Whether you or your family are studying or working from home, you’re missing routine cues that may add momentum to your day. Now, we are left to our own devices, or perhaps derailed by our own devices, and we must find ways to stay on course.

“Staying focused and on track while working and studying from home requires disciplined use of simple powerful productivity strategies,” says Clare Kumar, a productivity expert. “Tailor them to your preferences and they will serve as a foundation for your success.”

If you’re feeling over- or underwhelmed, check out Kumar’s top three productivity basics to keep you on track while you work:

Make a to-do list:

Keep a list of your deliverables and commitments. Trying to keep it all in your head is a recipe for disaster. Every day, get clear on your “focused five” – the top things you wish to complete that day. Checking things off this smaller list will give you a feeling of accomplishment and momentum. Write these down in a notebook, calendar or planner to keep on track.

Use a calendar:

Connect your tasks to the time you wish to spend on them. Time is abstract, so we need ways to help make it more concrete. Seeing time represented visually in a calendar is helpful for kids and adults alike. Write key tasks – not just appointments – in your calendar. Let your calendar serve as your roadmap for the day. Stores like Staples Canada have a variety of calendars and planners to fit any need.

Set reminders:

When in deep focus, you may find it difficult to pull your attention to a scheduled meeting or phone call. This is the perfect time to set a reminder. A visual, or even better, auditory notification is useful for any commitment you might forget. Whether it’s desk clocks or technology, it’s important to find a reminder that works for you. The downside is that unnecessary notifications are an intrusive disruption of your focused time, so try eliminating notifications for anything you’ll check anyway.

Find more ideas for staying on track at staples.ca/backtoschool.

—NC


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