Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I last posted 🙂 Lots of things have changed, and we’re definitely living in weird times, but that won’t stop us from becoming as productive as we possibly can be!
Since a majority of us are currently working from home, I’ve had a few people reaching out to me for some tips on staying focused and productive whilst being cooped up at home all day, and because I am used to working from home, I thought I’d share with you guys some tips and tricks and sort of navigate through how I manage between staying indoors for so long and still getting my work done!
Plan first thing in the morning
I cannot stress how important planning is! You have all these deadlines and to-do’s piling up in your head, but leaving them in your thoughts won’t do you any good because you have so many other things to think about. Make sure to always set things out first thing in the morning before you start working. Make realistic goals and write them out somewhere so you can physically see it! This way you’ll be constantly reminded of what you need to get done. If you’re always making a mental note of your tasks, it’s hard to manage and plan your day as it goes by. You will feel so much lighter after you write out your goals and plans for the day. Feeling organised is so important to me. Without physical lists, I can go mad with all the deadlines piling up in my head!
The importance of a decluttered mind
This may not apply to everyone, but if you categorise between your personal work (studying, watching lectures, admin work, etc), creative work (content creation, photoshoots, writing), or even work such as cleaning and laundry, you may ask yourself: which one to do first? Maybe you need more brain power to listen to a lecture and write down your notes for it, or you need the time to focus and complete a draft for a creative work? Perhaps the laundry bin has been full for the past few days and you can’t get it out of your head and you’re just simply itching to wash your clothes.
Well, everything comes down to your focus! What makes you feel the most productive? An empty laundry bin? A clean table? A finished draft or lecture? Think about it; you may have deadlines and priorities, but you won’t be completely focused on your work if you have a dirty sink or a measly 150 words left to finish your essay. Get rid of those small, pesky tasks BEFORE anything else. For example, I love having a clean workspace, so I like to take the time to make sure my desk is clean before I start working! This makes me feel more focused, and it lets me power through an important assignment rather than being distracted organising my table in between my study sessions. I also like to make sure I fill in the remaining gaps for all my unfinished work from the day before. This could be a writing assignment that I’m just so close to finishing, but didn’t have the time to complete yet. Everything comes down to focus, and having a decluttered mind (with NO pesky distractions to gnaw at you) will maximise it!
A productive workspace
A productive workspace is one that keeps you focused and motivated. You do not want any distractions lying around you. Keep your phones and games out of sight! Get some water to stay hydrated and ONLY surround yourself with the things you need to get your work done (i.e. laptop, pen, notebook, Ipad, etc). Try to keep your workspace as minimal as possible, because you do not want to be fiddling around with anything within arm’s reach (i know we all do this..)! I suggest only having your phone with you if you need it for work purposes. However, having a phone with you may also be good if (and only if) you are using a productivity app! I’ve been using the Forest app lately and it’s been soooo fun. I love the incentive of this app. Basically you plant a tree and it grows as long as you do not leave the app. If you do, your beautiful plant will wither! It may sound ineffective, but trust me when I say how painful it is to see them die! >< Anywho, Forest is a paid app, but I think it’s an investment that goes a loooong way.
Change (up) your environment!
Since most of us are at home a lot more now, it’s easy to lose focus because we’re just sitting down in front of our desks for hours. If it’s possible, change up your working area! Sit on the couch, write at your porch, pull out a picnic mat and lay it out at your yard for you to work on. Even something as little as re-organising your desk space (moving your items around, changing the positions of your desk and chair) can do wonders to you! Joining your family/roommates while you work will can also be beneficial for you!
You’ll definitely start to lose focus and get distracted after a few hours. Take this opportunity to take a break! Don’t push yourself! Take your mind off your work and have a lunch break (as you would at work or in school) or even bake. Make yourself a cup of coffee, journal, stretch, read for a bit! Ease your mind a little. You do not want to overwork your brain. At times like these, it is so easy to get lost in your work. But being at home also gives you the perfect chance to relax a little more and look after yourself. Setting up breaks in your planner is also a good way to remind yourself that you need to take your days slow. Just cause you have more time in your hands doesn’t mean you need to cramp all your assignments in one day! Staying productive means taking breaks too 🙂
Know when to STOP
Working at home gives you the perfect chance to find out how long exactly you can keep working until your mind starts to wander/you start to lose focus. I find out that I get tired when I’ve been up for approximately twelve hours. For example, if I get up at 8:00am in the morning, by 8:00pm I would have to STOP any heavy work I’m doing and give myself time to relax and unwind. I do this because I know how hard it is to focus by the time the 12th hour rolls around, so to prevent from wasting any more time, I make sure I drop everything that i’m doing by then. This also somehow gives me the motivation to wake up earlier, because it gives me more time to work on things I’d rather be doing during the day like journaling, reading, and writing!
Of course, this does not apply to everyone! Some of you might be able to work for more than 12 hours a day, or even less. It doesn’t matter! What’s important is you establish a pause button on yourself. As I’ve said earlier, please take care of yourself. I know this post is all about being productive, but whether you feel motivated to do work or not, what’s most important is that you’re looking out after your own health (i.e eating and sleeping enough).
Alrighty friends, that is all I have for today’s post. I hope you all found it somewhat helpful! Feel free to follow my home routine via my Instagram stories (and my ‘lifestyle’ story highlight) if you think that will help motivate you! ❤ As always, I am open to chat if you ever have any questions (or just want to talk to me in general!!). Stay healthy and hopeful! This too shall past 🙂 Take care!