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7 Strategic Ways of Staying Positive and Productive During the COVID-19 Lockdown

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What seems to be a matter of less significance is fast becoming huge trouble and worry for us as a community. For the past few weeks, the fear, worries, and the unsettledness that we’ve all experienced in our diverse premises as a nation and as individuals have not been encouraging.

As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to linger, the best we can do is to keep on, comply with the guidelines and advisories of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), while we support the necessary bodies involved in developing a lasting solution to this outbreak and hope the war ends soon.

In addition to our isolation and maintenance of social distance, we need to stay positive and productive.

Maintaining a positive mind during this period may be a difficult task. Staying productive may become more difficult since distractions are everywhere, there’s so much freedom to do whatever we want anytime as a result of the lockdown, and the necessary utilities (power, data, water, food, etc) needed to keep hope alive may not be as stable as required.

Whether we will come out strong and celebrating when the Coronavirus war is over is left to us. Whatever we choose to do with this time will determine the reward we get after the war is over.  To ensure we maximize this period, keeping a positive mind and staying productive as much as possible is non-negotiable.

So, how to remain positive, die off to the surrounding distractions and the unnecessary activities crying for your attention. How does one ensure to maximize this period and come out productive especially when everyone else is complaining about the harms and hurts the COVID-19 outbreak has done to them?

Here are some tips and tricks for staying positive in even dark situations. The key to creating a positive mindset is to never give up. It takes practice and reminders to change the habits of your mind.


1. Wake Up Early and Pray

Let’s be honest with ourselves it’s not easy for most people to get up early in the morning, especially when it’s still dark. But the fact is a lot of successful people have this mentality that “If you win the morning, you win the day”.

There are so many benefits related to waking up early, I will briefly mention five (5):

  • Waking up early will help you to sustain your healthier diet. Those who wake up early tend to eat breakfast while those later risers often rushing out the door and have to grab something convenient (maybe unhealthy) or may even skip the meal altogether.
  • It helps your skin look healthy. After a night of restful sleep, our skin is at its best first thing in the morning. And if you’re an early riser, you can take advantage of the morning hours to give your skin some extra TLC.
  • It helps in better concentration. Starting your day early improves your concentration. Getting up early means that by the time your family members i.e wife or children wake up and started the distraction, you’ve had hours to properly acclimate yourself to the day.
  • It also helps you to enhance your productivity. Most successful people report that they’re up at 5 am and some even earlier. Early risers tend to be more focus on important tasks while the rest of the world is asleep. They tend to make a better decision, be more productive, and their brains tend to be most alert in the morning.
  • It helps you to enjoy quiet time in connecting with your God. Most people who used to wake up early and supplicate to their Lord used to have a very strong spiritual power than late risers.


2. Exercise & Watch your Eating Habit

Getting your body in shape should be one of your primary concern at this period. Since you would hardly be engaged in physical activities like walking or expending your physical strength. Participating in an electronic therapy class will be a great help to keep your body and health in good shape.

The chances that you will go hungry at short intervals and consume more food is high this period. While you may be tempted to yield to your cravings, ensure to practice some self-denial sacrifice to ensure that you do not add weight that you would end up hating yourself for after the lockdown.


3. Develop a Schedule

The easiest thing to do when you have no one watching you or when you are not under the direct supervision of a superior is to become non-committed, less accountable and less loyal to what is expected of you.  It is very easy to lose focus and concentrate less when you are left to yourself.

With the present situation, remote work could breed unproductivity for persons who are unable to work with minimal supervision. Thus, the reason why it is important for Employers to have a Remote Work Policy and a Performance Measurement Guide to track what is done by each employee. However, with great discipline, individuals can maintain an optimal level of productivity.

As you work from home, it will become easier to yield to the calls of several distractions that can take your time such that you end up not achieving significant milestones. From the calls of your little kids, pets, hubby, message notification tones, the sound of the TV, neighbours, maintaining a strict work time to ensure you accomplish your necessary deliverables may be a difficult task.

However, with proper plans and goals in place, you can stay productive while you work at home. To ensure you don’t lose out your precious time to those stubborn and annoying distractions, here are a few tips you could try out.

  • Define your Goals: For everything, you wish to accomplish as you stay at home this period ensure you set clear and achievable goals. Develop a plan, a blueprint showing what you want to achieve, how you plan to achieve it and what you need to achieve it. Clearly write out what your deliverables are so, you know what to expect as you round up for the day and finally when the Coronavirus storm is over.
  • Create a Temporary Home Work Office: To maximize your stay at home in the presence of your kids, Netflix and other distractions. The best thing you can ever do is to set up a workplace for yourself at home. Take your bath every morning, dress up like you are heading for your real workplace and head to your homework office. What this does is, it helps you prepare your mind for the day and helps you limit the distraction you may encounter while working in the midst of your family or in the presence of any distraction. It cuts distraction away and forces you to concentrate fully on your tasks.
  • Block Distracting Websites: Although, it is advisable to connect with the socials as a replacement for social distancing and isolation. However, setting some restrictions and limiting your access to some websites will help you get the best out of your time. You can easily get drawn by the flood of content flowing around on the internet and this may end up making you spend more time surfing the net for content that is irrelevant for your primary or work tasks and reducing the time you could have probably spent on achieving a something significant. Another, benefit that comes with blocking distracting websites is that it helps you avoid falling into the temptation of going on the internet every now and then. Surfing the net can be very addictive so you must ensure to restrict yourself from the frequent unnecessary visits.
  • Take short breaks at intervals: Working for so long without break reduces efficiency and productivity. It stimulates the release of cortisol – a stress hormone which attacks the body and makes you feel weaken. As you work from home, set a work time table, and within the work time table ensure to set in short breaks at few intervals. Doing this will help you break your tasks to a more digestible chunk. Help you avoid unnecessary burnouts. With these short breaks, you are guaranteed of keeping a highly energized and focused mind which would finally help you become more productive, and happy while you also retain a positive mind.


4. Focus on Personal and Skills Development 

Personal development is the key to creating ourselves and leading a long and successful career. Personal or professional is a process of improving yourself, your skills, your thinking, your mindsets and your attitudes positively. You can achieve these by reading good books related to what you want to achieve. You can gain from the success of other people and you can also learn from their mistakes. Your own experience is a harsh teacher, so learn from the mistake of others.

Take out of your time to set yourself SMART goals that you hope to achieve. You may also want to give yourself a timeframe in which to achieve these. It is never too late to learn new skills, write a book, stories or even poem.  There is popular saying that “If you don’t come out of this quarantine with a new set of skills or more knowledge, you never lack time, you lack discipline”. I strongly agreed!

Matt Morris said: “I could easily say this personal development saved my life.  When I was living in my car, selling above ground swimming pools in Louisiana, I hit a new low.  I was sitting in my car wondering if there was a better way. I pulled out a cassette tape of Anthony Robbins a friend had given me.  I had heard it before but I hadn’t LISTENED to it.  My mind was open and the time couldn’t have been better for me to LISTEN to his message…. from that point on, my life became “the better way”.


5. Develop a Meditation Habit

Take out time to meditate on things you’ve always seek answers to or something that delights you. It could be pondering on a simple point, questioning and answering the mysteries that govern certain events, or mesmerizing on old-time events.

Meditation helps the mind feel better and the way we feel as humans influence the way we think and act. Feeling good will help you concentrate more and remain efficient. Actively meditating causes the brain to release Serotonin – “the feel-good hormone”, into the body. With meditation, you have low chances of becoming stressed and depressed.

In addition, your mind becomes busier and occupied as you meditate which in turn enhances your brain to become more analytical and thoughtful in making decisions and passing reasonable judgements.

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6. Create and Maintain Relationships

Although, it might be a little bit difficult creating new relationships as we experience total lockdown in our respective premises. But, try to create new ones or maintain the existing ones by reaching out to them more than ever before. Use this period as an opportunity to connect and develop more intimacy with your family and friends.

In cases where you do not have access to close contacts, maybe you are self-isolating or you are away from your family. Creating social connections via social networks would help you stay positive, unburden your mind, the relief you of emotional stress and prepare you to work efficiently without any psychological obstructions.

This isn’t the time to remain alone by yourself all the time, it isn’t the time to lock yourself out of the world or isolate yourself from the rest of the world. It’s social isolation and distancing not social abstinence.

Technology has made this easy, engaging with your friends over a video chat can provide a better human feeling than audio calling one another or messaging one another via email, or social messaging apps. Regardless, you should do whichever delights you more.


7. Develop an Evaluation and Monitoring System

Create a system to help monitor, and evaluate your daily milestones. Keeping records of your daily performance is a good measure to track your progress and general operations.

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Create an excel file or word document to keep records of your processes, results, challenges, failures and success as you work from home. The report you develop at this period may become useful in guiding you to make a better decision in the future.

Finally, to ensure that we all remain productive, we must first see that our minds stay positive. So, keeping a positive mind comes above every other thing. The easiest way you could ever make your mind stay positive and happy is to know that someone somewhere is smiling because of you.

Knowing that you are the reason someone smiles brings joy to not only you but others. So, as we continue to fight this reckless viral global outbreak, ensure to show kindness to others who may be less privilege.

Together we will win over COVID-19. #TakeResponsibility and #StaySafe


Put together by:

Mustapha Ahmed Eniola

CEO/Co-founder of Panelict Technologies