I wasn’t sure whether to post this as it feels a bit of a cliche right now but with such uncertain times, it can feel hard to stay afloat let alone productive. I think for anyone in the world right now things are somewhat different. For us here in London, we have to stay inside besides buying food or medicine. We are also allowed to go out once a day for exercise. Both me and Rob are working from home, well I’m doing uni work.
1. Keep an organised workspace
Firstly your desk or temporary work table should be free from clutter and have everything you need. My workspace is currently a section of our Ikea dining table which means I have to keep it clean and easy to pack up. Also, make sure your laptop is organised. It takes some time but you will benefit from having all your folders organised. I have a Google Chromebook so use Google Drive which really helps to keep all my documents organised.
2. Spreadsheets and To-Do Lists
Okay, this might sound nerdy but I love a list. I found it leaves space in my mind for more important things. Once it is on paper (or laptop screen) it means you can’t forget it (technically). For my uni assignments, I make an assignment tracker so I can keep on top of everything, also it feels more fulfilling when I finish one. An who doesn’t love a list to keep them on track. My tips for your to-do lists is to put the tasks into categories, so modules, clients or genres for example. Ensure that your tasks are clear and process and that you order them in terms of importance or due date. All these things mean that when I sit down at my laptop I have a very clear idea of what I need to do and again, I feel good when I tick it off my list.
3. Create the perfect atmosphere
Do not put the TV on whilst doing work. I’ve tried it and believe me it doesn’t work. You get so distracted by it even if you have something on you don’t even like. So turn the TV off, I find music helps to keep me motivated sometimes but that is down to you. Opening a window or door to keep some fresh air circulating around the room can stop you feeling sluggish. I have some daffodils of my desk, not essential but they brighten up my workspace for sure. Repeating step number 1 slightly but don’t have a table full of clutter, plates and wrappers, only have what you need. Clean house clean mind, that’s what they say right? However, I find myself procrastinating by cleaning and using that as an excuse so maybe allocate some time to do a quick five minute clean.
4. Create a routine
A routine might sound like a bore to some people but I find that I thrive off routine and get very bored and sad without one. Here is an example of one of my days of last week.
8:00 – Wake up (this is hard and I do keep snoozing)
8:30 – 9:00 – Yoga w/ Adriene 30 Day Home Challenge or a 30 min run
9:00 – 9:30 – Breakfast
9:30 – 10:00 – Get showered and dressed
10:00 – 13:00 – Morning Lecture. If it’s not a uni day then I will start to work through my to-do list. Here I will pick out what I want to do today and get started on achieving my realistic list.
13:00 – 14:00 – Lunch. Somedays Rob and I will eat together and watch TV or sit outside. Other days we will do our own thing like I will watch Youtube or read and Rob might play Playstation.
14:00 – 17:00 – Afternoon Lecture or 14:00 – 15:00 – This is where I chose to go for a walk or read or journal. Just some time away from my screen.
15:00 – 17:30 – Continue work on my to-do list.
The evening isn’t really scheduled. However, we try and go for a walk after Rob has finished work and then when we come back we start dinner and settle in for the night of watching a film or TV or Facetiming family and friends.
5. Take breaks and avoid pressure
Now, in the schedule, I haven’t made any time for breaks except for lunch. For some that might be fine but for me, I can’t work for longer than 30 minutes without feeling a little irritable. So take a break, make a cup of tea, wash the dishes from lunch, take the rubbish out whatever it is just so you can think of something else for a second. I also try and fit in some physical activity, yoga or a run. This then gives me more focus once I am back at my desk.
The most important point is to not put pressure on yourself to be super productive. I have seen lots of things on social media lately saying ‘if you don’t come out of this lockdown with a new skill, successful business or abs then you’re a failure’. What a load of bollocks. If you come out of this lockdown still sane and healthy, that is more important than all that other stuff. Just do things are your pace.
I hope everyone is safe and well during this time. Let me know if there is anything you would like to see from me on here whilst I have a lot of time on my hands in comments below.