8 Productivity Pitfalls a Quarantine Creates and How to Avoid Them
There are many productivity pitfalls awaiting you during a quarantine, as we’re sure many of you are finding out. Knowing what these are will give you the knowledge of how to deal with and overcome them. We’ve isolated eight. Let’s get started!
Technology is an ever-present presence in our daily lives, and it really doesn’t matter where we access it from thanks to the Cloud. You have to learn how to silence its intrusion when you’re trying to be productive. You can do this in a number of ways.
- Don’t use the mobile apps for social networks: they make interaction much easier than the web browser on your phone, and you’ll use it a lot more.
- Use apps that force-restrict access: there are many time-saving apps out there that will lock down problem apps for a certain period of time while you get work done.
- Leave your phone in another room: this keeps you from checking it every five seconds. Of course, you’ll want to set it to vibrate, too, so curiosity doesn’t get the best of you every time a ding goes off.
Taking these three steps will ensure that technology stays a helpmate and never a hindrance. Try them out for yourself, and you’ll understand.
We live in an age where we’ve never had better access and selection when it comes to entertainment choices. Your house, apartment, or dorm room is probably a cornucopia of options from video games to Netflix to iPhone/iPad screen time. These are great if consumed responsibly, but it’s very hard to be responsible when you have to stay in the same room as them for most of the day.
The best way of handling the entertainment pitfall is to make time for it but be very restrictive and disciplined in how you do so. Trying to deprive yourself of them won’t work and will not give you any decent guidelines for how to control their use. Try to attach their use to some form of task accomplishment.
Another productivity pitfall is giving into your own neediness or the neediness of other people. Look, we get it. Not everyone going through this quarantine is an introvert. Some people actually thrive on human contact and interaction. But to get through something like this, you have to tap into some part of yourself that is introverted.
That means embracing the quiet time, the lack of contact and stimulation. You have to find ways to self-stimulate that are healthy and productive. That can be accomplished through a regular work schedule and the discipline to stick to it.
4. Lack of Oversight
Few people enjoy being watched like a hawk by someone deemed their “superior.” As a student, you may not like your teacher always being in your business either. But that little bit of extra oversight can make a world of difference in what you’re able to learn and accomplish, as many are currently finding out.
It’s definitely true that a lot of you are thriving with the work-from-home setup, but many others are letting things fall by the wayside due to the lack of oversight. Don’t become one of them! It’s so easy to give into the temptation of being able to set your own hours, but that often leads to irresponsible actions. You have to keep treating school and/or work like a real responsibility and show up for it. Keep regular hours, and don’t give yourself rewards until you’ve met certain standards.
5. Improper Pacing
Pacing is everything when it comes to getting the most work done in the most productive manner. Consider which tasks will take longer to perform as well as which ones require the most focused thought. Try to schedule each set of tasks in a batched, uninterrupted block of time.
You can still make room for small breaks during those time blocks. It’s just important to keep like-minded tasks together as much as possible so you’re not having to switch gears from one mindset to another. If you get your pacing down, you’ll be able to accomplish a lot more in less time. Doing so will leave more time for activities that build you up.
Another aspect of the quarantine that might get to you is one of guilt. You feel like you should be doing more, so you force yourself to work harder and not smarter. As a result, you end up taking on a lot of tasks during your most unproductive periods and end up doing shoddy work as a result.
Do not let guilt get the better of you and convince you to just push through. Instead, take some time to yourself. Do whatever form of self-care is important to you. It could mean exfoliating masks and baths or watching a few episodes of a favorite television show. Set reasonable limits for your self-care, and you’ll be able to resume productivity in no time.
7. The Desire to Get It Over With
Do you ever feel like you’re at the end of your rope, and you just don’t care how things turn out so might as well just get it over with? We’re not talking about suicidal thoughts here, though if you are experiencing them during quarantine, seek help immediately!
No, what we’re referring to is that urge to just get back to whatever non-productive habit you’ve developed. As a result, work that perhaps you should be carrying about gets only 50 percent of your time and attention. Being locked away from society makes it difficult to recharge your batteries. When you can’t recharge, you just stop caring.
Being alone can do strange things to the human brain. It can lead one to taking unnecessary risks with their health, flouting healthy eating and sleeping patterns. It also can exacerbate things like depression and anxiety.
If you are feeling hemmed in by the isolation of a quarantine, try to stay focused on the following things:
- Connectivity with friends: it’s still important even if that means doing it virtually through chat, video chat, text, or phone call.
- Exercise: getting out of the house for a good run or a brisk walk will make you feel a lot better about the current situation and keep you feeling energized.
- Reading: this activity exercises the mind in a way that watching television does not. It makes you feel like you are learning and preparing for something on the other side of the quarantine.
These are just a few of the recommendations for alleviating isolation. You also might try playing a lot of music as music does have a way of drawing positive, upbeat emotions.
Avoiding These Productivity Pitfalls Will Keep You Ahead of the Pack
The productivity pitfalls we’ve mentioned here can make your quarantine life a miserable one when it really doesn’t have to be. If you’re aware of these going in, it becomes easier to counterbalance them. Try out our suggestions and offer some of your own in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Ybierling]