Updated: Sep 13, 2020
Are you struggling with productivity lately? Apparently, many people are having the same problem because of the COVID-19 pandemic. People can't help but worry as the coronavirus crisis remains unresolved, finding it difficult to think, work, or do their responsibilities as best as they want to.
Try checking the websites of self-care gurus and mental health bloggers, and you'll see that there's a lot of talk going on about how people are vulnerable to anxiety, stress, or depression these days. This is understandable, considering that not everyone will feel at ease right away in coping with the new normal.
What Is the New Normal?
Under the new way of living, people stay at home while community quarantines are being implemented. Instead of face-to-face meetings, people connect with their family, friends, or colleagues via messaging apps. Students don't go to school but attend virtual classes instead.
Food, grocery items, medicines, and many other consumer products are bought online and delivered at home. Concerts and movies are made available for streaming. Doctors conduct home visits or teleconsulting to treat patients. In short, under the new normal, your home turns into a workspace, recreational hub, essential services center, and more all rolled into one.
At some point, you may find this newfound lifestyle overwhelming, especially if you're not able to set boundaries between work and leisure, personal time from family time, and so on, out of your desire to be able to do everything. Thus, it's essential to strike a balance between being productive and taking care of your mental health.
How to Be Productive and Healthy Under the New Normal
With these simple tips, you may find yourself adjusting to the new normal pretty well.
1. Organize your work station
If you're on a telecommuting arrangement with your office, you'll need to make sure that you can stay productive when working from home. A mini home office can create the atmosphere that you need to set yourself up for work.
Find a small area at home where you can set up your laptop or computer, along with an office desk and chair. Make it cozy with enough light and ventilation. You can even personalize your work area by adding your favorite elements like music, indoor plants, or other stylish accessories.
See Related: Personalize Your Meditation Space in 3 Simple Steps
Following the Mari Kondo principle, a clean, organized home is one of the simple joys in life. Since you'll be confined at home for a good amount of time, you may want to create an environment that lets you experience this kind of joy.
Spend a day or two tidying things up. Decluttering not only helps simplify your life, but it also helps give the impression that you're in control of the things around you. As such, you feel inspired to get up and start your day.
3. Establish a routine
Having a daily routine is vital because it helps you stay organized. When you have a daily plan, you feel less stressed because you already know how to pace yourself to get things done.
To create your routine, start with your morning habit. Try to have a fixed waking hour, eat a healthy breakfast, and do some stretching before getting down to your business for the day. If it makes you feel more prepared, use the time at night to help you plan what the next day should be like.
4. Minimize distractions
One of the challenges with the remote work setup is dealing with distractions while you're in the middle of an important task. Perhaps there's an errand that needs to be done, or you need to tend to your pet. With your long list of responsibilities, you end up multitasking, which may leave you feeling drained and unable to concentrate when it's time for you to resume work.
To help you avoid distractions, it may be necessary to shut yourself away in your own private space so that you can focus better. Pick a time—whether before or after work—when you should shift to household chores and personal matters that also need your attention.
Also, it may be easier said than done, but as much as possible, you should try to limit your online activities while you're working. Resist the urge to open your social media, shop for products, or play mobile games so that you don't get sidetracked.
5. Move about
Working from home does offer several perks like saving you from hours of daily commute while you're stuck in traffic. On the other hand, this change in lifestyle can make you forget about the need to move about as you sit comfortably in front of your computer.
Start getting active again with home exercises. It can be as simple as walking your dog, riding the bike, or running a lap around the neighborhood. You can also bring out a yoga mat and do some sit-ups, push-ups, or planks. Even climbing stairs is an excellent form of cardio exercise that you can do without needing any special gym or workout equipment.
6. Plan your meals
Menu planning has added benefits, other than making sure you're eating healthy food. When you plan and cook your own meals, you can save money and manage your finances better, since home-cooked meals are more cost-effective than fast food items.
Go for easy-to-prepare meals that you can do in half an hour or so using simple ingredients that you can buy from your local marketplace, especially since going to the grocery can be a hassle with limited transportation due to community quarantine guidelines.
7. Think of happy thoughts
At some point, you may begin to feel that staying at home isolates you from people, places, and things that you love, but you mustn't allow yourself to dwell on negativity. Instead, remind yourself that this will pass and brighter, better days will eventually come. In the meantime, surround yourself with positive thoughts, enjoy your time at home, and give yourself some breathing space.
The New Normal: Maintaining Productivity, Health, and Safety at Home
With the challenges we're currently facing, we need to give our best effort in adjusting to the new normal. Do not worry if you're not getting everything done all at once. After all, this pandemic is not a "productivity race," so remind yourself to take a break when you're tired, stressed, or uncertain, until you feel better physically and mentally.
About the Author
Chellsea is a freelance lifestyle writer for Metrodeal. She loves to travel and in her free time, she enjoys watching football games.