It was precisely a month ago when my father called me in the morning telling me that the whole of Italy, my home country, was about to go on lockdown.
I was abroad and luckily managed to get one of the last flight tickets available to get back home. Two days after it was already tough to get a flight with all the cancellations that happened.
While on the flight, I knew I had to get ready and get the most out of this situation. But how?
I was used to going to co-working spaces and enjoyed the productivity boost of being in a social environment. I had to reinvent my work routine and do this immediately, not to lose my clients.
That’s when I consulted with three productivity experts who gave me some solid advice.
With some trials and errors and adjustments for my particular situation and inclinations, here are some things that worked well and allowed me to make the most out of this social distancing period.
1. Don’t Skip Your Workout.
The first week I was extremely motivated. I worked out every day, alternating mobility exercises with a bodyweight strength workout.
But in the second week, it was tough! My motivation to move my body decreased, and I ended up slacking for several days.
Nothing was more detrimental to my productivity than avoiding working out.
2. A Morning Routine Isn’t Enough, Do This As Well.
I’ve been reading and effectively practicing a morning routine for more than a year already. However, after the second week, I spent continuously at home, I realized that I was going to bed later and later.
The thing is, I didn’t have a specific habit that allowed me to switch off from work and unwind. While previously, I used to go out, remaining at home, my brain was associating it at midnight, still like time to get things done even if my energy level was downhill.
Setting up a specific time to go to bed each day and at least one hour of non-working related tasks to relax was key to getting resting sleep.
3. Avoid Overstimulation
With no one checking on your and activities outside to motivate you, I found it easy to spend more time on social media or to read the news.
I’ve set this period of quarantine to reach my goals, and this requires focus. Installing an app like Stayfocusd or ColdTurkey on your phone and laptop can be a game-changer for you, at least it was for me.
4. First Things First
I know it is a cliché in productivity tips posts, but doing the most challenging activity in your to-do list first is even more important when you spend most of your time home. Make it a habit.
5. Get a Work Routine
Probably the most important thing I learned is to make deep work a habit over this period.
Time slipped by across these days because I’ve been able to remain consistent with my work routine.
For me, it consists of: getting dressed, using a room just for work, and tune in my favorite music to work with.
6. Get a Productivity Coach
Having someone who not only gives you accountability but also improves your process has been essential for me.
There are lots of sites on the web that offer you a full productivity coaching service for an affordable price.
7. Virtual Hangouts Are Great!
Social distancing is critical to make this pandemic slow down. However, this doesn’t mean that you should stop getting in touch with your friends!
I started scheduling daily video calls with my girlfriend and friends to either work together or just getting in touch using Zoom, or alternatives like Gotomeeting or Gotowebinar.
I’m lucky to be with my parents and dog in my hometown right now, but many of my friends are at home alone, so I need to make them feel my support in this hard period.
Focusmate is also an interesting tool to get to know more people and maintain yourself accountable for your daily tasks.
We can get the most out of the adversities we are all living in. While following the guidelines of authorities, it is now time to remain more focused than ever on our goals to get the most out of this period of isolation to realize the projects we’ve been putting off before
The productivity tips shared in this article will help you to get more done in this challenging period. What have you implemented in your daily life to keep yourself more productive? Comment below.