5 Tips on How to Stay Productive in a Pandemic
After a massive shift at the beginning of the year, nearly half of all American workers are now working remotely. It’s normal for motivation and creativity to ebb and flow, even when you’re not dealing with a pandemic. But, stress can kill your productivity and block your ability to brainstorm and problem solve.
The pandemic lockdowns and shutdowns have changed the way we work, go to school, and the way we live.
Even seasoned, work-from-home pros are struggling with major disruptions, like the loss of supportive systems such as child care facilities and babysitters. This means parents are trying to work from home while supporting their child’s remote learning.
The days of remote workers having large blocks of time to concentrate without distractions are long gone.
Which is why we’ve put together 5 tips on how to stay productive in a pandemic:
1. Stick to a schedule to encourage your brain to get into productive work mode.
Set your alarm and get up at the same time every day. Keeping yourself on a regular schedule from home can help your mind know when it needs to be in work-mode.
If you were not a morning person before all of this… You’re probably not going to be one now. Figure out the time of the day when you feel the most settled and the most productive, and make that your daily routine.
And, once you’ve worked your full day. Put your computer away, keep work reminders out of sight, and take time to relax and recharge.
2. Have a designated workspace in a quiet area.
Ideally, you want your designated workspace to be in a separate room with a door that you can close. But if that’s not an option, do what you can to set up a fixed workstation at your kitchen table, in a corner of the living room, or in your bedroom.
Avoid working in bed, or any other places that might make you feel sleepy or don’t offer proper back support. As well as any areas where you’ll be distracted or disrupted by people coming and going.
Don’t chain yourself to a chair or a couch all day. Find ways to get up and move throughout the day. You’ll be surprised how much small breaks will increase your productivity. Get up and stretch and/or walk around your house. You’ll be way more productive and less likely to get a headache from your screen if you don’t just stay put all day long.
3. Use an effective project management tool to help you visualize your productivity and progress.
With all the chaos and stress of Covid-19, you need all the help you can get turning your personal space into a professional one. Using collaboration tools to keep track of all your projects, your deadlines, and help you collaborate with your team from anywhere is now critical for success.
Here’s what you want to look for in a project management tool:
- Does it organize your projects and deadlines, track your progress, clarify responsibilities to team members, and have quick high-level reporting capabilities?
- Does it offer any other collaboration or productivity tools? There are quite a few communication tools out there right now. This one offers you 5+ different tools in one platform.
- This brings us to pricing, there are some expensive platforms on the market right now, but pricier doesn’t always mean better.
A great project management tool is going to free up your mind of the clutter and allow for creativity to flow easier.
4. Practicing mindfulness will help you be more productive.
Speaking of freeing up space in your mind, if you’ve ever wondered if you’d benefit from practicing mindfulness, now might be a great time to take it up. While the chaos of 2020 continues to unfold, we could all use a little extra relaxation to help us cope with the stress.
One way to stay focused and productive is to start your day with a few minutes of meditation.
Finding a quiet spot in the morning before you begin working to do some deep breathing exercises can help you manage any stress or anxiety you might be feeling and help clear your mind.
Another simple way to stay productive is to listen to binaural beats or instrumental music as you work. There are tons of focus and study playlists on YouTube that are supposed to help you stay on track… plus background music can help you drown out any noise distractions.
The state of your mental health has a direct impact on your productivity. Do your best to build some self-care into your daily routine.
5. Mute Your Phone
This might feel a bit taboo in our phone-obsessed world, but if you make it a habit to silence your phone for at least a portion of your work hours, you’ll find yourself finishing your projects faster.
The constant barrage of distractions coming from Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, emails, texts can be hard to focus and complete your task.
Find a platform that gives you everything you need to stay focused on your tasks without having to pull out your phone.
There are a few platforms that have multiple features, this platform offers a project management tool that automatically opens a chat and voice channel to anyone on your team who’s also assigned to the task.
This means you can have consistent, micro-meetings through real-time voice channels where you share screens and files and do all your collaborating in one place. All while keeping your phone on silent while you work.
It might be impossible to be stress-free and distraction-free in this pandemic world we are living in, but adopting these tips will help you drown out the noise and stay focused!