How to stay productive in quarantine

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Jade Pinkowitz

It's hard to stay motivated and productive when stuck at home, but taking baby steps can get you back on schedule.

The combination of having no structure to my day and waking up at 11am instead of 6am has caused my motivation to plummet; I tend to stay in my bed most of the day and don’t get much done, but I plan on changing that.

Recently, I’ve taken little steps to become more productive. I’m learning to become more patient with myself and remind myself that change takes time. If you’re feeling the same as I am right now, it’s essential to remind yourself that change doesn’t happen overnight.

One huge factor that has helped me stay more motivated is keeping my room tidy. When everything is in its place and there aren’t 50 pieces of clothing on the floor, it helps me feel less anxious. My room was getting pretty dirty so I had a “spring cleaning day” where I went through all of my belongings and got rid of anything I didn’t need.

The downside is that the stuff I don’t want is going to stay in a box in the corner of my room until I can donate it. However, doing a deep cleaning of my room and organizing my art supplies felt great.

I’ve realized being organized helps me feel less stressed out, but for some reason, I still chose to be messy. I still choose to procrastinate and not check my google classroom notifications. I still choose to be lazy and I don’t even do activities I find fun, but I’m changing this.

There’s no way to become organized in one day, you have to make a habit out of it. So, I’m going back to writing my goals down for the week or making a to-do list in my journal. When I don’t write down what I have to do for the week I often feel anxious because I know I’ll probably forget something I had to do by a deadline or I will procrastinate.

Journaling daily also helps. It helps express the feelings you didn’t even realize you felt and sort out what’s most important to you at the moment.

Lastly, while we were still at school I realized I was a morning person. I was more motivated to do work and got more stuff done at 7 am before the bell rang than when I got home from school. This doesn’t apply to most people I know, but if it applies to you, try going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier.

The most important thing to remember is to not beat yourself up, celebrate your little accomplishments, even if it’s just getting out of bed before noon. We’re all stuck in a situation we’ve never experienced before, it’s okay to not have a normal routine because our world is far from normal right now.

However, trying to get back into the habit of a daily schedule will help make life more manageable and will even make the transition back to post-quarantine life easier.

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