Staying motivated and productive in quarantine is one of the hardest things ever. Have you been waking up late, procrastinating, all the works? Perhaps you’ve been scouring the internet looking for suggestions on how to increase productivity, but everything you found and tried so far eventually becomes repetitive and ineffective. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one out there.
Is this you?
Perhaps you let yourself give in to the people online who are saying it’s time to “take a break” and “take it easy”, BUT you’re actually the type of person that runs on that “go-getter” attitude. I 100% get that people are going through this time differently, so if that’s what you need right now, by all means make sure to give yourself that break. Not forever of course, but take those breaks in moderation.
The thing is, fundamentally, deep in my heart, I’m the kind of person that cannot give myself these excuses and breaks because it throws everything off. My version of my best life is waking up early, getting loads done, and then letting myself relax afterwards. The only thing that stopped me from doing that before I discovered the method I’m about to share right now was the lack of motivation. Particularly after letting myself “do nothing” over the last few months, and the very low amount of self discipline that existed.
Results of this challenge: what will my method get you?
After implementing the method I explain below, I’ve been able to do it consistently for months now and it’s dramatically increased my productivity and helped resolve my issue of procrastination. Not right away, but over these months, my tendency to procrastinate has gone WAY down and I actually start and finish projects much earlier than they’re due!
Allow me to introduce to you, the ultimate guide to being motivated and productive in quarantine.
This post will include (these are clickable links to take you directly to the section):
- My Scheduling Method
- Productivity and Motivation Challenge
- FREE Productivity and Motivation Week Planner
My Scheduling Method
Here are the main changes and steps I followed, that I also recommend you consider. I also have a post with my top productivity and routine-building tools which might be helpful.
Whenever I force myself to get up earlier in the morning (usually because I scheduled a meeting), I feel a lot more motivated and productive because I’m able to enter the day with more momentum. Don’t get me wrong, the process of forcing yourself to get up even if you feel super tired is horrible. And if I didn’t have a meeting, I 100% probably would have slept in and just said “whatever”.
Waking up early does make a difference though, and you’ll end up thanking yourself after you get out of bed and do something that wakes you up a little more. An extra 15 minutes of sleep doesn’t actually give you what you need to jump back into a sleep cycle, so don’t give yourself that excuse.
The main thing to do is gradually ease into it. My life goal is to wake up at 6am, but there’s no way I can do that right now.
One effective method I read about is to push it earlier in 15 minute increments, so this week, I’m going to wake up at 8:30, and then every week, I’ll wake up 15 minutes earlier. It’s going to take several weeks to get there. But pursuing consistency rather than a quick fix that does nothing, is what I think is most effective.
Stop checking my phone first thing
The other thing I want to do in the morning is to stop checking my phone first thing. I know, it’s something that wakes us up instantly, and it can be fun to see all your emails/DMs. But now I’ve found that laying there in bed with my phone just makes me feel even more groggy.
The #1 that affects my productivity and mindset, in my opinion, is my phone. Letting myself get a dose of it in the morning is probably the worst thing to do, and that’s one big thing I want to change with this challenge. All the famous motivational speakers and successful people also agree, such as Mel Robbins, Hal Elrod, etc.
READ the following section or the printable won’t bring results for you.
My #1 secret to increase productivity: scheduling the week in advance
I like to run off a to-do list and brain dump any tasks that pop into my head onto a sheet of paper so I make sure I don’t forget them. Even the smallest tasks like “email Christa back” can go on this list.
In the beginning of each week, write down the tasks you have, break down big assignments, and plan out your week. Planning out a week is actually more effective than waiting until each morning to create a to-do list. I designed a free printable you can use, which will help you get as motivated and productive as you can!
How to strategically schedule your week to increase productivity
A key thing to do is don’t over delegate tasks for each day–be realistic and commit to completing whatever you assigned. I would suggest around 3 major tasks to do each day, but any small ones can be dumped onto the to do list as well. Just focus on the big tasks and make sure to TAKE THE TIME to schedule your tasks every week and write it down. Seriously.
Here’s a post that will help you find balance mentally and physically while maintaining productivity.
Stop procrastinating by scheduling time blocks
If you really want to crack down on procrastination, another tip I have is to actually schedule time blocks. Force yourself to commit to the time you set for whatever you’ve been putting off. FOLLOW THROUGH with the promises you make, because this is what really sharpens your self discipline and gets you motivated and productive.
Utilizing Google Calendar
I use Google Calendar, as it’s easy to integrate with calendar invites, and it provides handy notifications as well. To be honest, I actually only recently moved to Google Calendar (near the beginning of quarantine I believe). I really don’t know why I was hesitant to move to Google Calendar because I love it so much now.
It’s definitely been a factor that has helped me increase productivity in daily life. If you’re looking for more productivity tools, check out my post with my top 3 (FREE) recommends, along with a more in-depth explanation on how my Google Calendar system works.
Productivity and Motivation Challenge
If you’ve been waiting for something to kick you in the but and give you a reason to finally be motivated increase productivity in quarantine, this is it. I envision that this challenge is going to pump us all up and get excited to every day and accomplish an abundance of new things!
All that “blah” you’ve been feeling stops today.
What To Do:
- Create a weekly schedule for yourself. Plan out the SPECIFIC times you’d like to schedule for each assignment, and don’t forget relaxation time too!
- Feel free to use my new FREE “get productive & motivated” weekly planner printable as a guide!
THE KEY: building habits in moderation. To build consistency, you’ve got to PRACTICE being consistent. Here’s how:
Start off just trying to stick to this plan for a week. That’s it.
No “21 days to build a habit” kind of thing because by day 5 you’ll probably feel like giving up, especially if you have 16 more days to do. But if you do 7 days, then it’s only 2 more days to go. Perspective, am I right? Trust me, it works.
Once you’ve successfully done week one, hooray! Achievement unlocked! Now your goal is to stay consistent and productive for one more week. See what I’m getting at here?
Don’t forget though: make adjustments and add new goals for each new week. For example, I personally have a goal to wake up earlier, so I will be waking up 15 minutes earlier every week and see if I can get to 6:00am. You can do a variation, such as working out more every week, introducing a new habit, etc. I promise you that the longer you stick to this the more you’ll feel motivated and productive in quarantine!
FREE planner to get motivated and productive
This planner is designed specifically to increase productivity. Use it in the beginning of each week to outline your tasks for each day, as well as any weekly goals you’d like to hit so that you are getting in that growth. It really helps with your motivation, especially if you put this by your desk!
I also include a section for wake up/bedtime so you can monitor it and work towards that ideal morning routine!
I designed it to be rather minimal (trust me, I don’t like the printables that waste gallons of my ink either). You can print two on one sheet of paper, or slide the planner into a plastic sheet protector and use a dry-erase marker so you can reuse it!