If you’re anything like the Digital Women team, you’ll have probably been feeling a little anxious over the last week or two. The announcement of a second lockdown, though necessary, was yet another unexpected disruption to our lives. However, our incredible community has gotten through it once before and we’re sure you’ll all come out thriving once again.
With that being said, we could all still use a little motivation right now. To help you stay productive and positive during these tough times, we’ve put together this list of tried and tested tips on how to get through this year’s second lockdown.
And if we’ve missed your go-to productivity hack off our list, head on over to the Digital Women Facebook group and share it with our community!
Take regular screen breaks
Most of us have had to adapt to spending significantly more time on our screens since working and socialising from home. It’s therefore ever more important to take regular breaks away from your computer screen – whether it’s to make a nice cup of tea, go for a ten-minute walk around the block, or grab a takeaway cup of coffee from your local cafe. Not only does taking some time away from your screen help to break up your day and keep you focused when you are at your desk, it also allows you to take care of yourself – something which is crucial to being productive when working from home. Use your breaks to look after your physical and mental wellbeing by staying hydrated, getting some movement, and ultimately making sure you feel fulfilled when it comes to the end of your working day.
Get outside on your lunch break
The times when many of us would have gotten our daily steps in, like during the walk to and from the train station, the lunchtime walk to the local cafe, or climbing the stairs in the office block, are now yet another absence in our daily routines. You may be finding that it’s now much harder to hit your steps goal and as a consequence, you’re feeling a little more sluggish than usual. A lunchtime walk can therefore be a great way to incorporate that bit of exercise into your daily routine, helping to keep you physically fit, healthy, and motivated.
Getting outside on your lunch break can also be great for your mental health too; nothing quite beats breathing in some fresh air and being at one with nature. With the evenings now getting much darker, it’s also a great opportunity to make the most of the daylight. If you’re feeling ambitious, try going for a half an hour jog or bike ride to get those endorphins flowing. If you’re not a fan of midday exercise (don’t worry, you’re definitely not alone!), try plugging in your earphones, turning on a podcast or your favourite playlist, and simply going for a walk – it can really help to break up the working day.
Set yourself achievable daily goals
Setting yourself daily goals is really important to achieving that much-needed feeling of accomplishment and fulfilment at the end of your working days. Daily goals can apply to both your home and work life, for example, your work goals may include replying to those outstanding emails, making the phone call you’ve been putting off, or scheduling a group meeting with your colleagues to brainstorm ideas. Your home goals, by contrast, might include waking up with enough time to do a spot of exercise in the morning, cooking your evening meal from scratch, even watching that documentary you’ve been meaning to watch for weeks.
The important thing to remember is to keep these goals achievable; we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, after all! Setting these goals on a daily basis is a great way to gauge what is realistically achievable for you while allowing you to be agile and adaptable to the uncertain and quickly-changing times. Above all else, just don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be achieving everything that you were before lockdown – life is very different right now, and you’re doing the best you can!
Optimise your environment for work
In order to be productive, you need to be working in a space that is optimised for working. There’s a range of small things you can do to achieve a work-friendly environment, including turning your desk to face a window and making your workspace aesthetically pleasing by adding some nice plants or stationery. If possible, though, your priority needs to be establishing a designated workspace that is used only for work and kept very much separate from where you spend your leisure time. Ultimately, though it may be tempting to work from bed when you’re feeling lazy on a Monday morning, it’s certainly not going to maximise your productivity. There really is truth in the saying “don’t mix work with pleasure”. And of course, it goes without saying, for the sake of you and your co-workers on Zoom, make sure your wifi is up to scratch!
Invest in tools and resources to help you
If you were putting off investing in those tools and resources that would help you work from home during the first lockdown, this lockdown is the perfect time to take the leap. There are many resources, both online and offline, that can help you improve the efficiency of you and your team. Here are some tools and resources that could help you through the second lockdown:
Organisational resources, such as a quality social media planner, some new stationery, or desk organisers to keep your workspace tidy
Digital tools, such as social media planning and publishing tools, data analysis tools, and next-level content creation and branding programmes
Virtual upskilling events that allow you to develop new and improved professional and personal skills
And of course, working from home in style and comfort should be a priority; some fabulous new loungewear couldn’t go amiss!
We all know how isolating lockdown can become, especially if you’re living alone or are unable to visit your family and friends. Even human contact which seemed somewhat insignificant before, like bumping into old friends in the coffee shop or saying hi to your colleagues on the way to your desk, can become things that you find yourself longing for. So it goes without saying: it’s more important than ever to stay connected. Reach out to your friends, family and colleagues as much as you can, and remember they’re probably all in exactly the same boat as you. If you’re ever unsure of who to turn to, there are many helplines and communities like Digital Women that are always here to support you too!
It’s completely normal to feel anxious and overwhelmed during this second lockdown – take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone
Take regular short breaks away from your screen to break up your working day
Get outside for some exercise or just some fresh air on your lunch break
Set yourself achievable daily goals to help keep yourself on track and feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day
Optimise your work environment to ensure you’re productive while you work
Invest in tools and resources that will help you get through lockdown smoothly and efficiently
Stay connected with your friends, family, and colleagues (they’re probably in need of the contact just as much as you are!) and reach out if you need further support