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How to stay productive during the COVID-19 pandemic

Habits and routine are what make us thrive and in times of a crisis or external disruptions, this is more important than ever. You have likely experienced a disruption in your routine due to the global pandemic having changed the way we work. For many, it has been difficult to find their "new normal". We put together five tips to help you set up or maintain a routine that works for you and brings your production levels back up.

Tip #1 Schedule your time according to your rhythm

If you are a morning person, try to schedule tasks in the morning, which require your full attention and focus. Reversely, tasks that are less intense and may require less energy, can be scheduled for afternoons.

Tip #2 Quiet and uninterrupted time

Setting up a quiet workspace is essential for productivity. This includes decluttering your workspace and limiting distractions, which may even include disabling your WIFI or muting your phone if you need to get things done. Even when you have to work from home with children in your household, try to schedule even just a short timeslots with uninterrupted time to get things done that are urgent and important.

Tip #3 prioritize your tasks

Writing a list of things, you need to get done, is helpful, but it is even more important to prioritize them according to urgency and importance. This helps you make the choice for completing the most important and urgent task first, or within your scheduled time of focus.

If you have a lot of tasks that seem to remain on your to-do list, try to schedule a “power hour” in your week, in which you get all these smaller tasks done.

Tip #4 Break down big tasks

If you find you have a large task, which may even appear threatening, break it into smaller milestones and schedule them throughout your week. For example, if you are looking for a new job, break down “job search” into achievable smaller tasks, such as “write a resume”, “update LinkedIn profile”, “job board search”, “networking” etc. This way you can have a feeling of accomplishment as you fulfill your task step by step.

Tip #5 reduce decision fatigue

Our brain actually requires energy to decide on what to do next. To avoid this decision fatigue, try to schedule recurring tasks at the same time every day. This will give you a cue, that every day at 1pm after lunch you start networking. The more diligent you become with setting up a routine like this, the more automatic you will be in completing one task at a time.

Written by Kate Utzschneider, Principal Consultant, Bridgepath Career Advisors

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