7 Good Habits To Adopt To Be Productive (& Motivated!) At Home

Photo: getty
7 Good Habits To Adopt To Be Productive (& Motivated!) At Home

Good habits can be difficult to adopt if you're working from home for the first time due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

If you're struggling with motivation and productivity these days, you're not alone. 

In a recent study, 63 percent of Americans reported a decline in mental health, feeling anxious, or depressed. Only 20 percent reported minimal or no distress as a result of this global pandemic.

Health fears, job loss and insecurity, financial pressures, homeschooling, and dealing with change are likely to impact your day-to-day functioning.

RELATED: 5 Simple Tips For Staying Successful While Working Remotely

Whether you are struggling to work from home right now or you are trying to get stuff done around the house, it can take a concerted effort — much more than usual — to stay on track with your daily efforts.

Here are 7 good habits to establish when working from home so you can be more productive and motivated.

1. Eat healthy, mood-boosting foods.

Binge-eating potato chips and cheeseburgers might feel satisfying at the time, but you are likely to feel your energy plummet soon after. Instead, eating a balanced diet can positively affect your energy levels and mental well-being.

Consider choosing foods that support brain function. When foods are nutrient-rich, neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are high, making you will feel calm and in control.

Vitamins and minerals such as B, D, zinc, magnesium, and selenium can boost your mood. Probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids are also great choices for your brain's health. 

Reach for foods like oatmeal, fish, fresh cherries, and even dark chocolate, and you will be ready to tackle any to-do list.

2. Stick to a routine.

A significant predictor of success is a regular routine. Wake up at the same time every day, eat at regular times, and get dressed.

As tempting as it is to stay in comfortable pajamas all day, you’ll feel more professional and confident when you're acting as if you’re back at the office.

If you're used to going to the gym or taking a daily walk during your lunch hour, it's essential to find a way to fit in your exercise more than ever. Get creative by adapting your practice or finding some online programs.

3. Bring focus to your day.

Spend a few minutes each morning and night to recalibrate and identify your top priorities for the day.

What is your gamechanger goal? What are two or three things you can do to achieve it? Don't put extra pressure on yourself. Instead, concentrate on what truly matters.

Another aspect of focus is being fully present. Give whatever you're doing your full attention. That means eliminating distractions like phone notifications.

You will be even more productive if you remove your phone from your work area altogether. One study found that having a phone in the room decreases your cognitive ability.

So, stay focused — you're smarter than that!

4. Lean into your preferences.

Typically, multi-tasking does not yield great results, and it can create stress and overwhelm. Simply put, your brain isn’t wired for it and it can reduce productivity by up to 40 percent.

One size does not fit all. If you are extra-energetic first thing in the morning, take advantage of that time to get your biggest or most challenging tasks done.

If not, schedule your must-do's and important calls for later in the day, if you can.

Consider how your introverted or extroverted preferences might factor into your productivity, as well.

If you're introverted, you might be successful and happier with some serious time-blocking and getting a lot done in one sitting before decompressing with an hour of solitude and meditation.

If you're extroverted, the idea of several smaller spurts of activity interspersed with video chats with colleagues or friends will keep you motivated to get through your commitments.

RELATED: 6-Step Guide To Working From Home During Coronavirus Quarantine — Without Losing Your Sanity & Staying Productive

5. Create an inspirational environment.

If your home is messy, you're decreasing your odds of being effective, and it's likely not increasing your joy, either.

So, clear out the clutter — along with the psychic vampires that go with it — and create a space that encourages you to feel and do your best.

If you are suddenly working from home, dedicate a space that's your own where you can comfortably work. Decorate your area with personal effects and affirmations that will cheer you on throughout the day.

Engage the senses, as well, and include some essential oils like grapefruit, lime, peppermint, bergamot, or ginger to lift your energy and mood and stimulate concentration.

6. Connect to your bigger "why."

Never go a day without reminding yourself of your higher purpose. What are you meant to do with your life and how will you serve others?

If you haven't figured this out yet, use your quarantine period to explore it — alone or with a trusted guide. If you know your "why," let it steer you every day.

You will be motivated to bring it to life in each decision and action, and you'll maximize your days without giving it much thought; this is the real power of purpose.

7. Get adequate rest.

Quality sleep can help you process the day — including your emotions — and ensures your body has a chance to restore itself.

Studies show that poor sleep is linked to depression and health issues, while good sleep is linked to improved immune function, athletic performance, and cognitive ability.

Commit yourself to get into bed a little earlier each night. If you're having trouble unwinding, consider writing in a journal, doodling, or meditating for a few minutes.

When you are working during the day, be sure to take regular rests. Step outside for a few minutes, take a mindful break, and don't discount the positive effects of a few days off.

Your mind, body, and soul will thank you.

Above all else, give yourself some compassion. Staying motivated and productive isn't easy when you are housebound during a pandemic.

By tending to your mental-health needs and implementing some of these tips, you will be further ahead in reaching your goals now and when the crisis is over.

RELATED: 14 Ways To Keep Productivity High & Stress Low While Working From Home During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Lisa Petsinis is a certified coach (ACC) who works with busy women who want to beat overwhelm, find their voice, and create more joy and meaning in their lives. Contact her for a free call so you can jumpstart the changes you want in your life, starting today.

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.