We’re all practicing social distancing right now as we try our best to weather this storm, though trying to remain productive may seem incredibly challenging. Even though I do work from home, I spent most of my time in and out of coffee shops because the mere thought of being indoors seemed impossible. Now, it’s simply reality, and I know that I should be making the most of the time I currently have.
My schedule used to consist of me getting up, getting ready for the day, and heading out for a few hours to make sure the work was getting done. When this all first hit, I struggled to cope with my anxiety and find a way to make this new routine work. Though, I tried my best to look on the bright side. I’m spending a lot more time focusing on my mental health as I try to encourage growth across my various writing platforms.
It may seem like an uphill battle trying to put any energy into making your dreams come true right now, but if you’re at home trying to figure out how to grow your blog, launch your writing career, or finish building your online business–I have a few tips to help you get started.
1. Establish a Plan of Attack to Complete Your Daily Goals
I know that trying to wake up at the same time you would for a regular workday may not be the easiest thing to accomplish. I’ve been trying to get my sleep schedule under control so I could have more hours in the day and feel like I actually completed some of my tasks. My main concern when trying to make these changes was to get these tasks done regardless. I stopped planning by time for a while, creating clear to-do lists instead until I figured out a timed schedule that would best work for me at home. Physically being able to cross off a task when it is completed makes me want to keep going, and it helps me to stay focused throughout my work sessions.
2. Get Ready for the Day
I don’t think I’d feel comfortable in jeans working from home regardless of how much I may want to put on a full outfit. I’ve chosen a different approach, making sure I’m comfortable but not precisely in pajamas. I follow the same “morning” routine, no matter what time I wake up. This ensures that I don’t feel defeated for waking up late, even though I may start my day in the afternoon sometimes. Have a shower, a cup of tea or coffee, plan your day, and eat something! I know it’s tempting to open up our laptops as soon as we wake up, but it’s important to take care of yourself and ensure that you’re going to make it through the day.
3. Create a Mindset ‘Reset’ Routine
I get incredibly distracted throughout the day, finding it hard to focus on finishing a single task. I have a reset routine to help deal with these distractions that consist of: meditating for five-ten minutes, writing about whatever’s on my mind, and returning to work directly after. This allows me to clear my mind of any distractions or impulses that may arise (like going back to bed even though I had two naps already).
Find the few tasks that help to clear your mind so that you can focus on completing tasks instead of ending the day feeling like you got absolutely nothing done. Try reading an article between your writing sessions, making yourself a snack, or turning on a podcast while you jot down some new ideas. Your reset routine is what you’re going to turn to when you start to feel overwhelmed or stressed, and it will most certainly encourage productivity.
4. Get Up and Get Moving
It’s tempting to stay in bed all day. There have been many days this week where I’ve done exactly that. I don’t utilize a desk space to get most of my writing done throughout the day, so while I’m busy turning my bed into an office, it’s important that I still use my muscles every now and then. I get up and stretch once every hour (and I know that may seem like a lot, but it helps).
When you’re feeling mainly blocked or unmotivated, shut your laptop screen and get a bit of fresh air, make yourself another cup of tea, or talk to your family members. Making an effort to get up and get moving will help ease the frustration of being inside all day, and make you feel a bit more grounded.
5. Have an Evening Recap and Unwind
This is something I didn’t think would make much of a difference in the beginning, but I’ve come to see just how crucial it really is. When we come home from a long workday, all we want to do is have a shower and crawl right into bed. When we’re working from home, this feeling may seem arbitrary. You may not want to bother “winding down” because you’ve been inside all day, but having an active routine in place to do so can help you get better rest.
Having some time to journal in the evening and unwind has helped to ease my anxiety about all the uncertainty we’re faced with today. I make the extra effort to get into some comfortable (specifically, nighttime pajamas), throw on a television show that will calm my mind, and relax for a little while. Having a good way to start and end my day makes being productive from home a bit easier to navigate.
I hope these tips help ease some of the tension and stress you may be feeling as you try to maintain a healthy level of productivity and mental clarity.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Let’s stay in touch.
Anisa Nasir is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and family. She’s the writer behind As She Writes.