For years, we always longed to stay home from school, or skip a day of work. COVID is showing us that we really need to be careful what we wish for. As we have all learned, being stuck at home is mentally draining. How do we stay sane and organized while sitting in the confining boundaries of our home? Below, I’ve compiled a list of the things that help me stay productive and happy, despite the difficult circumstances.
1. Keep a planner
Writing everything down has been the most helpful tool for me! I like to keep a planner where I write out every task I need to complete for the day. I am a visual person, so I need to see my schedule laid out in front of me; otherwise, it jumbles up in my brain. By organizing my thoughts, a planner allows me to plan my day more effectively. Writing a schedule down holds me accountable for my goals. I often get distracted and fall behind in my work, so specifying timely tasks, then checking off each item, provides me a sense of satisfaction, and motivates me to be productive.
2. Maintain an organized & clean space
Nothing makes me more anxious than a messy workspace. Just hearing the word “clutter” practically gets my heart racing! I feel so frustrated when I’m trying to figure out an assignment, but I don’t have the space to move or think because there are a million objects stacked on my desk. To avoid this, I get rid of any clutter on my desk before beginning my work. When something is not being used, it should be away in its predetermined place. Anything that is required will be neatly placed on the desk in an easy-to-reach, but out of the way spot.
3. Separate your work space from your chill space
When we work from our desk at an office, we associate our environment with working. So, when we enter that area our minds are prepared to run. When we sleep at home, we associate our comfortable beds with relaxation. During COVID, however, these areas are now one. It’s important to designate different areas in our homes for different purposes. Because I am in a full house, I am mostly confined to my bedroom. Thus, keeping things separate can be a frustrating process. However, I try to solely work at my desk, eat in the kitchen, and sleep in my bed. These areas have their predetermined functions and we cannot let those lines cross.
4. Reward yourself
After a long week of stress, my favorite treat is a fancy coffee and bagel. You might say spending money on an iced latte that I could easily make at home is a waste, but I call it self care. I need that time to clear my head, relax, and just pamper myself. It feels positive to reward myself, and it motivates me to keep up the effort, because I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Your reward doesn’t need to involve spending money; it’s anything that makes your heart full and makes you feel better - guilt free.
Hopefully these tips will help you cope with your home-bound work schedule! COVID has truly thrown a wrench in our motivation; don’t get down on yourself if you feel you lost your mojo. You are allowed to be tired, stressed, anxious, and “off”. This is a pandemic, not a productivity contest! We are all simply trying our best, and our “best” during a pandemic may not be the same as before. It will all be okay; this stormy weather will pass. For now, stay safe, stay sane, and stay positive.
Written By: Gabriella Morovati