Are your to-do lists from the previous year looking longer this year? Between balancing work life with home life and personal relationships, it can often feel like you’re not being as productive as you hoped to be. Twenty-four hours seems to not be enough in normal times. But perhaps now more than ever, due to COVID-19-related quarantine measures, many people are working from home and dealing with distractions.
Fortunately, there are many ways to be productive. You can still work from home, arrange for heating and air services and binge-watch with your remaining hours. From establishing a better morning routine to downloading apps for organization and taking more breaks, here are some productivity tips to help you work more efficiently this 2021.
Establish a Morning Routine
Bestselling author and Netflix star Marie Kondo has a simple tip: start your mornings with “good energy.” She starts her mornings by opening up windows, burning some incense and praying. If you don’t have incense, that’s OK. Your morning routine should be whatever leaves you feeling energized and motivated, as well as relaxed.
Brainstorm ways to enhance your morning routine. Why not enroll in a morning yoga class online? If you’re looking for something to do yourself, whip up a healthy breakfast, read a book, meditate or write down your thoughts in a journal.
Unplug in the Evening and the Morning
There’s nothing wrong with intentionally looking at your social media news feeds once in a while. But when you interrupt your focus by checking your phone in between tasks, you’ll need to unplug. At the minimum, refrain from using your devices during the first and last hours of your days.
If you’re itching to do something, do a challenging task or build a hobby. For example, create a vision board, pick up a book, learn how to knit, finish a jigsaw puzzle or even open up a Mandala flower coloring book.
Refrain Being Distracted by Your Phone
Your phone is your primary source of distraction, especially when you’re at work. If you need a little help avoiding the temptation to check all of your social media apps, put your phone away. Also, turn off the notification or change your phone’s display to grayscale. This removes all the colors from the screen, reducing stimulation.
If you’re looking for a more aggressive unplugging method, download Flipd, a free app that locks your phone for a certain time. This allows you to focus on your work or study first.
Plan Your Weeks Every Friday
Always plan your days ahead. Friday, being the end of the week, is the best day to plot out next week’s activities. If you’re hesitant to plan, you may not get things done or may cram tasks, which can increase your stress levels. Use Friday to delegate tasks, plan meetings, remove unnecessary tasks and leave time for any time-sensitive tasks.
Download an Organization App to Simplify Work from Home
If the calendar method falls short of your “Boost My Productivity” venture, an app may help you. Productivity coaches and executives recommend these apps to organize your address, manage multiple to-do lists, prioritize your well-being, easily access your passwords and track your different assignments
Take Frequent Breaks Daily
If you don’t give your brain a break, you’ll exhaust yourself and end up in an internet black hole. Instead of taking social media breaks, go for a walk, take your pet outside, eat healthy snacks or grab a cup of coffee.
Being too busy is often an excuse people use to forget the hobbies they love – but prioritizing your care is always important. Looking after your mental health in the middle of a workday is useful. Never forget to indulge in some well-deserved self-care by taking your breaks.
In line with taking a break, make the most out of your weekends, too. Weekends are prolonged breaks that recharge you for another week. Onweekends, do what you like. Decide what you’d like to do in the morning, afternoon and evening. Don’t hesitate to add some chores you’ve neglected during the weekday. And sleep when you can.
Make Time for Family and Friends
Social distancing and isolation measures have made it easy to forget about connecting with your loved ones. Unload your stress by spending time talking with people, especially those whom you live with. Reconnect with them during dinner. Or if your loved ones are away, video chat with them during your free time.
Finally, at the end of the day, instead of always grading yourself for your daily productivity, be kind to yourself. Celebrate today’s successes by writing down your accomplishments. Doing so will help you realize just how productive you’ve become.