Okay, so life has changed for all of us lately. No more going to work, to the gym, errand-running, coffee breaks, lunch with friends or drinks with the girls. And as we watch our routine crash while confined inside, it might be hard to be as productive as earlier. But, if this is the new normal till the near future, here are some tips on making it as productive and creatively fulfilling as possible!
Create a new, fun routine
Starting with the basics, a routine helps protect our mind from decision fatigue and provides comfort during uncertainty. It’s particularly useful in the morning to kick start the day with motivation and purpose. A routine starts with two very simple things: getting dressed and having a plan. While spending the day in your pajamas is comfortable, sure, getting dressed as you do for work or the weekend helps switch your mind to a more active mode. And, if you have a bit more time than before, begin the day with a ritual: a good cup of coffee, a serene morning meditation, a walk, or yoga stretches – something you find uplifting which gets you pumped for the day ahead.
You can also use this time to experiment with the things you normally do. Try that breakfast you’ve always wanted to try, find a transition from work from home to hanging at home, maybe use the time you normally use commuting to work out! Experimenting now shake things up and helps you find new things that work for you!
Carve out a workspace
A designated workspace helps put you in the right mind frame to focus and distinguishes ‘work’ from ‘home’, even though it’s hard to do that right now! Set up a working zone that’s ideally near natural light and away from distractions and fill it with your working essentials. Think notebooks, tech, chargers, stationary, files, and so on. Once those are in, add some decorative essentials like a plant, a throw for coziness and some cute containers to store accessories in. Make it comfortable and motivating, a place you look forward to going to everyday!
Do positive things for your career
Now is a good time to do all the things you can do to boost your career from the comfort of your couch! How long ago did you update your resume and LinkedIn profile? If it’s been a while, take some time to make it relevant again so it’s all ready when you need it! If you’ve been thinking of expanding your skill set, challenge yourself by enrolling in an online class. From learning graphic design to understanding the fundamentals of marketing, Coursera, Udemy and Skillshare offer a wide range of professionally led classes! While everyone’s at home, it’s also worth reaching out to your network with a thoughtful note or interesting article and planning a virtual catch up. See what your contacts have been up to and solidify the bonds you have.
Regular exercising releases endorphins that lower stress levels and help keep you mentally fit – two things that will help you in being more productive. Why not embrace isolation as an opportunity to try new at-home workouts? If you need guidance, there are plenty of ways to keep moving with the help of a virtual fitness instructor. For endurance, we recommend Orange Theory which uploads a new routine every day, so it’s always different. If you prefer to dance things out, Pop Sugar magazine keeps a list of the latest dance cardio workouts for fun high-energy choreography routines you can bust a move to.
Stay calm and take care of yourself
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with everything going on, or you just want some time to rest and recharge, try a bit of yoga and meditation. Having a fulfilling day is easier when you’re in the right headspace. Focusing on yourself, your breath and your movement helps calm you down and channel your energy in positive ways. For a good yoga routine, Yoga with Adriene is simple, easy to follow and teaches you all the different poses step by step. For a soothing guided meditation, Headspace (which is currently offering free sessions) makes mindfulness easy and can be downloaded on your phone.
Add some sunshine
Keep yourself busy with fun activities! If there’s a hobby you’ve always wanted to try or get back to, here’s your chance to give it a go. Any movies that are on your list? Make yourself a big bowl of popcorn and hunker down. Hungry for chocolate chip cookies? Experiment with different recipes and find the perfect batch! Learn how to give yourself an at-home mani-pedi, follow a new beauty tutorial on Youtube, pull out a puzzle, and make designated music playlists for different activities. Also schedule in pick-me-ups to look forward to at the end of the day or end of the week. These could be date nights with your partner, virtual dinner and drinks with friends, or even a soothing bath and favourite TV show!
And it’s ok if you aren’t feeling productive
With everything that’s happening in the world it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The social media might make you think you’re not doing enough during this unwanted pandemic phase but remember it’s alright to hit the snooze button and sleep through afternoon. You don’t have to do the live workout session or zoom chat with 6 of your friends if you don’t feel like it. Staying indoors and doing the basic is plenty for your me-time.