Maintaining Productive Habits in a Post-WFH World

by Madison Gillespie

With nearly half a year spent in a quarantined, working-from-home situation, we’ve had to adjust our definition of what constitutes “normal” life. As we have adapted to our new surroundings and routines, we’ve likely developed new habits to make the transition as seamless as possible. Maybe it’s making the bed each day, always getting out for a run, having dedicated “family time,” or keeping the house tidier on a more consistent basis.

While a true return to normalcy is still far away, what will happen to our newfound productivity – in whatever its shape or form – when this day comes? Will it be just as easy to keep up with habits formed during this time, or will they slip through the cracks when we are finally able to slip back into “regular” life? Implementing some (or all) of the following tips may prepare you for success when we can return to the office and regular routines – as well as while we’re still in quarantine.

  • REFLECT ON WHAT HAS WORKED FOR YOU. Think about the steps you have taken to successfully make prior habits stick, and try applying them to new habits when possible.
  • THINK THROUGH ANY “EPIC FAILS.” Chances are, you’ve come to realize why some old habits may not have ultimately stuck. Similar to how reflecting on what’s worked can be valuable, acknowledging what hasn’t worked can be just as useful for overcoming similar situations in the future.
  • SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS. Maintaining habits isn’t always easy, so do what you can to simplify the process. If you’ve gotten into the habit of running, try setting out your athletic clothes the night before. Pull out the vacuum if you’ve been meaning to sweep, or set out your guitar if you’ve been meaning to play – you get the idea. Having whatever resources you need ready to go can serve as a visual reminder of what you’d like to achieve.
  • TRACK AND MEASURE YOUR PROGRESS. Documenting your progress can remind you of the hard work you’ve put in and motivate you to keep from breaking the chain. Keep a written log of accomplishments, mark off days on your calendar that you’ve finished a task, download a productivity app – there are plenty of options, so find one that best suits you.
  • SCHEDULE, SCHEDULE, SCHEDULE! The best way to keep habits in your routine may be to deliberately make time for them. Block time on your calendar to help ensure you prioritize these tasks.
  • THINK DAILY INSTEAD OF LONG TERM. It can be daunting to think about goal achievement over the next few months or a year. Adapting your mindset to tackle goals one day at a time helps minimize scope and make those to-do’s much more achievable.
  • REALIZE FAILURE IS NORMAL – AND OKAY. Not every day will be perfect – lapses in productivity are bound to happen. When it does, that’s fine – and hopefully a break will energize you to start fresh in the next day or two. If you still find yourself struggling to jump back in, consider some of the prior steps to help reposition yourself for success.

Hopefully a combination of these tips helps you stay productive, both in quarantine and eventually beyond. With everything so unpredictable right now, make sure to be kind to yourself above all else. Stay healthy, stay safe, and focus on a routine that works best for you.

Madison is a detail-oriented team player who is passionate about uncovering optimal client solutions.  She utilizes her inquisitive, creative side to approach research problems from all angles and to help ensure that successful outcomes are achieved.

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