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Our lives have changed drastically due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many of us are in a lockdown situation and have to study or work from home. This increases the risk of feeling socially isolated, less productive, and less engaged in our daily commitments.
On the other hand, the lockdown poses a great opportunity for you to learn new things, develop better habits and design a day where you can feel productive while maintaining your social life.
This post is packed with tips and tricks for you to stay productive and happy in lockdown.
Let’s get started!
Design your next day before it starts
Before you go to bed you should schedule your next day to the minute. Open up a notepad on your computer or grab the nearest pencil and paper and get to work.
When you wake up the next day you shouldn’t have to put any decision power into what you should do. If you are making new decisions for what to do as you go on with the day, it’s more likely you will choose the easier or less boring options before doing the harder but necessary stuff.
So plan all your doings ahead! All you have to do then is to enjoy a productive day you designed for yourself.
To get your inspiration going, here is an example of my day-design. I use a simple notepad to put down everything I have to do and want to do.
Some tips when designing your day
- Make sure to add pauses and schedule leisure time. No one can keep focus forever!
- Be as concrete as possible in your todos. Leave no room for uncertainty or shortcuts.
- Add social time like calling your loved ones and friends. Take the chance to reach out to people you normally wouldn’t just to check in on how they are doing. I can promise they will feel appreciated. Remember, you are not alone in this difficult time.
- Set specific time intervals for each todo. This will make it easier for you to get through boring tasks, as well as get you up and going after a break. Stick to the plan and pause if you scheduled it.
- Make sure to check off each to-do once you complete it. This will make you feel a sense of accomplishment and improve your mood.
- Reflect upon your day before you schedule the next. Maybe you didn’t manage to do everything you planned for. No worries. There will be a new day to come!
Create your bubbles at home
When you have to live your life within the walls of your home, it’s easy to mix up work with entertainment, social life, and leisure time. Normally, your activities are taking place outside, in the real world, in different locations, and at different times.
Your activities then had their own bubble.
At the gym you work out, at the campus you study, at the office, you do your job, and so on. Now they are all happening in the same place – your own home.
TFS – time, feeling, space
To set your mind right and make you as productive and focused as possible you have to create your own bubbles at home, both in time, feeling, and space.
Create bubbles in time
Set specific time intervals for your activities. Plan work and study early in the day and leisure time later.
Your willpower is often higher earlier in the day and that’s when you should do more focused work. You can find out more about willpower and how you can use it to achieve your goals and make healthy lifestyle changes on the American Psychological Association’s website.
Create bubbles in feeling
Change the feeling in your body to set your mind for the activity you would like to do. The main postures are standing up, sitting down, and laying down.
- Try standing up when calling a friend or having an online meeting.
- Sit down when you do focused work. Just remember to change your sitting position every 15 minutes. The best sitting position is always the next.
- Lay down to unwind and read something for fun or take a power-nap.
Create bubbles in space
Separate your kitchen table from your desktop, sofa, and bed. Avoid doing different activities in the same place, like watching Netflix and study on your sofa, or working and use social media at your desktop.
Your bed should only be used for sleeping and one more thing.
Some last tips
I think it’s important to look forward to your day. Don’t fill it with just focused work, even if it seems highly productive. I’ve found that I’m the most effective (and the most happy) when I’m excited about my day and there is a good mix of pain and pleasure.
Pain might be doing the dishes and study for 30 minutes. Pleasure might be having a great breakfast or watching a movie.
When designing your day, make sure to have a good mix of pain and pleasure to stay excited and stay productive.
Here are some examples of scheduling pain and pleasure in your day
- Exercise for 30 minutes and then read a good book.
- Do your dishes and then have a tasty breakfast.
- Study or work for 1 hour and then browse social media for 15 minutes.
- Clean your house and then call a friend or family member.
- Wash your clothes and then listen to your favorite music.
If you have something fun to look forward to after completing a more boring or difficult task, you will feel more motivated to complete it.
I hope you found some good tips on how to stay productive in lockdown. If you want more ideas on how to manage your life in the lockdown you should check out our podcast episode:
Listen to the podcast episode about staying productive during lockdown!
Stay happy, stay healthy!
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