By Sophia Isma
In March of 2020, the world decided to take a pause and keep us safe indoors. People started getting sick, some started to panic and some do not live with their loved ones. Work places and schools started to close and move to online. While online school and work has its have its pros, it also has its cons. The pros are you do not have to dress in a full, business or professional attire and you can work in a space that makes you feel comfortable, while still getting things done. A con, on the other hand, is when you are done with your work, what do you do? Stay in bed all day and blatantly stare at your phone, scrolling through social media or watch whatever is on Netflix or Disney+? Instead of acquiring those bad habits, here are five tips to keep you productive while isolating:
1. Create a schedule for yourself.
Creating a schedule for yourself is the best tool to keep up with your days in quarantine and knowing what tasks you can or must do. Even if you do not have a planner you can create one on Google Calendar or a Word Document. Another way you can customize your schedule is on OneNote, especially if you have a 2-in-1 laptop or tablet. Take the weekends off but focus on Monday to Fridays.
2. Find a comfortable spot to work in.
Whether you live by yourself or with others, it can be hard to focus on your online classes and meetings. Your bedroom may not be the best option to work from, especially on your bed or even if you have a desk. Make yourself comfortable in your formal dining area, for example, or if your home has an office area, work from there. When you do not have online meetings and want to listen to music while working, listen to Lo-Fi music, such as The Jazz Hop Café; available on YouTube, Spotify and Soundcloud.
3. Get your body moving!
According to Medline Plus, one of the benefits of working out is that it improves your mental health, as well as increasing your critical thinking. “During exercise, your body releases chemicals that can improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed. This can help you deal with stress and reduce your risk of depression… Exercise stimulates your body to release proteins and other chemicals that improve the structure and function of your brain.”
4. Cook and/or clean around the house.
If you have time on your hands and are tired of ordering the same food from Postmates, Grubhub or Uber Eats, learn how to cook your favorite meals. Find your favorite cooking tutorials on YouTube. Start small, buy one of your favorite frozen foods and make it in your microwave oven. Since we are in a pandemic and want to keep ourselves and our surroundings as clean as possible, always be sure to disinfect the areas around your house such as door knobs, remote controls, telephone, your phone and other electronic devices that you use every day.
5. Write your feelings out.
Journaling not only keeps you productive but it is also a self-care tip. During our time in quarantine, we may not be in the best mental or emotional state. From missing the people you love to the places you love to go, near or far, we yearn for that normalcy and connection. But it’s important have to stay safe where we are. It is OK to be in a negative state, but that does not mean you have to stay there. Even if you do not know what to write about, do a brain dump or search journal prompts that fit with the pandemic. The New York Times released an article on 12 Ideas for Writing Through the Pandemic With The New York Times as inspiration for journaling.
Simple but Effective.
These tips may be simple but they are effective if you are looking for ways to stay productive. The pandemic may be the worst thing to happen in the new decade, and even though the world paused on us and life is too short, we’ve got to make the best out of our time.
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