Staying Productive During Quarantine

I don’t know about you but I’ve been having a bit of a rough time staying productive. I know I should allow myself time to relax and do things that keep my calm, but I also know that part of some of my anxiety are all the things that are piling up that I want to get done. Maybe you are feeling similar too. So below are some of the things I plan on doing while on quarantine in order to stay productive and stay on track with my goals. Feel free to check them out and hopefully they can help you a bit too.

-Pomodoro Technique

During the pandemic, I’ve noticed it’s so easy for me to become distracted. I am currently without regular work and have been trying to find gig work. But during these last few weeks, I’ve noticed that I easily become distracted by everything. Looking for a new show on Netflix to watch, checking if anyone’s uploaded an interesting video, looking at what’s on my social media. There’s an endless supply of things to take in and it makes it hard to focus on one task at a time. I’ve decided to go back to basics and do my pomodoro technique. You can use the regular pomodoro but I really enjoy and work better if I modify it to allow longer breaks, or longer work times. This way, I know that a break is coming but for the time being I’m going to work and focus on the task at hand.

-Reduction of Consumption

Related to my reintroduction of serious “pomodoroing” into my life, is to reduce the amount that I consume. I’m not talking food, although I’ve been watching that consumption as well. What I plan on reducing is the amount of media I consume. Right now, we’re all being overloaded with movies, tv shows, podcasts, audiobooks, and videos. I’ve always been someone who needs a bit of noise in the background, mostly for tasks like cleaning or cooking. But I’ve found myself drawn to listening to videos that I’ve either seen a million times already or don’t really have a real interest in watching. These videos make it really difficult for me to concentrate. I’m also finding myself just sitting and letting TV shows and Youtube videos just play one right after another. In order to combat this, I plan on listening to different soundscapes and ambient noise while I work. I will allow myself to continue listening while cleaning the floor and cooking a meal but while I write, study, or work, I plan on providing something soothing and calming in the background. This will help free up more of my mind to the task I want to complete.

-Learning to meditate

My significant other and I have taken to learning to meditate while in quarantine. I’ve meditated in various ways in my past while he has never meditated before. It’s a great time to start if you want to learn how to train you brain. I plan on using it not only for the mental health aspects of relaxing, reduction of anxiety and stress, but also to learn how to focus for longer periods of time. You can take this back to the use of the pomodoro method with me. I have a hard time concentrating on something for long periods of time if it’s not wholly engulfing to me. If it’s something like learning a new fun hobby or playing a fun new game, I can go on for hours. Transferring that skill to other more important aspects of my life, like getting work done, has been more difficult. Currently I am using an app to help guide me back into meditation, but I hope to get back into unguided movement meditation which are my favorite.

-Having a dedicated workspace(s)

You could call me a working nomad. Whenever I have had the opportunity to work and study from home, I’ve had a hard time staying in one spot. I usually like to drift from one place to another. I just enjoy mixing it up every now and then, even if it’s in my own house. This means I’ve never really had a dedicated work place in my home, ever. I’ve always kept my stuff packed up and just moved it along with me from room to room or spot to spot. Right now, I’m taking advantage of having the extra room to set up a work spot. My significant other surprised me while I was out a couple months ago and set up a cute little office space. I plan on utilizing this so that I start to associate a productive working mindset whenever I enter it. That way, it becomes more likely that I will work on things I need to get done, and not just hang out or drift from the room to another spot.

-Movement breaks

I’ve been working out while on quarantine, but I’ve noticed that even that does not seem like it is enough. When I was working outside the home, I was occasionally getting up and going to a meeting, walking from one place to another in order to talk with colleagues or drop off paperwork, and then the movement of going to and from work. Even with exercise, I feel myself getting stagnant throughout the day. I’ve been trying to take movement breaks and plan to do more structuring to those breaks in the coming days. Things like going for a walk, doing some yoga in another room, or just getting some cleaning done between tasks have so far been tremendously helpful in keeping my mind fresh and sanity in check.

-First things first

And funny enough, the last thing I plan to do, is try and get the most important, pressing or significant tasks done right away. I’ve let myself get slide out of my usual getting important things done right away in the morning slide to a more relaxed morning. But they keep me on a somewhat unmotivated, sluggish schedule where when I finally get my day started, it’s almost starting to wind down. I plan on jumping straight into important work and tasks as well as trying to exercise right away in the morning. I used to exercise straight away in the morning, but since moving have not had the schedule or the gusto to do so. The plan is hopefully to jump back into some semblance of those habits while the opportunity for change during this time exists.

This was my list of things I plan to do in order to stay productive during quarantine. I hope that you found it helpful. What are things you plan to do or are currently doing that help you stay productive? I would love to know.

Stay healthy and stay safe.

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