Exploring Productivity Author Margo Crawford, Productivity Coach

Staying Efficient and Engaged Amidst the COVID-19 Outbreak

In speaking with colleagues and clients across the country many of them are having trouble focusing. They get pulled into the latest news, into zoom meetings and in helping with childcare. Some of us aren’t even sure how to start our day and what to do. Here are some lists and tasks to help you stay focused.

6 productive tasks you can do during the outbreak

  1. Call or email five colleagues, customers, friends and family.
  2. Find one way to pivot your work to online or virtually.
  3. Create a better home office environment (add blog here)
  4. Find the project you’ve put on the back burner and start on it today.
  5. Of course, wash your hands and sanitize your work area.
  6. What is the one thing you need to clean up? Your files, your pictures, your contact management software? Organize your work so that as this continues and we get to the other side, you are ready to go.

Bonus: Learn! Now is your chance to learn something new.

Stephen Covey, productivity master, speaks of sharpening the saw. The story he shares in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is of a lumberjack sawing a tree with a dull saw. It’s taking him twice as long and twice the effort. A friend comes along and tells him to sharpen his saw. By sharpening the saw he could cut more effectively. The frustrated lumberjack responds that he doesn’t have time to stop.

In life, we get frustrated by our inability to cope instead of working to improve ourselves with knowledge that would make us more effective. Essentially, we go to work each day with a dull saw.

Here is a guideline to follow to learn and sharpen your saw:

  1. Choose a topic
  2. Find three articles online related to the topic
  3. Watch three Youtube videos
  4. Listen to a series of podcasts
  5. Watch one documentary
  6. Read one book on the subject
  7. Find three experts on the subject and follow them on social media

This will not make you an expert but it will open the door to your learning.

Depending on what your topic is, it might get a little boring. If so, here are some ways to stay engaged while learning:

  1. Get on a treadmill, walk around, move your body
  2. Ask questions before diving into the topic-who, what, when, where, why questions are a great place to start
  3. Draw or doodle about the topic and/or take notes
  4. Talk about it with someone else
  5. Teach someone about what you learned-this is a great way to engrain the information
  6. Relax, learning something new might take some time but you’ll get it eventually

Couped up at home, I’ve been determined to relax and learn something new. It needed to be fun and engaging. Over the past weekends, I’ve taken up learning to crochet. It’s taken some time to figure it out. There is much more to learn. I’ve had a few mishaps. Pictured below is my first attempt at crochet. This is supposed to be a tightly woven square.

My first attempt. This is supposed to be a tightly crochet square. Oops! Still learning.

 After many attempts, finally the learning has started to come together.

Staying focused on tasks, learning and trying new things will allow you to keep moving forward during a time of uncertainty. It will allow you to look at your work and your life in a different way. What do you want to focus on? What new skills would you like to learn? What new skills must you learn in this environment that will allow you to pivot and change?

Do you struggle with getting focused, organized and productive? Want your questions answered? Join in the next Cup of Pro on 4/9 starting at 9 am – 10 am EST for a virtual chat. Grab your cup of coffee and meet via zoom with Margo Crawford, Productivity Expert. Get tips and techniques for your productivity challenges.

Margo Crawford is a Productivity Coach with Wave Productivity. If you are struggling to stay focused, organized and productive at work during the COVID-19 outbreak, you are not alone. Margo works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. Set up a consultation today.  Margo coaches by phone nationally. If you want to get more organized in your office call 602-677-8275 or email [email protected]