How to Boost Your Productivity as We Approach a “New Normal”

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a variety of challenges. For some, the most impactful challenge was working from home. Although remote work brought positives for many, after just a few short months, many employees realized that their productivity was plummeting and experienced burnout as a result.

As the post-COVID era lies on the horizon, we approach a new normal: a melting pot of work-from-home employees and those parading back into the office. How exactly, regardless of where we are working from, are we supposed to boost our productivity during this time?

Here are some of our best tips at LifeHound.

Establish a Routine

Odds are that in some way, shape, or form, COVID-19 disrupted your daily routine. As a result of a global pandemic, many of us have been forced to wear various hats over the past year. Some may have taken on the role of your child’s teacher, in addition to being a full-time employee, homemaker, chauffeur … the list goes on!

Bottom line: Our routines have been shaken up. But as the world transitions to a “new normal,” we are given the opportunity to establish new, healthy routines.

For many, however, the word “routine” brings the idea of boredom. The word routine is defined as “a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.” It is understandable then, why many might associate routine with boredom.

Northwestern Medicine, however, writes about the importance of having a daily routine. Stress, poor sleep and diet, ineffective use of one’s time, and overall poor physical condition plague those who do not prioritize a non-negotiable daily routine. Your routine, however, can always be spiced up! Trying something new every day or planning something to look forward to is a step in the right direction if you’re facing boredom.

How to Boost ProductivityStructuring Your Day

To create the most productive version of yourself, you first need to know yourself and the way you work. Are you a morning person? A night owl? Find out how you work best and use that to your advantage. Complete tasks that are most creatively demanding during your peak window of productivity.

To begin your day, however, crafting a daily to-do list is essential. According to a study done by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University, a person is 42% more likely to achieve their goals if they begin by writing them down—pen and paper, the old-fashioned way! 

After doing so, start on your list. At LifeHound, we recommend tackling the things you want to do the least, as to not drag them on throughout your day.

Eliminate Multitasking

Multitasking is a skill that many of us flaunt around—but why? According to research, one’s productivity can be reduced by as much as 40% when switching between tasks! Multitasking then, in fact, is a great way to halt your productivity—not boost it. 

We recommend, whether at home or in-office, to instead focus on the single task at hand. Empower yourself to finish one thing at a time before moving on to the next, then watch your productivity soar!

Nurture Your Emotional and Physical Well-Being

Every person has a different way they cope with work-related stress or anxiety. Whether you’re working from home or not, you should always prioritize and make time for your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. If not, your productivity will suffer.

Tony Wong, an expert in productivity, recommends individuals use their mornings to focus on themselves. Whether it be exercising, fueling up with a hearty breakfast, journaling or meditating, all of these activities ensure you have the foundation for an entirely productive day. 

In other words, do anything other than immediately diving into the sea of emails overflowing in your inbox! C’mon, at least let your feet hit the ground after rolling out of bed…

The essentials, however? Sleep, exercise, and nutrition.

A great first step toward boosting your productivity is by setting a consistent sleep cycle. Quality sleep results in clear thinking, the ability to retain information, and make informed decisions. Poor sleep, according to research shows that employees with poor sleeping habits were found with “significantly worse productivity, performance, and safety outcomes.” In fact, among those with poor sleep, an estimated $1,967 loss in productivity was calculated in a study of 4,188 employees.

Additionally, while you’re working toward boosting your productivity, consider your work-life balance. Do you find yourself checking and responding to emails in bed at night? Where could you be more meticulous with setting boundaries? We acknowledge that it’s especially difficult to set work-life boundaries when working remotely, however, it’s importance cannot be overstated.

Consider a Social Media and/or News Cleanse

As the adage goes, “Everything in moderation.” The same goes for social media and the news. Although technology cannot be entirely to blame for distraction in the workplace, recent studies show that “smartphones, the internet, social media, and emails are among the 10 biggest workplace productivity killers.”

Regardless of your environment, you can boost your productivity by controlling addictive, non-productive tasks.

Author James Clear, who wrote Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, writes about his limited interaction with social media during the workweek. At the start of each week, Clear’s assistant changes the passwords to his social media accounts, only allowing him access to the accounts during the weekend, then changing the passwords again on Monday morning.

While you may not be prepared to make social media or news changes, consider locking your phone in a drawer or placing it in another room while you work so as to not feed temptation.

Reminder: It’s OK to Ask for Help!

Author Amber Hurdle put it best: “Do your best in the day, for the day, and then work on tomorrow when it comes.” The reality is, at the end of the day, no matter how productive you’ve been, you might need support or help from your colleagues, family, or friends. 

Because the truth is, as humans we can’t do it all, and that’s OK!

Apps like LifeHoundhelp boost your productivity and make life as organized as possible. Sign up for your free trial today, then see your productivity boost as we approach a new post-COVID normal!