Is your productivity suffering due to COVID fatigue? According to Psychology Today, COVID fatigue is when an individual suffers from negative emotions including boredom, loneliness, sadness, frustration, anxiety, fear, anger, and resentment brought on by social distancing restrictions, forced isolation, and cancelled social engagements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re dealing with COVID fatigue and your productivity is suffering, fear not! Here are three hacks to help you stay productive when dealing with COVID fatigue:
Minimize Distraction Pitfalls
Distractions are the biggest productivity-killer when working from home. You must have a plan in order to overcome them.
- Family Distractions - If you have children who are home during the work day, set expectations for them as a family. Make sure they understand your availability during the work day, and set clear boundaries so you aren’t constantly interrupted.
- Phone Distractions - If your phone isn’t needed during the work day, do yourself a favor and turn it off or put it on silent and place it in another room away from your designated work area, so you won’t be tempted to reach for it every time a notification pops up. Many people need to communicate with their co-workers through their phone, so this may not be an option for you, but there are other workarounds to avoid phone distractions. Delete any apps that are distracting, such as social media apps. You can also designate a specific ringtone for your boss or colleagues who may call during the day, so you only look at your phone when it's business related.
- Web Distractions - Use a site blocker app to block or restrict specific websites during working hours, so you only have access to the websites you need for your job. Not only will this increase your productivity, it will give you a much-needed break from never-ending COVID news cycles that will only magnify the fatigue and burnout you’ve been experiencing since the outbreak began.
Establish a Workday Routine
You can be productive working from home. Creating structure is a great way to combat COVID fatigue. Here are some tips to creating a workday routine you’ll thrive in:
- Create Your Workspace-You may not have an official home office -- that’s okay. Use your kitchen table or create a makeshift desk if necessary. Find space with good lighting or in front of a window, and keep the area organized and clutter-free. If you have the space, add a small plant or family photo. You want your workspace to be functional and organized, but also personable and enjoyable-just like your workspace at the office. If you’re miserable in your space, you’re not going to be productive working.
- Get Dressed Every Day - A great way to combat COVID fatigue and improve your productivity is to get dressed every day in the clothes you would wear to the office. The more you replicate the workday mood, the more productive you’re going to be.
- Create a Time Structure - Wake up at the same time every morning and set consistent times to get your work day started, break for lunch, and sign off for the day. The structure of time will aid in your productivity and help your brain designate between working hours and non-working hours.
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