Being productive and keeping well during the Covid-19 pandemic
Having an “I’ll do it tomorrow” thought? It can be hard to move past the feeling when there are other things we want to do. It is frustrating when this happens, especially when we need to meet a deadline, or we want to make progress on something that is important to us.
To boost your motivation, think about why you are doing you are working on the task to connect with the bigger picture – what matters to you.
When you notice that you are distracted, identify what was the trigger. Is it that you feel the urge to check your phone or check the news? Or is it that you want to contact others to find out how they are doing? Then, identify what you can do to manage these and create a plan of what you will do to prevent the distraction. For example, “To prevent being distracted by my phone I will put it in the drawer on airplane mode.”
Create a daily routine
To manage our mood, maintain our energy level, and feel more in control, it is essential to create a daily routine. Getting up at a good time each day and getting dressed to be ready to study as if you were going to go to lectures will introduce normality and some predictability into the day.
Set up your workspace and a work schedule that is flexible enough to allow for those tasks that you need to do at home, or to deal with unexpected events. Identify realistic and achievable goals as this will set the expectation that we can get it done. Then, make the time for each task and identify the steps you need to take to complete it.
Take regular breaks
Working online can be more demanding as it requires to focus on screens, and it takes more energy to do so than when we speak with people face-to-face. It is important to have time away from the computer to rest our eyes and to move for a while. This will help to prevent back and neck problems.
Focus on the benefits of working at home
Identify some of the things that you can do now that you could not do before. For example, now there is more time as you do not have a long commute, or you can make your favourite cup of tea or coffee when you take a break. Or you can connect more frequently with family and friends as they are at home too.
Given that there is no vaccine yet to protect us from Covid-19, it is understandable to feel apprehensive and worried about our health.
If you are feeling confused, or tense and worried, turn your attention to what you can do to keep yourself well. The best protection is maintaining healthy habits – eating healthy foods, drinking water, keeping active, protecting sleep, and having a good daily routine that includes having a clear finish from work at the end of the day.
David, S. (2016) Emotional agility. Get unstuck, embrace change and thrive in work and life. London: Penguin Books.
Fogg, B.J. (2018) Tiny habits. The small changes that change everything. London: Virgin Books.