The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted life as we know it. As people are urged to self-isolate indoors to slow the spread of the virus, the question remains how do we stay productive during these highly stressful and uncertain times?
Governments might inject billions of dollars into the economy and tax payment deadlines might be delayed, but nobody can give you back time. You cannot put life on hold.
So here’s the thing. You need to keep on living. You need to find ways to stay productive during the coronavirus outbreak. Even if you can’t have Sunday brunch with your besties and going on holiday is out of the question, there’s so much you can do indoors.
Here are 10 of my favorite tips for staying productive while social isolating.
Get out of your pajamas
If I was a big advocate of putting on nice clothes each morning to boost your productivity before, I believe getting out of your pajamas is more important now than ever.
Since you can’t go almost anywhere and you’ll spend most of your time indoors, it might be tempting to wear your pajamas 24/7.
But social isolation has profound effects on the human brain as is. You really don’t need to disrupt your routines even further.
Keep a sense of normality by wearing proper clothes at least from Monday to Friday. If you’re used to wearing PJs on weekends, you can still do you. But don’t use the lockdown as an excuse to make every day feel like the weekend to the expense of your productivity.
Stop watching the news
With sporting events canceled, movie premiers postponed, and a bunch of other things just not happening right now, TV channels and news sites are struggling to report on anything other than the COVID-19 crisis.
While it’s important to stay informed, compulsively watching the news is a hell of a stress management technique.
Right now, the worst you can do is waste your time listening to people quarreling about how far is too far when adopting social isolation measures or pointing fingers and trying to figure out who’s to blame for I don’t know what medical supply delivery that went wrong.
Investing your time in following the news when things are changing so fast and the morning news can easily be trumped by the afternoon edition, can be a colossal waste of your time.
Exercise has the power to improve your productivity, creativity, brain function, and even your well-being.
You might be tempted to sleep until noon, become a couch potato for the next few weeks and just let yourself go. But that’s a lousy way to spend this time.
On top of the benefits mentioned above, exercise can increase your overall health and is proven to help manage stress and anxiety. Plus why no get that bikini body while you’re at it?
Exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever, boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from all that’s currently going on in the world, so you can do what you want to do and move the needle in your business, work on your side hustle or learn a new skill instead.
Plan your day
Just when you thought you’ve ditched the alarm clock and the work schedule, here I am telling you that you still need to plan your day.
Listen up guys, you cannot be productive without a plan. Even a minimal one.
Start by drafting a weekly plan. Then a daily plan. This will not only help you remember all that you want to do but also free up mental space and alleviate stress. Plus it will put you in control of your day.
Use a paper or digital planner, whichever you like best. While you can buy a pretty hardcover planner (the Erin Condren planners are some of my favorites), you can also download a daily printable planner from Etsy and start using it right away.
It doesn’t have to be all work, work, work, and learning. I recommend you include some fun activities into your schedule as well. Try to strike a balance between various activities, though.
Stop waiting to feel like it
Look, I get it. With all that is going on in the world right now, you probably don’t feel like putting on your productivity hat.
But the truth is your brain will always try to find an excuse and you’re never going to feel like it. It happened before, am I right? You were either too tired, didn’t know where to start or you just didn’t have time for your dreams.
Well, now you have the time. And you can sleep a good healthy eight hours each night too. Just google how to start doing whatever you want to do next. I promise you the answer it there, waiting for you.
Stop talking yourself out of being productive just because you’re too stressed, overwhelmed or anxious. You’ll never get anything done if you keep doing this.
Acknowledge your feelings and do it anyway.
Focus on what you can control
A lot of things are out of our control these days. There’s little more most of us can do other than being responsible, staying indoors and minimizing contact.
If you’ve been told you can work from home during the coronavirus outbreak, you’re more in charge of your schedule than ever before.
If you used to work from home before anyways, you might all of a sudden find yourself with more time on your hands as you have less client work to do.
Finally, if your day job can’t be done remotely and you’ve been told to stay home, you have total control over your schedule. Make the most of it!
It’s super important to focus on what you can control around you. Do your bed every morning. Brush your teeth. Comb your hair. Eat healthily. Practice good sleep hygiene.
If you have less outside interference, creating more structure in your life is within your reach.
Soon you’ll realize you have more control over your daily life and routines than you initially thought.
Maybe more important than anything I mentioned above is to realize that this situation isn’t permanent. This too shall pass. Your main job right now is to stay safe and healthy and keep everyone around you safe and healthy as well.
A positive mindset will eventually help you be more productive during the lockdown.
I’m a huge believer in starting the day on your own terms. This can set the tone for the rest of your day.
To stay positive even when the bad news keep piling up, find a mantra that helps you maintain or regain your calm.
‘This too shall pass‘ is a good mantra. ‘Right now I’m healthy and safe‘ is another good one that you can say over and over again during the day.
Repeat your mantra whenever you feel in distress. Use environmental triggers (like a positive phone background or a post-it on the fridge or bathroom mirror) to remind you of the good in your life before the overwhelm hits. This way you can curb anxiety in its tracks which in turn will lead to a more productive you.
Stay safe! Stay productive! For more practical ways to cope with social isolation, check out this ebook.
Hey there dream chaser! I’m a writer, designer and the creator of The Smart Blog Planner and Perfectly Productive Planner. I’m on a mission to inspire and empower you to create a highly profitable minimalist online business and show up for your dreams in a sustainable way.