How to have a productive day in quarantine | 20 tips for work & health
Step. 1 Wake up straight away
Morning has broken and you can either be a lazy person and keep pressing snooze or get up and start your day with the right intentions. You don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn but, you shouldn’t be treating every day as if you are on holiday.
There are many things that you can do to help make getting out of bed not such a challenge, for example, placing your alarm clock on the other side of the room so you have to get up out of bed to turn it off. Don’t let your standards drop just because you are working from home, you should still be showering, getting dressed appropriately and making your bed, for more tips and tricks on how to make your morning routine more productive click here.
Step 2. Meditate
Meditation is often practiced either first thing in the morning or last thing at night, no matter what time you choose, meditating has huge benefits on your mental health and you should definitely prioritize doing meditational practice during these uncertain times.
If you’re a beginner in meditation, it can be really hard to just sit there not doing anything, no matter how easy it sounds. When trying to meditate, your mind constantly drifts and will get distracted by the smallest of things and that’s where guided meditation is so useful. Guided meditation is when someone is talking you through the process of meditating by telling you what to do and prompting you to focus on your breath. At the moment, you can’t have an instructor physically sit with you through your practice but, thankfully with apps like headspace you can still have that quality time with your thoughts with their recorded meditations.
Step 3. Plan your day
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Whilst being in quarantine, you are your own boss and won’t be taking orders from anybody apart from yourself which could go either way, you either stick to a productive routine or you slide down the spiral of procrastination. You are now responsible for how your day will go so, make sure you plan it to be a great one.
There’s many different ways of planning but if you are struggling on where to even start, you should begin with a brain dump, this is where you write down anything and everything that is going on in your head on to a piece of paper, this allows you to relieve all of the stress of what you have got to do and use it as a starting point, after this you can begin to organize these thoughts into a to-do list or whatever form of planning you prefer.
Step 4. Have breakfast
You’ve got a busy day ahead of you so, you need to fuel your body with the right food to keep your energy levels high throughout the day. They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and now that you don’t have the excuse of having to rush to work or school, you can now get the right nutrition in the morning.
I was always a “breakfast skipper” so, I understand that you might not feel like eating a full English breakfast first thing in the morning but, you can still get the right nutrition with a healthy smoothie. I have personally been loving the “nuts n honey” recipe of our energy boosting smoothies list.
Step 5. Get some sunlight
You might feel trapped in doors at the moment and you’re probably spending all of your hours in the comfort of your bedroom but, it is vital that you spend some time outside. Getting sunlight helps in BOOSTING your mood and immune system which is very important during this time.
You can spend time in the garden, exercise outside or even place your desk next to a window. The main benefit which comes from the sun is vitamin D but, if the weather changes and becomes dark and gloomy you may require supplements, if you are going to supplement it is advisable to take a blood test first, in order to make sure you actually need to supplement.
Step 6. Use Parkinson's law
One way to manage your time throughout the day so you don’t waste it, is by using a trick called Parkinson’s law, which is the idea that the amount of time you give yourself to complete a task, is the amount of time you will use. This is why you should set times on how long you want to spend on your tasks.
Step 7. Get involved with the community
This could be the most boring time of your life or you could make the most out of it by getting involved in the community. Getting involved with the community is a great way to avoid boredom and loneliness.
Although we’re all stuck in doors there are some very clever and creative people out there trying to make your quarantine a bit less of a bad thing to go through. You’ve got the clap for NHS, Joe Wicks’s P.E class and so much more!
Step 8. Do some exercise
During quarantine it’s so important to exercise, not just for your physical health but, for your immune system and your mental health to. You may be limited in your equipment if you’re used to going to the gym but, you’ve got to make the most of what you got.
Firstly, you have got your daily hour exercise where you can go for a run outside but, you don’t have to stop there, try working out at home by using your house furniture as gym equipment. We’re planning on writing a home workout blog with the advice from a professional so, let us know if this would be something that you are interested in.
Step 9. Have a spring clean
A messy environment equals a messy mind and if your mind is all over the place, you’re not going to be able to perform at your best and that’s why you should keep your house as clean as you can. By decluttering, not only are you completing chore, you are freeing up space in your mind and building positive momentum for your day.
Start off small by making your bed and then start to work on tidying the rest of your room. You can slowly begin to clean your whole house so you can create your best work.
Step 10. Just do it
At the start of quarantine, I was really struggling with procrastination and you probably was to, by having everything so easy, we have become a society of talkers, we say we’ll do it tomorrow and then tomorrow comes and we say we’ll do it another day, we’re on a constant schedule of just not doing anything and the only way to get out of this cycle is by just starting.
Whatever you have got to do today, just get it done. A good idea is to start with your hardest task first as this will make any of your other tasks seem like a walk in the park.
Step 11. Limit distraction’s
Distractions are everywhere, especially whilst in lockdown. You’ve probably got your family making lots of noise in the other rooms, friends messaging you about how bored they are and the persistent breaking news alerts. You might not be able to totally get rid of all distractions but, you can try to reduce them.
One of the biggest culprits when it comes to distractions is your mobile phone as it’s full of apps that are specifically designed to be as addictive as possible, whether it’s game’s or social media, they’ve got you hooked on time wasting. Whatever your kryptonite is, try putting it as far away from you as possible, if you use it for work, your laptop for example, put a blocker on the websites that you get distracted by.
Step 12. Create different environments
Since you’ve been in quarantine, have you been fully awake when you’re trying to go to sleep but, super tired throughout the day? If so, it might be because you are mixing up different environments. When you work or play in your bed, your brain associates your bed as a place where it has to be alert, leading to you finding it harder to fall asleep at night.
You can solve this problem by creating different environments that reflect the mood that you want to create. There are 3 main “moods” that you are going to go through in the day and these are; work, rest and play. If you have an office this can be your work area where you limit the distractions around you, if you don’t have an office you can use your bedroom but, try setting up your workspace as far away from your bed as possible and communicate with your family that you don’t want to be disturbed whilst you’re in there. Your living room should be your play area and your bed as the rest area. You should try to keep all of these places separate.
Step 13. Work on your passion
This isn’t a time to just sit on the sofa and eat ice cream whilst watching Netflix, yes, you do need to reward yourself throughout the day but first, you need to do something productive! Whether you are doing schoolwork, completing tasks from your work or creating a business, you should be using this time to get ahead.
Not only are you completing the work you set out for yourself, I believe that working on something that you are truly passionate about, helps your mental health by giving you something to focus on. If you would like to find out what your purpose is, you can use our Ikigai guide by clicking here.
Step 14. Take a break
You might think that working every second of your waking hours is the most productive way to be but, time and time again we’ve been shown that this isn’t the case, in fact, overworking has been seen to lower productivity and eventually lead to you burning out.
I usually watch videos or TV whilst I eat my dinner on my breaks. There are many different time management tricks out there and the most popular probably being the Pomodoro technique where you work for 15 minutes and then rest for 5, you do this 4 times and then have a longer break. There has also been some research done by desktime on how long you should work and rest for to be as productive as you can, you can learn more about here.
Step 15. Learn something new
With all this time on your hands, it’s a great opportunity to learn something new. Every time that you try something new, you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and opening yourself up to new experiences. You could learn something that is going to enhance your career or something for your personal development, or both, it’s completely up to you.
There are many people and businesses out there giving away free classes and courses for you to get better every day so, don’t put this to waste. Learn that new language, play that instrument and have lots of fun growing!
Step 16. Get creative
As you are starting to wind down for the night, it’s a good idea to do something that you enjoy. It’s not like you are going to be heading off to the pub for a pint or two so, you may as well create a project that can keep you entertained until we’re out of this.
Find something that you are interested in and you never know, you might just become an expert at it if you spend enough hours on it. Producing beats, drawing art and singing are great creative ways to curb the boredom.
Step 17. Spend time with loved ones
This is proving to be one of the hardest tasks to deal with during this time, as we look to our friends and family for comfort but, can’t meet them as we need to keep us, them and others safe. This has led to many people feeling down in the dumps.
If you are fortunate enough to be living with someone else, it’s a great idea to get together and play a good old fashioned bored game with each other, if you’re not so lucky and you live alone staying connected with your loved ones does become a little bit harder but, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Me and my family have set up a virtual bar that opens every Saturday night over a video link, we play quizzes, drink and have a good chuckle.
One of the last things in your day should be Journaling. Write down what went well, what didn’t go so well and everything in between. Allow yourself to open up about your thoughts, emotions and ideas for the future.
The best thing about keeping a journal of your life, is that you can look for patterns which may be contributing to your behaviour, for example, if you always feel a bit grumpy on a Monday, you might look back at your journal and notice that you go to bed to late on the Sunday. By noticing these patterns, you can implement strategies to stop these problems occurring. If you would like to purchase a new journal, this is the one we recommend.
19. Read or listen to a book
As you approach the time in which you will be going to sleep, your mind becomes more relaxed and open to suggestions as it goes through the different brainwave states. This is a great time to feed your brain with knowledge as it will be going into your subconscious mind.
If you’re not a fan of reading, you could always listen to your favourite books on audible which you can get a 30-day free trial by clicking on this link!
20. Healthy sleeping habits
It’s time to reboot your body, ready for the next day with sleep! Often put to the back of the list when it comes to living a healthy and productive lifestyle, however, good quality sleep has been seen to have huge positive effects on the mind and body and therefore it should be one of the key foundations of your life.
So, how do you get good quality sleep? Well, there are many different things that we have written about that effect your sleep but, the first thing you should concentrate on is what’s known as sleep hygiene, this is the small habits that you can do that will improve your sleep, for example, keeping your room cool, reducing blue light exposure and limiting caffeine intake which we spoke about in our nighttime routing blog post.