After a year in which you likely stayed at home more than usual, what can you do to stay productive as the coronavirus pandemic continues to limit out-of-home activities?
By now, you’re probably past the puzzle phase, cooking spurts and nearly all of Netflix’s entertainment library. It’s time to invest in yourself. Use your free time wisely by building healthy habits that promote a positive lifestyle and increase productivity.
Here are three tips to stay productive at home:
Be Organized and Plan Out Your Day
Instead of scrolling through your social media feed or watching too much TV, start each day by planning to be productive.
One way to do that is to keep your to-do list organized and updated. Whether you prefer a planner or a bunch of post-it notes, write out all the assignments and projects you intend to complete that day. Taking the time to write each task will help you visualize your workload and give you a better idea of how to space out your day.
Look for Virtual Opportunities
Whether you miss being busy all the time or just want to get more involved in your community, start looking for remote positions or virtual volunteer opportunities. Adding engagements to your schedule that aren’t just class and homework is a more productive use of your time while staying at home.
It’s important to take advantage of new opportunities for involvement and resume-boosting. Don’t leave 2020 blank on your resume. Wherever your interests lie, you will be able to find an opportunity since most organizations and industries have been able to go virtual at this point.
For example, students looking to build their resumes would benefit from researching virtual tutoring opportunities. If you are studying Nursing Education, this is a great chance for you to flex your teaching skills on other students in need of assistance.
If tutoring isn’t your jam, then get involved in community groups or look for paid positions. Staying productive during these times can be difficult, and exploring virtual opportunities can help you make the most of it and not feel alone.
Focus on Your Mental Health
If you aren’t feeling your best, then you won’t perform at your best. Take advantage of the time you are spending while staying at home and invest it in your mental health.
For example, try to disconnect from social media and spend time doing non-digital activities that bring you joy, such as walking, biking or reading a book. Through self-care and prioritizing your well-being, you will not only find yourself being more productive but more motivated to accomplish tasks.
Working in the same spot day after day with little variation makes it easy for us to fall into a rut and neglect our mental health. So, give yourself something to look forward to each day as a reward for being productive. Incorporating more self-care and positive reinforcement in your daily schedule can help keep you going and give you a reason to keep studying.
It is also important to recognize when you are feeling burnt out after a long day. Be kind to yourself and avoid overworking by setting goals and rewarding yourself for hitting those goals. For example, set a goal to memorize 40 key terms for your next exam by the end of the day. Once you do, reward yourself with an episode of Friends or a sweet treat.
The past year has been full of unexpected challenges and learning opportunities. Keeping yourself busy can be a good solution to avoiding cabin fever while staying at home.