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How I Actually Stay Productive Working/Going to School from Home During Quarantine

I've been watching so many videos and reading a ton of articles lately on how to be productive at home, usually from people that already work from home to begin with. While I think there are great tips in these articles, I will say that I've tried a bunch out, and as someone that does not regularly work from home, it has been a pretty difficult adjustment for me. So after 6 weeks of working and going to school from home, I wrote down a list of things that have actually helped me get things done in quarantine.

Now before I start, I want to say that it is 100% okay if you’re not always productive during this time. Things are so uncertain and the world can look really bleak at times, so sometimes it can be difficult to motivate yourself to do what you have to do. Something that really helped change my perspective on this was a quote I heard in a Youtube video the other day, "You are not working from home during a pandemic, you are at home quarantined during a pandemic, trying to work". Putting it this way has really helped shift my mentality on productivity, and has allowed myself to accept my unproductive days and be okay with just trying my best when it comes to getting work done.

Tie a healthy habit to waking up in the morning
To start, something i've noticed that has really helped kickstart a productive day for me is creating a morning routine. My morning routine is extremely short, but it helps tell my mind that it's time to get things done. For me, the healthy habits that I focus on in my morning routine are drinking water, washing my face, and brushing my teeth. Super simple, but once those things are done for the day I feel like I've accomplished something, which kind of motivates me to accomplish more things.
Write down a schedule 
Next, I like to pull out my planner and write down some sort of schedule or goal for the day. My planner has me write out my goals, my tasks, and my top priority for each day, which helps give me an idea of things that I at least want to get done. Time in quarantine can get kind of wonky, and it’s easy to forget what time and day it is, so using my planner to write down a plan of action helps me use my time wisely. I've also started using my planner as a food journal recently to track my snacking habits, which has come as a surprising motivator to actually use my planner and has kept me a little bit more accountable to my tasks.

Sit somewhere that you can’t see your bed or couch
This one has been so helpful to me recently. I am lucky to have a desk in my room, but when quarantine first started it was directly facing my bed. Seeing my bed each time I had to do work made it so tempting to just jump in and watch Netflix for the rest of the day. So I ended up moving my desk in a way that my back is to my bed and my view is to my window. I have honestly found myself spending hours at my desk now just getting my work done. Another work space that I’ve found myself to be pretty productive in is actually the kitchen. I can't see the couch from my kitchen so I don't have any temptation to get comfy and abandon my work, and the change of location usually gives me a little motivation to complete a project while i'm there.

Do one task at a time 
It can be very overwhelming transitioning to online school and work, because all of a sudden you can see all of your tasks for the day at once instead of maybe learning about your responsibilities as they come. So instead of having a bunch of tabs or windows open on my laptop I will usually only keep open the tabs I need for one assignment or project. This reminds me to focus on finishing one task before starting another and it helps me get my work done a lot faster as a result.

Set Small Milestones 
This one has been the most beneficial of all. When I’m 5 minutes into an assignment or project and inevitably get the urge to scroll through Instagram or do anything but the work in front of me, I’ll set a small mental goal to first finish the paragraph i'm working on. Then once that paragraph is finished I’ll tell myself that I might as well finish the section, and then eventually the paper, continuing to set small goals for myself until I finish my assignment. I tend to make these milestones really small and achievable so i'm more likely to do them, and each I time I do this it eventually gets me into the groove of an assignment, and sometimes I can keep going for hours. 

Put all of your work in one area 
Last but not least, I make sure to put all of my work in one area. Whether it is all on my laptop or in a little basket, this helps me section off my work-life from my home lifeWhich means whenever I finish my work for the day, I make sure to put it out of site until the next work day (although sometimes If I want to use my laptop later, instead of putting it away I will just make sure that all my work is saved somewhere and I will close all my work tabs). One of the most difficult things about working from home is that the lines between home and work can easily get blurred and it can be overwhelming to feel like you’ve never stopped working. This separation helps makes sure that once I’m done with my tasks for the day I can put away my work the same way I would if I were leaving work normally, and focus on enjoying the rest of my night. It also helps train my brain to get into work mode quicker the next day.

And thats how I really get work done during quarantine. Granted, not every day is like this, but when I do find myself being productive, these are the things that usually help me stay that way.

Thanks for reading, and if you try one of these tips, comment below whether it helped you or not. 

Good luck!

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