What is going on? That is the question in everyone’s mind. Our lives have been turned upside down in less than 2 weeks due to the novel Coronavirus, and while a lot of people have the privilege to now work from home, many have been left without jobs and the ability to earn.
No matter how you are being affected by this pandemic, it is very important to remain productive. Not only because it will help you adjust to this drastic change and keep you sane, but because I will give you an opportunity to practice discipline, and either work on that project you have been putting off to the side, or stay on top of your existing workload.
Apply the following simple hacks to your daily routine and stay productive during these uncertain times:
- Wake up early - If you are an early riser already, keep it up. If you are not an early riser, it is a great opportunity to develop this habit. Waking up early gives you extra time to do things you enjoy without any disruptions. Whether it is to journal, meditate, workout, read or just enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, those extra hours are essential for optimal productivity.
- Make your bed - No I am not joking. Get out of bed as soon as your alarm rings and make it. This will keep you from getting back into bed, or working from bed. Completing a simple task such as making your bed in the morning will encourage you to complete more tasks, and it will put you in an organized state of mind.
- Break a sweat - Working out gets your endorphins and metabolism going, and it can increase mental clarity for hours after you stop sweating. Never underestimate the power of a yoga flow or a run (just make sure that you practice social distancing and stay least 6 feet away from any person if you choose to workout outside)
- Have a designated work space (or spaces) - If you have an office space at home, lucky you. Use it! If you do not have office space, designate a spot, or a couple of spots in your home. I like change, and since I can not leave my apartment to go work at a coffee shop like I usually do, I dedicated two separate spots in my apartment for work. This changes the scenario a bit allowing for increased productivity.
- Apply the 90-20 rule to your day - This rule has worked wonders for me. The idea is to dedicate 90 minutes to a specific task and then take a 20 minute break. Why? Well, studies show that the brain uses most of its glucose, the sugar needed for optimal brain function, in 60 to 90 minutes while performing demanding tasks. By taking a break to stretch, take a walk, or get a snack, you are allowing the brain to rebuild its glucose storage in order to get you focused and productive during the following 90 minutes.
- Block distractions with music - Music helps reduce the audible distractions and will keep you focused. I enjoy different genres of music for different tasks, but my go to is classical or instrumental without any lyrics.
- Turn off notifications and place phones on silent - Nothing breaks the flow of work faster than a ringing phone or an incoming email. While focusing on a task make sure that all notifications are off. You will notice how much more you get done in those 90 minute intervals once the distractions are gone.
- Have a plan - Every night before going to bed dedicate 10-15 minutes to write down a to do list or a task list for the next day. On Sunday nights spend a little more time developing your weekly plan. On Sundays I like to choose my workouts for the week and basic meal prep. This opens up more time during the week for unforeseen tasks.
We are going through very uncertain and unfamiliar times. The unknown can be very scary and the important thing is to not give in to the fear of the unknown. Keep moving, keep doing, and lets be grateful that we are still able to work and be creative.
Stay healthy and keep on going Tribe!