Top Tips for Beating Procrastination During Quarantine

Being in self isolation is tough in many ways. The world we know and our daily routine have been altered drastically, and there’s a lot of anxiety and worry for the uncertain future that lies ahead. It’s no wonder many people are finding it difficult to stay productive and focused. Here are some of our top tips to help you ease some of this “productivity guilt” you may be feeling while being cooped up at home.

Set Small and Realistic Intentions

Motivation comes and go in waves. It can be hard to have any bursts of motivation at all being stuck at home all day. Try to create realistic intentions for the day that help make a task less daunting. This could mean committing to doing a task for even just five minutes. Chances are, once you start that task you will be more motivated to continue. Sometimes starting is the hardest part. If not, stop after that five minutes. You will feel much more accomplished knowing you did something rather than nothing at all.

Write Out To-Do Lists

It can be a huge brain overload prioritizing between work, school, home, self-care and other tasks you want to accomplish. Writing out all you have to get done can help ease some of that overwhelm. Writing makes our memory’s job a lot easier, and writing to-do lists can help squash the looming feeling that you may have forgotten something. In addition, scientists have found that writing out to-do lists also helps you sleep easier, giving you a better chance to feel rested and recharged when you go about your daily routine.

Interlace Any “Work” With Enjoyed Activities

It can be easy to go on autopilot mode when you are trying to get things done. Try to break up your day with activities that will make you feel more present in your work. This could mean putting on an energizing playlist, going for a run, reading a chapter in your favorite book, etc. This type of routine can also help reduce burnout, helping you stay motivated the entire day.

Resist the Urge to Multitask

You may have heard this before, but multitasking is bad for us. In reality, multitasking is simply just task-switching, as we truly cannot focus totally on two things at once. Not only does multitasking make us less productive and mindful, it also increases stress and decreases memory function. Instead, try to stay present and mindful in one activity at a time. For more tips on how to be more mindful, check out our blog on mindfulness here. 

Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself

We are all in an environment much different than normal. This “new normal” is going to take some time to adjust to, and with that lingering anxieties and worries may remain. Be kind to yourself. A famous tweet from Neil Webb that has spread around various media sites states “You are not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work.” Productivity is a practice, and its 10x more difficult to practice doing so in this environment. Affirm yourself that you are truly doing your very best right now under the conditions that we are all in.

Remind Yourself of Your “Why”

When caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, it can be easy to forget why you do what you do. When you have a task you’ve been putting off for a while stop and ask yourself, “What are the benefits of completing this?” When we feel connected to our work and our “why”, the rest can easily fall into place. When feeling unproductive, take some time to reflect on your “why” through meditation, journaling, listening to music or another relaxing and reflective activity of your choice.