Staying productive at home or at work during COVID-19

Staying productive at home or at work during COVID-19

by Jennifer Brown
Stripes Okinawa

Editor’s note: At Stripes Okinawa, we love to share your stories and share this space with our community members. Here is an article written by Jennifer Brown, a hospital corpsman at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa. If you have a story or photos to share, let us know at

With all the current events, living a normal everyday life is anything but normal now. Whether you are able to go to work or are now working from home, there is no doubt that daily life has been altered in a very real way. Despite these changes, it is important that we stay productive and keep on top of our responsibilities. Whatever your current situation is, there are simple strategies we can use to ensure productivity during these trying times.

Finding productivity at home

Working from home may be an adjustment, but going back to the basics will help with the transition. Starting off the day with a to-do list, for example, can provide some structure to your day. This strategy simulates the normal workday routine, so you stay in “work-mode” even when not at work. The purpose here is to keep your mind engaged instead of getting overwhelmed, so keep the list simple and straightforward.

Once you have your to-do list, try setting a loose schedule of what you want to work on during the day. While we are now very versatile and skilled at multitasking, the less complex, the better, so see if you can focus on just one task every few hours. This way, you can delegate time for tasks that need to get done, but also write in time for yourself. Likewise, while you are working from home remember to alternate work-related projects with small enjoyable breaks.

In the same way, just like how we can delegate tasks for ourselves, we can also delegate tasks for our children. If you have kids at home, you’re probably feeling your role at work and as a parent blending together. One way we can balance these responsibilities is by offering age-appropriate tasks to children. These jobs not only give them something to do, but also distract them from stress and worrying. An added benefit is that like adults, completing a task will also give children a sense of accomplishment. Delegating tasks like separating the laundry, preparing food, or cleaning are just a few examples of tasks you can give your children during the day.

Staying productive at work

This one is for the mission-essential workers out there still heading into the office and facing new challenges in a post-COVID-19 climate. This can be a distracting and stressful time for those who are still commuting to work, are separated from their families and are exposed to coronavirus. Nevertheless, there are strategies to stay focused on the mission at hand.

Similar to working from home, we can also stay productive by following a daily schedule and to-do list. In addition to the structure, adding regular breaks could help alleviate some of the stress. If you are able to, taking a short break every few hours may help you get your mind off your worries, and instead, onto something more positive and uplifting.

Although there is no perfect solution to this method, there are many ways you can add in a small break. In fact, something as simple as getting a good stretch, getting a coffee, or checking in with your family may be enough to help lighten the load stress can cause. In turn, these self-care measures may even leave you feeling refreshed and in a new spirit as you go back to work.

Likewise, putting limits on our exposure to things that trigger our anxiety may help us be more present in our daily lives.

Despite the challenges our world is facing, staying productive, taking breaks, keeping a routine will not only help make your day a little easier but will also help you thrive and maintain resiliency.

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