You might think that being stuck at home makes you more productive.
In fact, most people fall into this trap and can’t get out of a rut. They think they have more time to do the things they never had time to do, but it doesn’t always turn out that way.
Many distractions arise when we’re stuck at home. Once your busy schedule changes, it’s hard to dive into a new one.
Eating out daily turns into cooking every meal. 7 hours of sleep becomes 9. No time for loved ones turns into everyday family time.
Do you see how that extra time goes into something else?
When we’re caught into doing the things we enjoy, we forget about responsibilities.
What about those books collecting dust on your shelf? That skill you wanted to learn? The side hustle you’ve been planning to start? Those who have discipline will be ahead of others, and those who choose to let things consume their time will fall behind. It’s simple to understand, but not easy to do.
People need to stay consistent or else go into permanent vacation-mode.
When you’re able to overcome distractions, you realize how much you can do. You might even get through with your 1-year plan faster than you thought. Once you do, you’ll feel successful and stress-free.
Wouldn’t that be great?
You have to work on your priorities first, and everything else will follow.
If you want to know how to stay productive while stuck at home, these are the things to consider:
1. Stop Being a Slave to Your Smartphone
According to GSMA Intelligence, data shows that there are more mobile devices than people in this world.
Let that sink in.
With so much emphasis on phones, people rely on apps to solve their productivity problems.
Apps make our lives easier, to an extent, but should not be the only solution. While every app has its use, not all are necessary. Instead, some add even more distractions.
You need to have a clear idea of your problem and what you want the solution to look like. Don’t switch from app to app to find out. See what has worked for others, as it might work for you as well.
Apps aren’t the main reason why we become slaves to smartphones; checking notifications throughout the day is.
When you respond to every notification, you’re letting people steal time from you. Your attention turns to answering them and away from your work.
Most of these notifications aren’t that important or worth stopping everything for. You can finish what you’re doing first, then check your phone.
People are afraid to wait because there might be an emergency. But that’s rarely the case; if there is an emergency, people usually know other ways to reach you.
Never Lose Focus Again
The best way to handle such challenging distractions is to shut out the noise coming from your phone. When you do this, you stay focused on the real priorities.
Checking your phone before and after bed sets you up for more stress. When you keep checking your phone at night, you get distracted from a good night’s sleep.
If checking your phone is the first thing you do in the morning, your day might get a bad start. You might overwhelm yourself with new work-related messages. Instead, your morning should be your alone time to relax before working.
The only exception to this should be if you need your phone to remain productive.
For example, sales professionals need a phone to work with.
If you can relate to this, you can still limit the use of your phone. Disable apps and notifications that are not work-related.
What if you’re on a sales call and someone else is trying to reach you, or you keep hearing notifications? You’re likely to lose your focus during the call because you’re eager to know who’s trying to reach you.
2. When The Binge-Watching Starts
TV shows, movies, YouTube videos – you name it. They grab your immediate attention when you’re stuck at home – it’s hard to turn down entertainment.
Being humans, we like anything that’ll give us a good laugh or a good cry. And, once we’ve felt some of those emotions, we always want more.
Telling yourself “one episode only” is never enough, because the entertainment industry does such a great job of leaving open loops. You’ll be too curious and not want to wait for the next episode.
We all know what happens next: all of a sudden the sun isn’t even up anymore, and time passes by without you noticing. Does this sound familiar?
Most people see binge-watching as a stress-relief. It’s your reward at the end of the day, when you have nothing else to do.
Excessive media consumption can be ugly. Too much binge-watching leads to depression, loneliness, and obesity.
Replace Boredom With Excitement
A study from the University of Toledo confirms this: “The major highlight of our study is that self-identified binge-watchers were more likely to report higher stress, anxiety, and depression.”
Once you’re in a situation like this, it’s hard to get out of it. It’s going to take some time to move forward because the bigger issue here is not that we’re bored; we’re boring.
If we want to replace boredom with excitement, we should find something else that is more interesting.
After all, TV is a coverup for what we could be doing if we had nothing else to do. Once we sit on that couch, we agree to having no other plans.
If we want to do away with this addiction, we need to create positive addiction somewhere else.
Try it out for yourself and don’t log into Netflix next time; instead, find a healthy hobby and get good at it.
3. Quit Playing Games
As with binge-watching TV, the same can be said for video games.
Not everyone is going to relate to this, because not everyone has an interest in games. But for those who do, they might have experienced their brain releasing dopamine. That’s the same chemical released when doing drugs, and is quite addictive.
Certain types of games may lead to some psychological problems. For example, playing violent games can cause aggressive behavior.
The World Health Organization defines a gaming disorder as “a pattern of gaming behavior characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”
In other words, you should not pick up a gaming controller if you’re already stressed. Your goals may take longer to achieve, and you’ll feel even more affected.
If you already have a game system and other gaming equipment, these will be hard to ignore when you’re stuck at home. But don’t give in to temptation.
Since the gaming industry is ever-growing, you can find ways to profit from your gaming skills instead. For example, you could offer tutorials for less advanced gamers. This is a way to remain involved with games, just without the addiction.
You can also use your energy to do something else. The goal here is to feel accomplished. Because, when you’re playing games, you’re always playing to win.
If you can find something that gives you the same sensation of winning, you’ll be able to control your life.
You can play music or sports instead; this may give you the same joy as playing games. Without spending hours in front of a screen, you’ll experience a healthier change.
You will feel happier, smarter, and stronger in your attitude and relationships.
4. Social Media Is Controlling You
The growth of social media has been unstoppable.
Because of social media, internet addiction is a real thing – it affects users’ mental health and may increase the risk of anxiety, depression, and self-harm.
Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter – billions of people all over the world are into it. They are turning to these platforms to engage with the world at their fingertips.
You see, humans are social creatures. We like to connect with one another and express our feelings. There’s no easier way to do that than to open an app.
Even introverts can’t deny they use social media to stay informed. It’s a place where you can feel social without being social in real life. People have more confidence behind the screen to like, share, and comment on other people’s posts. But nothing will ever replace in-person contact.
Too much social media can make anyone feel lonely. That’s because they lack the ways to connect with other people in person.
Avoid Risks and Maximize the Benefits of Social Media
You don’t get the same connection online and offline. In-person connections are stronger and more fulfilling. Since anyone can share their lives online, shared content could impact other viewers.
For example, an average looking guy might envy seeing a handsome man with a successful life. This could trigger negative emotions for those who don’t have this lifestyle but want it.
Here are some other risks of using too much social media:
- You might lose sleep
- You may spend more money
- Your appetite might change
- You may experience peer-pressure
- Your self-esteem can be affected
- You might develop a fear of missing out (FOMO)
- Your real-life conversations could change
- You might be worse at multitasking
There are some good benefits to social media too – depending on how much you can control.
You can network with people in your field and land a possible dream job. Connect with family and friends who live across the country or use social media to promote or raise awareness for good causes.
If you are stuck at home, limiting your use of social media would be the best choice. Since more people are stuck at home too, there will be most people posting and engaging.
Before you open an app, be mindful of what you want to do online. Don’t scroll for hours on your phone without a purpose. And, if you’re a business owner, you can focus on how to make money on social media instead.
5. The News Doesn’t Make You Smarter
The news you see isn’t always good news. In fact, it’s full of misleading information.
The media likes to concentrate on bad news because it’s more compelling. Wouldn’t you agree that unfortunate events make better stories?
If the news only had good news, no one would pay much attention. People will only respond and share with others when there’s some kind of threat involved.
Too much news-consumption will leave a toll on our mental health as well. It becomes toxic and can work like a drug.
It’s critical to control what we consume because it might reflect on our behavior. For instance, people might act on fear and panic by buying everything from the grocery store.
Even though it’s good to stay in the loop with the news, we should limit ourselves. What’s more important is to focus on your life instead.
While the world is always changing, our focus is changing ourselves. What can you improve on? What will make you happier? How can you be the best version of yourself?
Remember, the poor representation of reality is not your reality. You make your reality happen. If you believe too much of what you see, it might become a roadblock to your success.
Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, said: “Our brains become magnetized with the dominating thoughts which we hold in our minds, and, by means with which no man is familiar, these “magnets” attract to us the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts.”
If you’re stuck at home and wondering what’s happening in the outside world, be smart and know when enough is enough.
Want to Strengthen Your Mind While You’re Stuck at Home?
There are lots of things you can do when you’re stuck at home. But there are also a lot of things you shouldn’t do.You should use wisely the extra time on your hands. You don’t know when you’ll have this time again. Click To Tweet
The world is fast-paced. When you have the chance to pause and take a step back, you become open to new opportunities. As we went over 5 different things to avoid reading or watching, you’re now aware of what can kill your productivity.
You don’t have to eliminate these things completely, but remember to limit your consumption. It’s better to do what helps you move the needle the most.
- checking your phone with acquiring a new skill.
- binge-watching tv with learning from online courses.
- playing games with starting a new business.
- social media with networking at online events.
- engaging with the news with reading books.
Picking up a good book can change your life. You can think of a book as a summary of someone else’s life. You’ll learn about the mistakes you can avoid, and achievements you can aim for.
One book we highly recommend is Unlock It by Dan Lok. He reveals secrets to success through decades of personal and business experience.
Dan can relate to most of his audience because he didn’t start out fortunate. But, with the help of his mentors and business partners, he was able to get to where he is today. In this book, you will find out what’s possible for you.
You won’t be able to find these secrets anywhere else. Unlock It is only for those who want to improve theirs, and the lives of their loved ones. You can get your free copy of the Unlock It book here.