29 April 2020

While we're biding our time and hoping to ride out the pandemic without getting sick, we've compiled this list of things to do while we're social distancing at home. Working from home can be a good time to develop a habit of productivity. If you're already doing more than enough and can't face one more project, check out our blog post on how to prioritize yourself. Some of these tips are on both posts because they can work both ways.

1. Things to do:

- learn a language (you can do this with your family, too)

- brush up on a language

- find a language partner online to practice conversations

- study your favorite artist's work to prepare for a future museum visit (you can also do this activity with your family) 

- learn a new skill (this can be just about anything, but if you've got a family at home, pick something you can all do together, like cooking, baking, juggling, photography)

-brush up on a little-used, but useful program or app (I'm studying Excel via a discounted course)

- organize your email account(s): delete trash, check your junk mail folder, unsubscribe from accounts you don't read anymore, sign up for The Career Break Site's newsletter, 

- plan your next career break: open communications with companies you're considering working with; research the locations (this is also something you can do with your family)

2. Tackle a habit:

If there's a habit you've wanted to break, now's the time to try. Without being under external scrutiny, you'll be able to focus on that habit without feeling self-conscious. I'm trying to stop biting my nails. It seems to be working so far, but they're still pretty stubby. We'll see if I can get them to grow.

You can also try to create a new habit. We've got the time to focus on it, so why not try? I'm going to work on flossing my teeth more regularly. I know that might seem mundane, but I hope that if I can succeed something simple, I'll have more confidence trying to build a more difficult, but worthy, habit.

3. Use your commute time purposefully:

If you're used to commuting, why not use your newfound "extra" time for your new tasks? If you want to try to learn a language, set aside the time you would have been commuting to learn that. If you're home with family, this might be a bit more challenging, but you wouldn't have been spending time with them during your commute, so the only change is that you'd be home with them, but apart, using your "commute" for personal growth.

4. Schedule everything

I have been struggling with time during this imposed work-from-home period. I have been working remotely for several years now, but I worked best if I left home to work at the library, cafes, restaurants, or any place that had wifi. I don't have that option now. In the beginning, I couldn't get myself to start working until evening, working until early morning, then being unable to get up before noon. 

I am now working on scheduling. I am using Sparkle Class's scheduling tips and prioritizing tips to get my life under control and get into a habit of productivity that will help me even beyond our current quarantine. I would love to be able to work from wherever I am, regardless of the circumstances, and not rely on finding an external place to get my work done.

My aspirational* schedule:

8-9: study Italian (former commute time)

9-10: work on Excel course

10-11: social media

11-12: research/write blog posts

12-1: lunch

1-3: research/write blog posts

3-4: social media

4-5: organize email

5-6: plan future travel (former commute time)

*I don't always manage this schedule, but it helps to have a guide, of sorts.

5. You don't have to do it alone.

Even in a house full of people, you might need someone outside your network to help you stick to your plans. You can find an accountability partner on Focusmate. You can check in up to three times a week for free.

If you find any of these tips useful and productive, share with us which ones you're doing using the hashtag #habitsofproductivity.