Don’t let the quarantine impact your productivity. Working and schooling from home is a new venture for most of us so here are 5 strategies to stay motivated and efficient.
1.) Set up work stations for everyone. Consider lighting, comfortable seating, access to electrical outlets and bring in all the necessary tools to work in order to reduce a search for them while working.
2.) Collaborate with family members to create a schedule for the week.
Using a blank calendar template, family members can fill in their designated Zoom calls or online instruction time so everyone is aware of who is doing what, where, and when.
Now, build in as much structured time, on the calendar, as you prefer. Consider time for meal prep, chores, eating, homework, exercise, reading and family fun. Planning out each day will set up expectations and routines for everyone.
3.) While working or studying, stay focused and reduce distractions around you.
I suggest using the Time Timer to program short blocks of time to complete deep, focused work without interruption. Here’s the process I use myself and recommend to clients:
- Set the timer for a designated time block (25-55 minutes.)
- Create a distraction-free work area (close a door, turn off the cell phone, exit out of the multiple web browsers) and get busy doing your work until the timer runs out.
- Take a 5-minute break. You can check your phone, stretch your legs, grab a snack, etc.
- Set the timing device again for another time block of distraction free work. Rinse and repeat.
4.) Use headphones.
Check out You Tube for ‘Brain Focus Music’, plug into any of the various tracks to block out noise and keep you “in the zone” while working. The headphones also allow you to listen to a call or class without disturbing others that may be in the room.
5.) Adjust schedules to suit.
Routines will shift by the shear fact that everyone is home. What adjustments can you make to meet the needs of your work? Can you start your day earlier? Can you partner with your spouse to trade off time to oversee the kids and their work? Can you incorporate your exercise time as part of family time- i.e. go on a walk or bike ride together?
Stay healthy and positive. We’re in this together.