Isolated in my home, lacking the inspiration of an active, energized work space, I find myself losing motivation. My mind and body are wired to feed off of the stimulation of my surroundings. In a COVID-19 world, this simply is not feasible. Therefore, I’ve descended into dangerous patterns of procrastination, saving my work until the very last second. I’m aware many other work-from-home individuals are suffering from similar obstacles. It’s just not possible to retain energy and passion without human interaction! Fortunately, I’ve compiled a few tips to help you stay on track, until this whole pandemic thing is over (And I’m praying that it’s sooner, rather than later!).
1. Make a to-do list
Seems simple enough, right? Many people avoid making comprehensive to-do lists, as it is too overwhelming. However, writing down an achievable, sustainable list of 1-3 goals per day can accelerate your overall productivity! Whether you need to complete house chores, finish an essay, or meet a deadline, a to-do list will aid your organization, and provide you a structured method for success. Plus, you can treat yourself to some cute customized notepads!
2. Set a schedule
Timing is EVERYTHING for maintaining your productivity. When you design a clear schedule everyday, your body will instinctively adapt. For example, if you plan to consistently wake up at 8 a.m., shower, and begin work by 9 a.m., your internal clock will effortlessly fall into a rhythm. Set a schedule designating work time, breaks, and meals throughout your day. Without teachers and bosses closely regulating your agenda, it is critical to be your own supervisor! While waking up at 12 p.m. was a hoot for the first few months of quarantine, this pattern is not conducive with productive habits.
3. Tell others about your goals
Sharing your personal goals with others holds you accountable for completing them. For instance, if you tell your friend you are going to complete your project by Friday, you have successfully externalized your goal. Now, there is another person who is expecting you to be motivated and productive! Plus, you’ll feel super embarrassed if your friend asks how the project is going, and you haven’t even started. So the next time you need to light a fire in your belly, share your goals with a buddy.
4. Visualize yourself working and finishing your tasks
Oftentimes, the most difficult part of beginning a task is overcoming your anxiety. Even small responsibilities, like homework and cleaning, can feel insurmountable when you lack motivation. I have found visualizing myself completing a task to be extremely beneficial, as it breaks down a harrowing activity into small, digestible parts. Through visualization, you prime your mind and body to successfully finish work.
5. Reward yourself
This is my personal favorite tactic to elevate my personal motivation! After a long day of work, I always grant myself something special to reward my efforts. From Netflix binges, to fun snacks, and spa nights, there are countless ways to tell yourself “thank-you!” for a hard day’s work! A simple treat can propel your motivation all day long, and encourage you to keep that pep in your step. You can also inspire your progress with small rewards at short intervals. For instance, you can allow yourself 10 minutes of rest after every 50 minutes of work, or 5 gummy bears after every completed chapter! The opportunities are endless.
While it is important to stay motivated during these precarious times, please be kind to yourself. It’s okay if your energy levels have faltered, if your passion is draining, and your spirits are dampened. That is a healthy and normal reaction to the tumultuous, isolated atmosphere we currently reside in. Maintaining a base level of productivity will help your mental wellness, and distract your from the monotony of pandemic life. So even if your body yearns to dissolve to your bed, try to accomplish at least one task per day. And I’ll be right here alongside with you, fighting the good fight, every step of the way.
Written By: Brianna Rauchman