Going from attending all in-person events during 2019 to attending virtual events and doing school online in 2020 presented many challenges. Being in our homes a majority of the time while doing work served as a major distraction, and although we had more time, many people weren’t able to make the most of it. However, now that school and most other events are back in person and our lives are a lot closer to what they were pre-pandemic, now is a good time to reflect on what we’ve learned from the coronavirus, and how we can use these strategies to be more productive now.
The first strategy for productivity that a lot of us have learned from the pandemic is to eliminate all possible distractions from your work environment that you can. While we were stuck at home working from our desks and bedrooms, our houses were full of distractions. Not only were our parents and siblings trying to do their work as well, but we had our phone right next to us with constant notifications, and our bed in the corner practically begging us to come in. From this, a lot of us have learned how much of an impact little distractions like these can have on our overall productivity. So, when you’re going to sit down and get working, make sure to turn off your phone and keep it out of your site, and get into a clean and effective study environment like an office instead of your bedroom, if you can. Eliminating distractions from your study environment sounds simple and obvious, but its gains are absolutely incredible once it is put into practice.
The second strategy for productivity that has been realized is to utilize parkinson’s law. Parkinson’s law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. Basically, the more time that you give yourself to complete a task, the more time that task will take. For example, if you have to complete a homework assignment and you give yourself 3 hours to do it, then you will use up all of that time and it will take you 3 hours to complete. But, if you give yourself less time to complete it, say 1.5 hours, then it will likely only take you 1.5 hours to complete, provided that your time expectations are realistic. With more time available to complete your tasks, make sure you block that time effectively for each task, so you can use your time as efficiently as possible and not waste any of it.
The third strategy for productivity is to maintain your well-being and mental health. During the pandemic, many of us were struggling with our mental health since we weren’t able to go out to dinner, attend sports games or concerts, or just hang out with our friends in person. This in turn leads to us being less motivated, more depressed, and therefore less productive on a daily basis. To stay motivated, make sure that you are able to balance your well-being and social life with your work, and long-term you’ll be more satisfied, happy, and productive.