prepare themselves mentally for next year. Always remember to take care of your mental health, it is so easy to let it slip during these difficult times. Celebrate your successes, and recognise your limits. I am sure that once this is all over, you will be proud of how hard you worked given the exceptional circumstances.
This post was created as part of a series with Bloggers Inspired. For more inspiration, head to:
10 Unique Quarantine Activities by Lisa In London
5 Best Books To Read On Lifestyle And Career by Inspired in the City
Keeping Up With Your Quarantine Fitness by The AbeerSays Blog