Do not panic and do not fret. Though we find ourselves in quarantine, our work lives are still as busy as ever. As we sit at our makeshift desk hastily prepared the moment we all got the notice that work from home begins today, we can’t help but to feel not at 100% productivity in our home environment. So here is an article detailing how you can stay productive during your self-quarantine period. These here are a few steps I follow myself to maintain some level of productivity!

Ensure A Quiet Environment

The first step is to actually get work during self-quarantine is clearing your surroundings and making sure the only things we hear is the sound of your own thoughts and the sound of clicking on your keyboard. Block out any other disturbances, don’t allow anyone else to invade the workspace you’ve created.

Keep Distraction Away

The last thing you want are distractions interrupting your hard achieved flow. This and the first point go hand in hand, a clean desk with minimum objects which could potentially distract you and keep physical distractions away from you.

Some upsides to your home working environment is that everything in the proximity of your workstation is within your reach and can be changed. See something bugging you or enticing you to break the workflow and do something unproductive? Hide it in your cabinet or out of sight!

Get Yourself In A Working Mindset

It’s a simple case of mind over matter. Everything begins with the first step In this case, the first step is to have the mental prowess to be able to convince yourself to work at an effective pace. 

Getting into the right mindset for work isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Instead of constantly telling yourself to work, work, work, switch up your approach and ease your way, rather than forcing it. 

What I mean by this is that you need to begin small. Find warm-up tasks you find yourself doing in the morning of a regular workday and take baby steps from there. For me, it’s logging in to all my accounts, checking my emails, responding and then looking at my task list. I make sure to pick out the easiest task and work my way from there. 

Although this doesn’t work for everyone, I highly suggest giving this a shot.

Maintain A Task List

If you aren’t maintaining a task list for yourself, what are you doing? No human is a superhero or genius with Eidetic memory. Task lists are the base of productivity, allowing you to see your pending tasks and work accordingly.

A secret all productive workers have are a neat, organized task list. Of course, this doesn’t mean list down every single task at hand and try your best to finish it before days end. Instead, keep reading for the next point.

Divide Bigger Tasks Into Smaller Ones

Can’t perform a task effectively or find it difficult to approach it? Take a step back and remember your basics. There is a reason the basics were taught before more advanced lessons were taught. That in itself is a strategy which you can follow. Is your approach not working out? Try taking a different route and simplify your one big problem into many manageable tasks.

This also ties into planning strategically. A strategist doesn’t charge into tasks or problems head first. It’s more of divide and conquer. Take a single, massive task, divide it appropriately and tackle one problem at a time.

Exercise

We’re not limitless machines running on a self-producing source of energy.” What I find humorous is that when I mention the word “exercise”, I’m met with a dread face from my co-workers thinking I just asked them to run a marathon or join a gym.

Movement is important for your body. You can’t be expected to sit at a desk all day quietly and work. Frequently get up to stretch, get a glass of water or do a few stretches. The last thing you want is to compromise your posture, which can further lead to unproductivity. 

Avoid Multitasking

Again, we are not genius with advanced cognitive functionality. With our attention spans already hitting their peak due to the modern work environment and how dynamic we need to be, multitasking is something that you should try to avoid, at least until you master the craft.

Think of your focus to that of a photographer in a scenic mountain location. He could try his best to capture every element in a single picture using all of the time he has before it gets dark, or he could snap pictures of each element individually and have a memorable album at the end of the day. Your focus should follow this example for ample results.

Reward Yourself

Above all else, positive reinforcement is still the greatest way of learning in my humble opinion. Since you’re at home and have slightly more freedom as compared to your workplace, give yourself a small treat for each task successfully completed. I don’t mean go out and get yourself a tub of ice cream (remember, you’re in self-quarantine for a reason). 

Have self-control and only reward yourself when you lighten up your workload. The last thing you want to do is reward yourself for a job gone bad, because that creates a mindset knowing little to no consequences. Speaking of consequences…

Take It Seriously

We are all adults and have our livelihoods at stake. Just as we take work seriously at our offices, we need to take work seriously at our homes, no matter the situation. This includes sleeping on time, waking up at the same time you usually do when leaving for office, filling out your task sheet, completing your task and coordinating effectively with your co-workers. 

The last thing you want is to create a sense of distrust between you and your boss, where he can’t trust you to work at home during a pandemic like this. It’s hard on everyone and nobody wants to be responsible for another person known to become infected with COVID-19. At the same time, work shouldn’t be hampered during times like these, because the second-highest priority after yourself is your livelihood. 

So take your job seriously, don’t act as if these days are to be taken as a holiday and try your best to maintain a level of responsibility and efficiency.

Closing Words

With creeping fears of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading throughout the world, we’re only beginning to experience the adverse effects it is having on our day-to-day lives. We’ve seen other countries under lockdown, restrictions imposed and panic beginning to ensue. You could say we’re all experiencing a domino-like effect ever since the first public case of the Coronavirus was brought to our attention. 

Seeing how other major events are being cancelled left and right, the biggest brands in the world are beginning to close their stores to slow the spread of the virus, we’ve all come to the realization, whether through logic or fear, that we as citizens are in danger. Although this isn’t a situation where we will 100% be infected by the Coronavirus, we have our temporary solution to help the cause; self-quarantine.

But as mentioned earlier, there is just something about our home environments which halts major productivity and encourages leisure above anything else. This is most likely due to the fact that we switch our brains onto rest mode the moment we leave from our offices, especially after a stressful day.

I can relate to everyone struggling to find their footing in productivity when pressure is mounting from their work and continue the same great work at the office. I understand that everyone is different and functions according to their own pace, but sooner or later, we all have to kick into high gear.