“HELP! How in the World Do I Stay Productive Right Now?”

 

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By: Seth Lejeune

It’s a very common complaint right now and if the picture above looks like your new daily work schedule, then keep reading. Like me, if you’re confined to your home office, homeschooling, landscaping, cooking, cleaning all in any given day, then you need these tips even more.  Many of our lives and our routines have been thrown into chaos and hardly anyone’s life is as it was 30 days ago. Below are some of my thoughts: 

Sleep – Keep your sleep schedule. It matters… a lot. The initial two weeks it felt like a good idea to binge on Netflix and hit the snooze button. But here’s the thing: your body doesn’t know about the pandemic and your concentration and discipline is being affected. This leads to all types of non-constructive behaviors. Sleep is vital to keeping your brain chemicals (and mood) balanced. 

Morning Ritual – Tying this into the above, we are creatures of habit. If you had a morning routine that you’ve since abandoned, revert back to it and keep it. How you operate in the morning sets the compass for the rest of the day. Waking up late and groggy is not a recipe for success (or productivity). Wake up with intention and you’ll be better for it. Also, get dressed every day. 

Kids – Kids are people too… LOL. Get them up and moving (within reason). If you wake up at 5am, you don’t need to get them up that early, but letting them sleep the morning away isn’t always the best thing either. If they have schoolwork, get that done first and let them play the rest of the day. This rule is age dependent… teenagers generally sleep later than the little ones. Conversely, lower your bar for their achievement. This is not the time to be raising Doogie Howsers . I have witnessed parents in their attempts to incorporate strenuous regimens into quarantined life and it isn’t fun for anyone involved. Power down those expectations and realize that everyone is winging it. 

Time Block – Pandemic or not, this is a great idea. For those juggling a lot at the same time, being able to focus on one thing can make all the difference between productivity and “busy work”. Make your schedule the night before and stick to it. Tell the people in your home of certain times you cannot be disturbed and reciprocate that courtesy. If a block gets delayed, that is fine but then return to it with the same intention of completing it. Who knows… you may build a great muscle that creates tons of productivity for years to come. 

Limit Digital Devices – Not always easy, but spending the better part of your most productive hours scrolling away on social media can be the difference of getting your stuff done and always playing catch-up. A screen is the way we are getting stuff done and staying connected these days but too much is still not good. Never forget that almost no brilliant ideas are realized while looking at a screen. 

Say “No” to Zoom – Ahhh ZOOM… the new platform for those people who love to meet and discuss EVERYTHING. These calls have been extremely important in keeping companies and teams together, but for the love of all this is holy I don’t need to hop on a ZOOM to discuss something that could be solved in three text messages. Jim Rohn has a great quote that says “Stand guard at the doorway to your mind.” I would also say, “Stand guard at the doorway to your schedule.” With a finite amount of time to get things done, resist the urge to hop on those useless ZOOM calls filled with people who want to “catch up”. If you do ZOOM, ZOOM with purpose. Perhaps replace those with a call in the evening with your favorite people in the world instead (i.e. friends and family). My wife and I do trivia nights with friends after the kids go to bed. 

FINALLY: Don’t forget to keep it simple and give yourself a break… everyone is doing the best they can. 

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