Updated: Jun 18
We’re in the middle of a pandemic which is a challenging time of unprecedented levels for most of the youth today. One of the major challenges that a lot of us are facing is the inability to be productive. Since study/work from home is something we aren’t used to, we’re bound to feel lethargic when it comes to achieving our targets efficiently. To kick start productivity and overcome procrastination, here is a list of pointers that might prove to be helpful for you:
Try to make a rough schedule of the day beforehand and stick to a routine. Try to assemble a to-do list as well. That way, you’ll have an approximate idea of how your day will proceed and what all you need to accomplish. In times of such uncertainties, having some amount of control over your day will help overcome the feelings of helplessness and inadequacy.
2. Keeping up with sleep cycle
One of the challenges that almost each one of us is facing is that our sleep schedules have been messed up. The most effective way to correct this is to fix a bedtime and adopt a nighttime routine. A lot of people journal at night while some read a novel., Involve yourself in activities which you find engaging and relaxing right before going to bed. It could be one activity or a combination of a few. Also, try to stay away from technology, especially before sleeping. It will ensure that you have a night of deep and effective sleep.
3. Exercising in the mornings
When we exercise, our body releases chemicals called endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body similar to that of morphine. Regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, ward off anxiety and feelings of depression, boost self-esteem and improve sleep. It becomes even more important when we’re confined to our homes and our movement is limited. Exercising in the morning will help you rejuvenate your body and get on with your day with more energy and vigour.
4. Monitoring screen time
As mentioned above, excessive screen time is detrimental to a good night’s sleep since the blue light emitted by screens on cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions restrains the production of melatonin – the hormone that controls our sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm. Too much screen time can also impair brain structure and function. It can cause obesity, insomnia, mood swings and make us even more sluggish and inefficacious. Hence, being aware of our screen time and taking measures to keep it under control, such as taking frequent breaks, turning the notifications off for irrelevant applications and using applications or software to monitor screen time, should be one of our main concerns.
5. Maintaining a balance between hobbies and mandatory tasks
Equal attention should be given to work/study-related tasks and recreational activities. As important as work is, having fun and relaxing should also be given priority. Especially in times like these, we must give some time to ourselves to just sit back and ease up. It is a great time to rekindle old interests and/or take up new hobbies. It is also a good time to pick up a skill development or vocational course which you might not find the time for otherwise. Indulge yourself in activities that you’ve always wanted to undertake while also ensuring that you get at least some work done in a day.
Isolation is extremely taxing not just physically but emotionally and mentally as well. It is vital that we focus on our mental well-being as much as our work targets. If we’re more aware and proactive in caring for ourselves, we can achieve targets more effectively and emerge out of this pandemic as stronger and better versions of ourselves. Some of the ways to go about it are spending some time with our families, getting in touch with friends, being mindful of what we consume (in terms of both, food and content), limiting interaction with news and social media and employing mindfulness tools such as meditation, yoga and journaling, etc. While productivity is important, it shouldn’t be our only priority, especially in such excruciating times. Be sure to take out some time for yourself and indulge in self-care as well.
During these extraordinarily strenuous times, it becomes imperative to strike a balance between achieving our work goals and taking out time for ourselves. The world hasn’t completely halted despite the pandemic which is a testament to humanity’s ability to adapt. However, it is necessary to monitor our emotional and mental experiences and ensure productivity does not become the be-all and end-all of our lifestyle. Maintaining good emotional, mental and physical health should be our priority, which will ultimately enable us to achieve all other personal as well as professional goals, to survive this pandemic, and to eventually emerge stronger.
By – Divyanshi Khemka Artwork by – Gayathri Nair