Social isolation isn’t fun.
Especially if you had fun plans that were supposed to take place (like someone’s birthday…I’m ok… *sniff*… really…)
But the biggest reason that social isolation can be frustrating is something that most of us aren’t even realizing:
Being told to stay home and not go anywhere makes people feel like they aren’t in control of their lives.
(This is also why some people are buying toilet paper like this is Armageddon, it gives them something they can control!)
You see, we all like to be able to go and come as we please.
I don’t mind being home at all. In fact, I usually spend the majority of my time at the house because I’m a stay-at-home mom and I do my work at home, too.
But when someone tells me that I can’t leave… boy, do I get antsy!
So what if we could use our desire to be in control to our advantage?
Is there anything we could do in this situation that we could be in control of?
Actually, there is!
Not only that, but there are things we can do that will make our lives easier once everything gets back to normal.
In this post, we are going to talk about the productive things that you can do during this time at home that will have you looking back on the quarantine time with gratitude.
7 Productive Things to Do When You’re In Quarantine
Before we get started, we need to talk about our mindset.
How we think greatly affects our actions.
So if we go into this upset and frustrated, we will be less likely to follow through and do the things that will help us.
No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, try re-framing them to be more positive.
If you only tell yourself the negative things about being stuck at home, you will feel negatively towards this situation.
Instead, if you think about all the things that you can accomplish with this time at home, you will have a better attitude and be more likely to accomplish something during this time.
Every single item on this list will make your life so much more simple once the quarantine is over.
And even if you just do one of them, you will be doing a happy dance now, and in the future!
And if you prefer to watch instead of read… check out this video:
1) Create a Daily Rhythm
I highly recommend creating a Simple Block Schedule for your day. A Block Schedule will give you the predictability that you need to be productive, while giving you the flexibility that you need for when life gets crazy.
Grab a notebook and pen (or my awesome Autopilot Workbook!) and head over to How to Create a Daily Routine with a Simple Block Schedule.
Do you always feel like your cleaning, but your house still feels dirty?
Have you wanted to declutter for a while, but have never had the time?
If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, then this quarantine time is perfect for you to get some decluttering done!
3) Make a Cleaning Routine
Before I created My Simple Weekly Cleaning Schedule, I was overwhelmed.
I would spend all day Friday furiously cleaning, only to have it look like I hadn’t cleaned at all a couple of days later.
Every cleaning routine I found on Pinterest only made me feel worse. Apparently, some people also clean their windows every week… ain’t nobody got time for that!
I went back to the drawing board and figured out how to make a weekly cleaning routine that worked for me.
Once I came up with a system, it made my life so. much. less. stressful.
Be sure to check out Put Your Home on Autopilot if you want step-by-step instructions for creating all of your essential routines and making your entire day run smoothly! (Or you can just grab the workbook if you are more of a do-it-yourself kind of gal) 🙂
4) Start Meal Planning
It can be hard to find time to start meal planning when life is going at full speed.
But hey, life isn’t really normal right now!
Maybe you’ve tried Meal Planning in the past and it hasn’t worked for you…
Well I’ll let you in on a little secret: I tried meal planning for years and it didn’t work for me.
Yep, it’s true!
For my personality, weekly meal planning felt like too much work. I would spend all morning planning my meals on Sunday, then head to the store.
By the time I was done, I would be exhausted and didn’t feel at all like cooking, and I would dread having to do it all over again the following week.
So why am I suggesting you start meal planning?
Because I kept trying different strategies until it worked. And I am so glad I did!!
Now I spend less than 5 HOURS A YEAR meal planning! For real.
Yep, I only meal plan once a year using the principles I outline in How to Begin Meal Planning…When You Don’t Know Where to Start and Your Ultimate Guide to Seasonal Meal Planning.
5) Begin Budgeting
Have you been “planning to start a budget” for a while now?
Were you going to do it soon? Next weekend maybe?
Now is a perfect time to stop procrastinating and get. it. done.
No matter what financial situation you currently find yourself in, starting a budget will help you cut expenses and save more money.
If you’ve never started a budget before, head over to How to Start Budgeting: A Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Budget, Cutting Costs, and Saving Money.
6) Spend Time on Something You’ve Wanted To Do
As we go about our everyday lives, we all wish that we could spend more time on the things that matter to us.
So wouldn’t it be disappointing if you look back on your time at home to mostly see that it was wasted?
Now is a perfect opportunity to set aside some time every day to work on something you have been wishing for and make it a reality. (Maybe you could use a specific block in your new block schedule for personal development time… just an idea!)
Do you want to spend time working on an existing hobby?
Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn something new? Check out some relevant YouTube videos and see if you can find some basic instructions. Now just might be a great time to start that garden you always dreamed of having!
Do you have a business idea that you can’t get out of your head? Do some research on how to make your dream a reality.
Do you already have a side hustle that you would like to turn into a full-time income? Now is a great time to put extra work into it so that you will be ready when the economy picks back up.
7) Teach Your Children Something
So often life gets in the way of the truly important things.
When we are constantly going from one thing to another, it can be difficult to take the extra time to teach our children a new skill.
Even if it’s just taking the time to teach them a life skill like making their beds, getting dressed all by themselves, tying their shoes, or cooking breakfast.
If you haven’t taught your children to do chores before, now is an excellent time to do that! You can check out A Beginner’s Guide to Toddler Chores and How To Teach Your Children to Enjoy Doing Chores for some inspiration.
Maybe your kids want to learn how to ride their bikes without training wheels, or learn to do a hobby that you know how to do? Great! Spend some time with them working on a skill together.
The sky is the limit!
And if they want to learn something that you don’t know how to do, see if YouTube can provide you with the basics to teach them.
7 Productivity Boosters When You Don’t Feel Like Being Productive
How many people say to themselves every night, “tomorrow I’m going to get up early and get things done!” They set an alarm with the intention to wake up and get started…only to snooze their alarm 47 times and sleep in later than they normally would have?
So how can you be productive when you don’t feel like it?
These 7 Productivity Boosters will get you in the mood to be productive, even when you’re feeling a lazy day coming on!
1) Make Your Bed
Don’t roll your eyes… I’m serious!
I know that this activity more than any other can seem like a waste of time. You’re only going to mess it up again later, right?
But making your bed is important, and not just because your mom told you to do it.
You see, when we do something productive and check something off our list, our brain receives a dopamine hit. And your brain likes dopamine hits.
Your brain is then happy and thinks “let’s go do more productive things, that felt great!”
So the simple act of making your bed will set you up for a more productive day.
That was easy!
2) Get Dressed
Getting dressed is another easy item that you can easily check off your list.
You will be much more likely to get things done if you are wearing jeans, than if you are wearing pajamas… even if you aren’t going anywhere.
I highly recommend adding getting dressed to your morning routine. When I added it to mine, I noticed a big difference in my productivity.
Check out How to Create a Morning Routine Even if You Aren’t a Morning Person if you don’t already have a morning routine that you use.
3) Open the Windows
There’s nothing like a little natural light and fresh air to brighten your mood and make you feel like getting things done.
If it’s too cold outside, just open the blinds!
4) Keep Your Kitchen Clean
Nothing will take the wind out of your productivity sails faster than walking into a dirty kitchen.
To solve that problem, you have to stay on top of keeping it clean.
Don’t tell yourself that you’ll just wait until the end of the day to get it done. If you do that, it will take you much longer than if you had kept up with it throughout the day.
If you struggle to keep your kitchen clean, check out The Busy Mom’s Guide to Cleaning Your Kitchen the Easy Way.
If your kids are old enough to help out but don’t pitch in with keeping the kitchen nice, assign everyone a certain plate, bowl, and silverware. It will be their’s to eat off of every meal, and if they don’t clean it off when they are finished with it, they will have to take care of it before they can eat the next meal.
It shouldn’t take long before they start rinsing their plates!
5) Keep Up With Your Laundry
Ok, so maybe there is one other thing that will take the productive feeling away faster than a dirty kitchen will… and that is having piles of laundry, either to wash or fold.
Laundry can get out of hand so quickly if you don’t stay on top of it.
So even though it may not feel like you need to keep up with it right now since your family is staying home, it is still a good idea to maintain a good laundry routine.
If you don’t have a laundry routine that works for you, check out How to Solve the Laundry Problem for my simple laundry routine and tips to make doing laundry easy.
6) Turn Off the Screens
I’ve always been really strict with screen time for my kids. (They are only allowed to FaceTime family (and now friends while we are in quarantine) and listen to music occasionally on YouTube.)
But Ross and I weren’t always so strict with ourselves once they went to bed. About 18 months ago, we decided to stop watching shows in the evenings… and boy did we have a lot more time to do productive things!
You see, we all think that we can multitask, but the fact is that no one can. When we try to do something productive while we watch something, we just do both things half-way.
If you really want to make the most out of your time, turn off the screens and get to work on something that matters!
7) Use Focus Blocks
Whether you are trying to get a project done or are trying to work from home with kids, focus blocks will help you be more productive.
Focus Blocks are blocks of time that you focus on a specific activity, During that time, you turn off all distractions. ]
I recommend using anything from 25- 90 minutes for your blocks.
If you are trying to accomplish something like decluttering your house, work on your task for the allotted time (set a timer if you need to) then when the time is up, switch to something else.
If you are trying to entertain young children while you are getting things done at home, rotate your focus blocks between your work and playing with your kids. It might help to give them something fun to do while you are working such as play doh or watercolors. Then, when your focus block is over, spend the next block doing something with them.
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