5 hacks for staying productive in isolation

1 - Write it down

The night before, write down 5 things you want to achieve the following day. It sounds simple, too simple, but trust me. You wake up with a purpose, a direction and a fire in your belly.

Some goals might be extensive (a long run, begin that website for your business, start writing a book, clearing out the spare bedroom, painting the garden fence), some might be small (loading dishwasher, vacuuming the stairs, going for a walk) others might be somewhere in-between (read a certain amount of pages in a book, a HIIT workout, cook a meal for spouse/family)

No matter how big or small, write it down the night before and you'll be staggered at how much you achieve in a week.

2 - Challenge yourself mentally

The brain needs to be stimulated. Every day at work we're faced with problems and issues. Situations that need solving and resolving. Let's challenge our minds to learn and grow.

Again, it could be as small as a Sudoku puzzle once a day. It could be as bold as learning a language (I've recently started a sign language course). What better time to start that book you were going to read. Enrol on that course to learn the instrument you've always wanted to play. It may even be broadening your knowledge in an area of your own work, something you never got round to because the day to day tasks were always in the way.

There will be no better opportunity. Go learn!

3 - Limit social media

For most people, this will be the one which proves toughest. It's our dirty little addiction. The one thing we think gives us hours of joy, but truthfully just makes us unproductive, non-achieving, zombies.

If you check your screen time right now, my guess is you'll be horrified at what your average daily consumption is. Lets put a cap on that! No more than 2 hours. That's right, 2 hours tops every day. Set yourself the challenge. I'm not saying don't use social media, theres loads of cool shit on there, just use you're time wisely. Check in with friends and family briefly. Quick scroll through the feed. Be very aware of how long your spending on it.

Ps - this might also be a great time to have a clear out, unfollow those bringing no value to your life.

4 - Get creative

Creativity is an endless pool of possibility. Expressing yourself in some way is one of the most productive things you can do. There is no right or wrong - good or bad. It's exploring your mind, thoughts and feelings, in an art form. It can even help you understand you! Reject the stagnant, uncreative cesspool of isolation and breath life and creativity into your mind and thoughts. And if you aren't creatively inclined, here are some ideas...

Small sketches, dancing, short blog posts, making music, graphic art on the computer, painting on canvases, photographic some cool shots, sowing/knitting, typography, writing a novel. The list is endless.

5 - Physically productive

Being confined is the worst possible senerio for staying physically productive. Our bodies need an outlet, it needs to be put under physical stress, blood needs to flow round our body and feed our brains .

Aside from the list of negative health consequences (which stretches around the block), we could end up channelling our lack of physical activity in a more sinister way. We become more agitated, short with our loved ones, more prone to temper tantrums. We may eve go as far as physical aggressive.

Lets not allow it to manifest negatively! We need a regime and it starts with a 1 hour walk every morning, making the most of the allocated outdoor exercise given by most governments. Alongside this will be high intensity workouts, preferably working a multitude of muscles. You should be looking to do this at least 3x per week. Either straight after your walk or later in the day.

But, we need to also think outside the box. Under the umbrella of being physically productive is a whole host of other ways to move and keep our mind engaged. Some of these include physical skills. Try a yoga class. You'll need a stretching routine alongside your other workouts and this is fantastic way to not only loosen up, but calm the mind. Double whammy for productivity!

Pick up a new or old sport. Golf has been my go to (hitting balls into a net I'll clarify). You could try football, skateboarding, darts, even hoola hooping is movement and skill based. And set yourself challenges, "ok tomorrow I'm going to do 30 keep uppies with a football. I'm gong to hit 100 balls into the get. I'll do no less than 50 hole hoops" etc etc.

Keep your mind and body engaged. Keep it fun, challenging and lets make this the most productive time of your life!

Take care, stay safe,