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Chronicles From Home | Productivity

March 25th, 2020 Our Team

By nature, a Public Relations professional would describe themselves as a ‘people person.’ A little over a week ago, the Coronavirus pandemic sent us all into our houses to work remotely for an unknown amount of time. As we enter into week two of our new work from home normal, we wanted to share some of our tips and tricks for staying productive.

Melanie – As a mom of two (two and under) and the wife to an essential employee working long hours, my days are a bit crazy but the following are a few tips helping me to stay productive.

  • Utilize social media. Create Pinterest boards and follow Instagram Mom’s to create daily activities for toddlers. When I need to dive into work, rather than turning the TV on, I set up an activity that will keep them busy, whether that be for a few minutes or an hour, any amount of time helps. 
  • Make a daily to-do list. This can be split into lots of categories from work tasks to home tasks, etc. If you really are feeling adventurous, you can organize this list down to hours in the day. Rather than feeling overwhelmed about being stuck inside all day, I give myself some time to reorganize a cabinet or throw in a load of laundry. Trust us, your boss will approve these tasks!
  • Meal prep on Sundays. I like to stay up with our weekly meal prep! It is easy to snack all day when you are bored in the house, but I try and make a few breakfast and lunches ahead of time to stay on track. 
  • Exercise! Schedule a lunchtime run, walk, HIIT workout, etc. I personally have been loving the Peloton App (90 days free!) because their instructors are inspiring and challenging. I feel like I am connecting with an adult during their 20-30 minute workouts which is much needed in my day! Also, exercising helps to give me a little bit of energy during these long days.
  • Stay connected. Our office uses Slack and it has been really helpful to stay connected with one another. Whether we are catching up on our to-do’s, talking about the next steps for a client, or recapping a Bravo show from the night before, Danielle and I make sure to have daily check-ins.

Danielle – Treating my days the same as I would if I were in the office is what keeps me productive.

  • Don’t snooze the alarm. It may be tempting to sleep in every day, but I find that waking up at the same time I do when I’m heading into the office helps keep me on track.
  • Do eat breakfast. After my morning workout, I usually grab a yogurt and stop at Dunkin’ Donuts on my way to work to save time. At home, I can make myself an iced coffee and have a hot breakfast since I’m in no rush to get to the office.
  • Don’t stop interacting with coworkers. I can’t pop into anyone’s room for a quick question or book a breakout room to have a brainstorm session, but I can video chat, Slack, text, and FaceTime, my coworkers, when I need to get in touch.
  • Do take mental breaks. After lunch at the office, a group of us go on walks when the weather permits. This shouldn’t stop now. It’s beneficial to get outside for fresh air and to break up the monotony of a day at home.
  • Don’t let outside factors distract you. I tend to listen to music when I’m at work. At home, I have the TV on in the background. Do I have any idea what’s going on this season of Riverdale? No, but the familiar sounds of the characters keep me motivated to write, edit, and power through my to-do list.
  • Do end your day the same. It’s easy to stay in “work mode” when you’re technically always at work. Whatever time you usually leave the office is the time you should end your workday. Use your downtime to read, actually watch that show that was on in the background, or to catch up with a friend you haven’t seen in weeks.

Lauren – As a full time, college student and intern at 4M, adjusting to a completely online world has been overwhelming, to say the least. I have been writing down goals each day to maintain a schedule and stay productive. 

  • Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. I am a caffeine lover and coffee enthusiast so I love to start each morning with a shower, a coffee, and some hash browns. I should be eating healthier, but as a broke college student, hash browns are cheap. On a typical morning pre-quarantine, I would get a shower, go out and buy a coffee and breakfast from Starbucks or Dunkin’, so the quarantine is helping my wallet! 
  • Make daily goals. For my schoolwork and my ‘work work,’ it is very important for me to make daily goals. In the mornings, I get out a pad and paper to write them down. My goal list is very similar to a ‘to-do’ list, but I like saying goals because I feel more accomplished when I finish it. 
  • Reach out to coworkers. As an extrovert who is constantly talking to anyone who will listen, it has been very important to me to maintain conversations with my coworkers as best as I can. Whether I am shooting over a quick text asking how their day is going or FaceTiming Danielle to make sure I am on track with my tasks, I keep these conversations going for productivity—and my sanity!
  • Break-time. During my break time, I like to unplug from the internet and go out into the yard and play with my dog. With all of my life being consumed online, it is important for me to have at least one hour of my day scheduled out with no phone. During this break, I make myself lunch or relax for a bit. 
  • Have a designated spot. For the first week of quarantine, I was working straight from my bed and noticed I was not getting as much done as I wanted. I decided to take over my dining room table and give myself a designated spot. It has definitely helped my productivity! When I lay in bed I find myself more easily distracted than when I have the ‘desk’ feel.