Staying productive in quarantine

How to find productivity in sedentary lifestyle


Photo by Margaret Debenport

Establishing a dedicated workplace can help keep you productive.

Story by Margaret Debenport, Opinion Editor

So, you’re stuck at home. Your couch is calling your name. You want to spend your days watching Netflix. There’s no desire to do any of your homework, but it’s piling up and with in-person classes canceled for the rest of the year, it’s time to take responsibility for your grades.

In order to keep credit for your school year, doing your work is essential. It can be difficult to get into the swing of things, but with these simple tips, you’ll be able to get to work in no time. 

Create a sleep and wake time

In order to get yourself re-oriented with time, make yourself go to sleep before the sunrises, more appropriately, before midnight. Set a schedule to get at least eight hours of sleep, and try to maintain going to sleep at the same time every night, at least during the weekdays. By keeping a consistent sleep schedule, you’ll feel more rested, which in turn will make you more productive. 

Establish a workplace

It’s time to get to work. It is extremely important to establish a place dedicated only to doing work. Working in bed will slow your productivity, and you’ll likely end up falling asleep because your body is used to sleeping in that environment. Whether it’s a kitchen table or your front porch, establishing a dedicated place to do work will get your mind in a place full of productivity. 

Clean up your workplace

Remove any unneeded pieces of paper or trash to declutter your ‘office.’ With less visual distractions around you, you’ll be able to concentrate and won’t feel overwhelmed by your surroundings.

Make a playlist

In order to stay focused, you’ll need to make a playlist that allows you to block out noise and stay working without skipping songs. Whether it’s metal or mellow melodies, keeping yourself ‘wired in’ will allow you to limit audio distractions and maximize productivity. 

Have a certain time for work and a certain time for play

While it may be tempting to get all your work for the week done in a 24 hour frenzy, spreading it out over a few hours each day with breaks in between work time leads to getting work done in a faster amount of time. By including walks outside and exercise into your day, you’ll find yourself less stressed by the amount of work you have to do.

Alert the household

Politely tell the other members of your household that you are doing homework, and ask them to limit their distractions with you as much as possible while you are working. By doing so, you’ll be able to be more productive in your work time. 

Put your phone out of sight

Out of sight, out of mind. Silence alerts and get back to your friends when it’s time to take a break. Borrow from Texas High’s very own Mrs.Martin and practice high intensity interval learning by setting a time for at least 15 minutes dedicated wholly to work, then for three minutes, allow yourself to get on your phone or stretch. By doing so, you’ll surprise yourself with your newfound productivity. 

Make a to-do list

In order to organize your work throughout the week, start on Monday morning by making a list of all the things you need to get done before Friday. Then, every morning, check back with this list and decide which assignments you will complete today. By doing so, you’ll be able to rationally space work throughout the week and not wind up overworking yourself in one day.

Take it one step at a time

It can feel like you have to complete hundreds of assignments at once, but trying to multitask will only limit your productivity. Focus all of your energy onto the task in front of you, then move onto the next. By taking it one step at a time, you won’t find yourself overwhelmed.

Control your emotions

When learning new lessons, frustrations are going to arise. When this happens, don’t be afraid to take a break by getting some fresh air or grabbing a snack. Allow yourself to calm down, and then attempt the work again. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help from the internet or by contacting your teacher. Although things may be frustrating, we don’t have to allow them to frustrate us.

Everyone finds their productivity peaks in different ways, but with these simple steps, you’ll at least get a start in the right direction. Take a deep breath, be thankful for the opportunity to learn, then get ready to work.