It’s officially Fall, which means most of us are getting back to school, work, and all of the things that remove us from the blissful, carefreeness of Summer.

While, for a lot of us, Summer has been a rollercoaster of rest, healing, and self-discovery, we’re also excited to get back to the stability of a daily routine.

However, as we remember the struggle to remain productive at the beginning of quarantine, we know that the world has now adjusted, and we have to as well.

To make things a bit easier and stay on top of your game while working, studying, and chasing your dreams from home, here are some tips that have helped me, that may be helpful to you to: 

Getting Ready for the Day

1. Have a Morning Routine

Since most of us are working and studying from home these days, a morning routine is pretty much essential for maintaining a sense of normalcy.

Whether it’s something extravagant with a lot of steps, or as simple as indulging in skincare and a nice cup of coffee,

It’s the best way to transition your mind and body from sleep/relax mode into work and productivity mode.

Some of the most recommended things to include in your morning routine are:

  • mindfulness/meditation
  • Prayer (if you’re religious)
  • Journaling/affirmations/practicing gratefulness
  • Moving your body / exercising
  • Going outside/ enjoying some fresh air
  • Opening the blinds to let in some light 

For me, this has looked like taking my time on my skincare, drinking water to hydrate, and sitting on the porch + writing before eating breakfast and getting dressed.

(right now I’m loving the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizer)

While work-from-home life rarely resembles the hustle and bustle we were used to before quarantine started,

we can use this time to take advantage of our mornings at home, find solace in stillness, and set the tone for the day.

2. Get Dressed for the Day

Another game-changer for productivity has been getting ready for the day. When quarantine first started,  my sleep schedule became so messed up that I would just lounge around in my pajamas all day.

The consequences? I felt like a complete bum. In turn, this negatively impacted how I performed at work and school, making me lazy and prone to procrastination.

But, since I’ve started putting on light makeup and my cutest lounge sets, feeling confident and attractive has transformed how I tackle my days.

From this, I can confirm the cliche: when you look good, you feel good, and you get sh*t done.

For me, this has looked like putting my braids into a neat ponytail,

doing my brows, throwing on some concealer and mascara,

and blending some Glossier cloud paint into my cheeks. (I’ve linked some of my favorite affordable products here).

In addition, I’ve purchased + created lounge outfits from my closet to make getting dressed everyday an event.

Some of the best places to shop loungewear right now are:

So, whether it’s simply doing your skincare, and putting on a cute sweatsuit, or a natural makeup look and a full on Fall fit,

practice self-love by deciding to show up as your best for the day. 

3. Make your Space Inspiring

Since we’re all home right now, it might be hard to work in a space that is  both your office and your place of rest.

This could cause you to feel/be disorganized, which can in turn make it harder to concentrate and be productive.

To combat this, everyday I spend at least 20 minutes straightening up my space.

In addition, I’ve purchased some decor staples, such as my fuzzy bedspread,

this feather print and Macrame wall hanging from etsy,

and some rugs to make my space feel more put together and inspiring.

Having a clean space has helped me have a clearer mind, which has been helpful when pursuing both my creative and professional work.

So, in order to have more productive days, try to spice up your space in a way that not only creates separation between work and rest, but is also more organized, and makes you want to be productive.

Creating a Daily Schedule

4. Adjust your schedule to fit your habits

Creating a daily schedule can be tricky because you have to fit all of the things you want to accomplish into the day.

However, one of our biggest mistakes is creating a schedule that neglects our own personal needs and practices.

While some things may sound like a good idea, like waking up at 5 am, or working out at night before bed,

these things don’t necessarily work or play out the best when you’re not a morning person, or the day wears you out.

Trust me, I know, I learned this the hard way.

So, when creating a schedule, make sure you make adjustments that fit your daily habits. This can look like: 

  • Opting to sleep in a bit if you hate mornings 
  • Waking up earlier if you like slower mornings or hate rushing
  • Creating gaps for when you know you’re most productive/have to be at work
  • Taking your diet into consideration (ie. intermittent fasting or having underlying conditions that affect your eating habits)
  • Working in essential tasks that help with other aspects of life, such as exercising for clarity and energy, or journaling/gratefulness for wellness throughout the day

While work, circumstances, and other things may at times prevent you from making adjustments exactly as you like,

try your best to take yourself into consideration when mapping out your essential everyday tasks. 

It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing, or what some wellness internet guru says to do, create a schedule you know you can get the most out of

5. Create Realistic + Attainable Goals

Another thing to take into consideration when creating your daily schedule is the scope of work you’re able to take on. 

It can be easy to get carried away and try to cram everything into the day, especially when you have so much to do.

However, I noticed that whenever I do this, I become so overwhelmed that I actually just don’t get anything done at all.

This in turn makes me feel unproductive, which backfires into me not feeling good enough.

So, in order to avoid feelings of failure, and to get more done, try to focus on 1-3 tasks that are top priority for that day.

Something that’s been helpful for me is putting all of my goals and tasks for the week onto my white board

It’s been super helpful for organizing all of my tasks and showcasing my goals in front of me daily. 

Since a lot of us are more sedentary right now than usual, we tend to get tired easier, so make sure to take that into consideration when creating your to-do list.

In addition, be realistic about how much time each task will take and plan accordingly.

You may not be able to fit everything you need to in one day, and that’s okay. Focus on the most important/beneficial things first.

The most important thing here is that you don’t overwhelm yourself. Remember, you have time, you don’t have to get everything done right this very moment.

Commit to yourself by not procrastinating but also know that you’re never a failure for not being able to complete your to-do list. Pace yourself and take each thing as it comes.

6. Focus on one thing at a time

Something else that has been super helpful for me is literally only focusing on one thing at a time.

I found that trying to focus on more than one thing within a short span only leaves me feeling scatterbrained and disorganized

I get so caught up in what I have to do next, and my mind wanders to the next thing so much that I’m not able to concentrate.

But when I focus on one task, say, writing a blog post, before moving onto anything else, not only does it improve my focus,

but I’m able to  deep dive into the thought processes required to do it in a detailed and efficient manner.

So whether in creative, academic, or professional circumstances, try to batch things rather than spreading them out and combining them with other tasks.

This means sometimes you might be working on one thing for several days, but that’s okay.

Getting into a mindset that is engaging with one thing at a time not only teaches you discipline and how to be present in the moment,

but is going to be so much better for your work in the long run.

Daily Self- Maintainance

7. Take care of yourself

I know that even at home, a lot of us still have a busy schedule, but please remember to take care of yourself during your days as well. 

This means

  • Making time for breaks
  • Napping if you need to
  • Making healthier eating choices 
  • Making time for yourself
  • Staying hydrated
  • Taking your vitamins 
  • Getting enough sleep

Like I mentioned earlier, because we aren’t moving around as much and our bodies aren’t used to the hustle + bustle of normal pre-quarantine everyday life, we tend to get tired easier.

On top of that, so many of us are dealing with the repercussions of having to do everything at home — increased anxiety + mental health issues, sluggishness, feeling unmotivated and perhaps things that go beyond that.

So do whatever you can at home to boost your mood and feel motivated enough at least to get through your most important tasks.

Being in quarantine doesn’t mean everything else goes out the window. Take care of yourself to enforce a sense of normalcy, and to make your time at home as tolerable as possible.

8. Make time for rest and self-care

Last but not least, on top of taking care of your basic physical needs, make sure to cater to your emotional, intellectual, and self-care needs as well. By this I mean, make actual time for yourself.

Create a daily habit that is just for you.  It could be that it either makes you feel good/ more put together during these times, or simply puts you in a good headspace.

For me, this has been taking extra care of myself at night and having a skincare treatment for every single day.

This is mostly because, at the very beginning of quarantine, I neglected all of my self-care needs. I’m talking my legs were hairy, my toes weren’t done, and I just overall felt disgusting.

I found that it was important for me that I maintained myself because feeling pretty and well put together is what makes me feel my best.

And since skincare has become my new obsession, skincare masks + treatments at night, on top of a good shower, perfume, and cute pajamas have been my go-to’s.

Some of my current favorite treatments are the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Chemical peeling solution from The Ordinary, which leaves my skin glow,

and this Charcoal and Black Sugar Mask for Freeman Beauty, which makes it super soft and smooth!

Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you don’t have to maintain yourself– if not for anyone else, do it for you. 

Whether it’s unwinding with wine and a good book at night or taking extra time to pamper yourself in the mornings,

you deserve time to truly unplug from everything that’s going on in the world right now. 

So, whether you’re studying, taking on a full-time job, or using this time to move the needle with a passion, I hope you have a great next few months.

Quarantine can be hard on us both physically and emotionally, even if you do see it as a blessing, so don’t forget to take care of yourself this season, remember this state is temporary, and take each day as it comes. 

 

You’ve got this, I believe in you,

 

With love,

Sabria Sparrow