By Dylan Senkiw
Across many social media platforms, we are seeing posts on how to be productive during quarantine—build a schedule, don’t procrastinate, and make your bed every morning. These suggestions make sense and are probably effective, assuming you get out of bed in the first place. Since we are mostly confined to our apartments and houses, the real question is: how do we stay accountable? We can tell ourselves to be productive, but without anything holding us accountable, this is difficult to implement. Here are some ways to help you reach those goals and stay on top of your workload:
1: Start Small
We have constant access to social media, which portrays a very regimented and productive lifestyle. We observe people who get up early in the morning, complete a full work out, and finish their schoolwork. It seems like all of this happens before you even get out of bed, but you don’t need to be superhuman to be successful. Attempting to adhere to a strict schedule all of a sudden may be very overwhelming and cause you to burn-out easily. It’s ok to start with one or two things a day and see a gradual progression. Building upon a current schedule may have a better long term effect than doing everything all at once.
Often, we can be overwhelmed with the amount of work we have and how to get it all done. A good way to combat this problem is to start small. If you are finding it difficult to stay motivated, start with an easier task that you can accomplish quickly. Doing one smaller thing at a time will help you break down a mountain of work. After doing a couple of small things, the workload may seem much more manageable. Plus, crossing something off your list always feels good!
2: Use Your Friends as a Resource
We are all in quarantine and likely all struggling to stay motivated, so why not work together? Although we may not be able to meet up at the library and do homework or drag each other to the gym, we can still be a supportive system. Scheduling regular Zoom meetings dedicated to studying can help you stay on track. Having a set time to do work and friends who expect you to be on the call, can help you get the ball rolling. If you are stuck in bed or caught in a video game, your friends can help lure you out.
Similarly, staying active can be a struggle for us all since we are so confined. Along with your study dates, plan a workout schedule with friends. Use Zoom or FaceTime and find an at-home workout video that you can all follow together. There are plenty of online videos for various muscle groups and skill levels, including yoga videos, ab workouts, and full-body exercises! Following a video is a great way to feel like you are in a gym and stay motivated.
3: Set Goals and Measure Progress
Setting personal goals is a great way to see the improvements or progress you can make over time. Goals can layout clearer paths towards achieving success or accomplishing certain tasks. Your goals don’t have to be huge or life-changing—they can be very simple. Simple goals such as making your bed every morning, finishing a small homework assignment or reading ten pages of a book a day are effective because they are easier to fulfill and the result is always in sight. This provides us with sincere motivation. Furthermore, measuring your progress along the way can be a reminder of how far you’ve come and how much work you’ve put into your goal.
As students who are used to being engaged in a dynamic and active lifestyle, quarantine is a reality that will require adjustment. Finding ways to stay motivated and efficient that work for you are very important in ensuring productivity. Plan for success, and implement these goals to get the ball rolling. Keep working hard everyone!