Staying productive

Posted on Friday, March 20, 2020

Author: Madeline Vaughn, Communications Assistant at Student Life and 4th-year linguistics student

Flat Lay of pen, agenda, paper clips, a coffee cup with coffee inside

Starting and keeping a routine is one of the most beneficial things you can do during these exceptional circumstances, whether you’re self-isolating or social distancing. Here are a couple of tips to keep you productive during these unprecedented times.

Keep a routine

Humans are creatures of habit. This is why one of the best things you can do for yourself during this crazy time is to set a routine. Try to wake up at the same time every day, and have a set time to work on school, do some spring cleaning, and enjoy your hobbies.

Start the day right

A good morning routine sets up your whole day for success. Wake up, brush your teeth, and make a nutritious breakfast. My go-to is granola and yogurt with a coffee or sometimes some fruit and a bagel. Another important part of your morning should be making your bed. It takes less than 2 minutes and will make you less likely to crawl right back under those cozy covers and snooze for another hour or so. It’s also smart to get dressed for the day even if you aren’t going anywhere. Wear something that makes you feel good about yourself and will put you in daytime mode. Staying in pyjamas all day makes me feel sleepy and ready to go back to bed, though taking a PJ day or two can’t hurt. Once you’ve eaten your healthy breakfast, made your bed, and gotten dressed, you’re ready to take on the day!

Tackle schoolwork

Doing a little bit of schoolwork each day will make the burden much less stressful as finals roll around. Try to work in designated chunks with short breaks every half hour or so. Make your space as inviting as possible and welcoming to productivity. Try to study in a well-lit room with limited noise or with some of your favourite tunes. Have a cup of your favourite beverage (tea or maybe a homemade iced coffee) within reach. If you have a friend that also needs to get some studying done, video call them! Having another person around can keep you accountable and feeling less lonely.

Set goals

Another great tip is to set goals for each day, even if they’re small. Having a sense of accomplishment can lift your mood and make you feel good about the work you got done that day. When you have a routine in place, it’s easier to stick to keeping up your productivity.

Keep a clean space

When creating your routine, add in some time for some spring cleaning. When my home is messy, my mind is messy. I can’t focus. Take a minute to do the dishes, sweep the floor, and give everything a place. A clean room will let you focus on what you need to do for the day. Remember to sanitize your space and wash those hands regularly!

Try something new

We may find ourselves having a bit more time on our hands now that things are closing down. Consider adding in time each day to do something you may have been putting off. Maybe it’s taxes, calling some friends or family you haven't heard from in a while or learning something new. Activities like baking or yoga are easy to pick up on your own at home and can be relaxing among all this chaos in the world.

Staying productive can be beneficial to your mental health. The sense of accomplishment and normalcy of getting things done can help fend off some negative feelings that come along with self-isolation. Take some self-care days, and try not to stress too much, but keep checking things off your to-do list!

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