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Stay productive while working from home

Updated: Jun 12, 2020

Hey guys!

It's Lay.

How are you doing today? I hope everyone is doing well especially right now. It's so draining to see what's going on but it's necessary. If you are anything like me, you are still struggling to find a work-life balance. I haven't been home this much since the summer of 2014 because that was the last summer of me not working. Even when I started doing classes online at the end of January this year, I stayed home a lot but not as much as I do now. So you know when an introvert is missing outside, something is up. It's not even about missing the connection of people (even though, yes I do miss my friends and family a lot). What I have been struggling with balancing everything because lately it feels like school has no end. I finished things much more efficiently when I had some days home and some days in school because it gave structure. So since this upcoming week is spring break I want to reset myself and just get a jump start on things I want to do.

I came up with a list of things that helped me get back on track in the past and I wanted to share this advice with you all since we are in this together. So let's just jump into some of the few things that help me become productive.

1. Waking up early

I know what you thinking: "There's no reason to" I'm not saying you have to wake up the exact time you usually do but still get up at least between 7 am-8 am so that you still have a sense of structure. A lot have people have really messed up sleep schedules already but I wrote a blog post a while ago called "How to: Become a morning person" which has a lot of tips so you can fix your sleep schedule. This goes more into the importance of managing your sleep routine and how to get more sleep to have

2. Getting out of your PJs

I don't know if there's actual psychology behind this but from my experience when I stay in my PJs all day instead of changing, I will be more likely to stay in bed and procrastinate. You don't need to put on jeans or anything like that but you should always change out of at least the clothes you slept in so your brain knows that your day is starting. What I suggest is changing into at least activewear because you would still be comfortable but you are in something that is a little more motivating and you might even work out if you already dressed for it.

3. Maintaining good hygiene

I once read on a social media site a post that wanted to highlight the silver lining in this time and a person that responded they haven't been showering often. Personally, I can't skip a shower because it makes me feel more refresh to still shower. I also think keeping habits of showering, brushing your teeth, washing your face, moisturizing, washing your hair etc. will help keep you out of a slump which will motivate you to stay productive.

4. Working 9 to 5 (and having a lunch break)

When I went to school this semester my classes were 9 am-12 pm and 2 pm-5 pm (on Mondays it was 3 pm-5 pm) so maintaining that schedule is something that is essential to me. Also since I don't have to commute, that gives me so much more time to eat, have a nap to recharge, exercise, etc. in place of going on the train. Keeping your old work schedule will maintain your work ethic so you don't fall into dangerous habits.

5. Exercising

One thing I noticed that makes a huge difference in how productive I am is when I work out. Whenever I don't, besides being distracted from pain in one of my shoulders and on side of my hips, I find myself struggling more to focus. By burning that restless energy through exercise, it circulates blood better and triggers endorphins, improving the parts in your brain that help you prioritize things. My psychology professor would be so proud that I remembered that.

6. Doing a calming activity when feeling overwhelmed

When I am overwhelmed, I can't focus. I don't know if this is just me or if other people experience this as well but in general, people need to check in on themselves. This is something so new to everyone so to push those feelings of stress, confusion, overwhelm, restlessness etc. it will just eat away at you and cause more issues down the line. Be honest with yourself and if you need time to take a breath to acknowledge what your feeling and do an activity that calms your nerves. My go-to at the moment is a coloring app called "Happy colors". It used to be bubble sort but I beat every level so I deleted it and got the app I mentioned before. For some reason, doing an activity with colors makes me feel more peaceful and connected. Of course this is subjective because some people enjoy reading, other people heal with music etc. Whatever you need, do for maybe an hour or so that when you go back to work you are doing it from a place of peace.

7.Keeping your space clean and having a work-only space

I explain this in a lot of my posts about clean rooms but basically the gist of this is a cleanroom = a clean mind. I feel like if it's badly messy it will start affecting you and it's more essential now to have clean rooms because it is where you are spending all your time. Also having a designated spot to do work will make it easier to stay productive. I suggest even if you don't have a desk you should stay someplace where you sit upright, instead of laying down.

8. Set a schedule for your entertainment time

This is important because the occasional binge is good for you but treating the weekdays like an endless weekend will mess up your productivity. Do not spend your time on all the streaming sites. There are so many other forms of entertainment that you can even do while doing another activity like homework or cooking. You can listen to podcasts, listen to an audiobook, listen to non-distracting music etc. but manage how much you spend on each and try to keep Netflix/ Amazon Prime/ Hulu etc. off until your workday ends at 5 pm. Instead of being caught in the evening Rush home, you'll already be home and rewarding yourself after a good day's work. Just remember to turn it off an hour prior to when you want to sleep.

9. Leave your phone far away during your work hours

Even just doing homework, I had to do this. Whenever my phone was in sight I had the urge to just answer people and then the next thing I know I'm going through a social media rabbit hole. So to avoid distractions, put the phone in a place where you wouldn't see if someone’s texting you and a place you wouldn't be easily tempted to go on it.

10. Have a passion project

What is something you always wanted to do if you had the time to? Some people don't have work because the is no way possible for them to work from home (waiters, retail workers, bartenders, etc.) and some of them don't have classes to take online or anything. So do something that gives you purpose like getting back into drawing/painting, writing a book, making a collection of poetry, working on dance routines, creating a business plan, starting a youtube channel, etc. I actually just started my youtube channel and things aren't perfect because I'm still learning but now I have the time to work towards my editing skills, learning new things about social media's algorithm and just do something I was so afraid to do. So I hope you'll check it out and possibly subscribe. When you start the thing you are passionate about, make sure to work on it the way you would for a job and create time limes for what you want to finish at certain dates. I hope when this is over you continue to work at it because everyone needs something that fulfills them.

Well this is all for today, sorry for the late post today but I hope you'll still enjoy reading this. If you know friends, family, or regular people who are just struggling with being productive at this time be sure to share this post. I hope everyone is healthy and happy.

Until next time,

xoxo Lay 💋

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