Productivity has always been a point of interest for many of us. Even more so during recent times, where following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic the majority of us continue to work, study or remain at home for the better part of our days. As a consequence, staying rooted in place for such extended periods has had a surprising impact on our relationship with productivity.
Now, productivity does not immediately equate to ‘how many projects can I churn out at work without being distracted?’ or ‘how can I keep my concentration levels up whilst studying multiple subjects?’ Instead, productivity has shifted towards keeping motivated, keeping active and keeping engaged.
Here, we explore 5 ways to be productive during this period, so you can make the most of your time and resources, whatever your current circumstances.
Organise your environment
You may have heard the phrase ‘tidy space, tidy mind’ before, with many investigations highlighting the correlation between ‘tidiness’ and productivity. Especially now, when many of us are spending a large portion of our days in the same rooms – or at the same makeshift desk – mess can easily accrue and consequently distract our focus.
Set aside some time to declutter and organise your space. This will increase your efficiency, helping you to locate those all-important documents or items quicker, in addition to reducing any unnecessary stress-levels that messy filing may create. A clean environment also has the benefit of reducing dirt, germs and other infections, which will enable you to remain healthy and active.
Increase your exercise
Studies indicate that the more we regularly increase our heart rates and get the blood moving around our bodies, the better our mood and energy levels. If you find yourself in a slump, distracted or unenthused, try taking a break from whatever task you’re struggling with and use this time to exercise instead.
Exercise offers myriad physical benefits and can also help with your alertness levels and concentration, as well as your mental health too. So whether it’s running, jogging or a home HIIT workout session, choose something that will challenge you whilst being something that you will ultimately enjoy.
Engage your mind
Another reason we may feel unproductive right now can be due to falling into a ‘mental funk’. Engaging your mind through learning new skills can be massively beneficial, helping you to feel re-energised whilst enabling you to feel ‘productive’ in mastering a new ability.
Online courses are ideal, as they offer access to countless training opportunities through distance-based remote study. For example, perhaps as an animal lover you’ve always wanted to learn the techniques of a successful dog groomer – either to style your own four-legged friend or to develop your insight into this industry.
A Dog Grooming Certificate would be the perfect course for you to undertake, with self-paced studies which can fit around your current obligations. As certified dog grooming courses also deliver a professional dog grooming kit straight to your door, you would be able to develop this expertise from the comfort of your own home.
This applies to a variety of courses and skills. Whether photography, makeup artistry or horticulture, online studies are accessible to any individual with a stable internet connection and an interest in expanding their repertoire of skills and talents.
This is a prime time to establish or nurture connections with your family members, friends and even professionals. With the majority of individuals remaining at home for longer periods, our ability to reach out and converse via technology has only increased.
If you’re feeling like your professional life, in particular, is stagnating, consider connecting with other professionals through platforms such as LinkedIn. If you are able to establish mutually beneficial networking opportunities, this may help you to create connections that will serve you in the future.
Conversely, if you feel as if your personal life is suffering, you can organise a virtual catch-up with a friend or family member. You can discuss your current challenges or use this time to give yourself a ‘mental breather’ before returning to the tasks at hand – refocused and motivated once more.
Make it fun
Some days, you may wake up excited to tackle your to-do list. Some days, all you may want to do is sprawl on the sofa and binge some Netflix. If your mood falls into the latter category and you’re finding it difficult to work through your personal or professional obligations, try gamifying the experience.
There are many apps available which can help gamify your responsibilities, for example using point-scoring systems with each task you complete or setting sprint timers to break down tasks into smaller segments. The main benefit is that this will help you to avoid slipping into any procrastination quagmires, bringing out your competitive streak whilst helping you to resolve any outstanding responsibilities.
To conclude, there are many ways in which you can improve your productivity and you can try any one or a mixture of the suggestions above to discover what works best for you. What matters is that you continue to stimulate and support yourself during this time.