Episode 5 – Pandemic Productivity

Emma and John share tips on how to stay organised so that you can optimise your productivity and avoid procrastination.

Procrastination Party

Rebecca: If you haven’t listened to our latest podcast episode on pandemic productivity, it’s out now and you should go listen to it! We have condensed everything we’ve talked about into this video so keep your eyes peeled as we share with you what has worked for us. 

John: I don’t want to sound like your mum, but rank the priority of your stuff and write the deadlines next to it. Ask yourself: What are the more important things that need to be done first? Having a physical list is really helpful because it allows you to track your progress and it gives you that sense of accomplishment once you’re done with it and you get to tick it off a list. Some tools I use include Google Docs, Elephant notes, or even the trusty old whiteboard. 

Rebecca: Importantly, know how to read your calendar and your clock. Here’s some advice: Set some goals. Did you want a stable job by 25? Did you want to get fit? Whatever those goals are break them down. Think about what you want. Would you rather watch five hours of your TV show or work out for an hour and then study after, so that you can work towards getting that sweet GPA? Really the choice is yours. 

John: I know you just woke up four hours ago and you’re tired. If you’re feeling tired get up. Go stretch, do some jumping jacks, get your heart pumping and then finish it off with a cold shower. My point is don’t sit down for too long. Get up, go get a snack or even bake some cookies.

Rebecca:  You could instead grab a healthy snack like fruit or nuts and if you are bored of watching Netflix all day and would like to listen to something that’s hopefully entertaining but definitely informative, you can head on over to The Socially Awkward podcasts. We are on Anchor and Spotify. Thank you so much for watching this video and we’ll see you next time!

Dangle Your Own Carrot

Emma: Oh, hey there it’s you again! If you can read the title of this video you’re probably looking for some advice. Well if you haven’t seen it, go watch part one of Pandemic Productivity because this is part two. 

John: Don’t make excuses. You’ve really got to brace yourself. I’m not here to tell you that Netflix and games are bad. If you wanna game, if you wanna watch an episode, go ahead. All you got to do is set a time period for yourself and stick to it. Excuses like “one more game” or “one more episode” will drag on and it’s very easy to lose track of time. If that happens, you gotta set consequences for yourself to prevent that from happening again. On the other hand, don’t forget to reward yourself if you’ve accomplished something that you set out to do. Go do something that makes you happy. It’s essentially pavloving yourself into being productive.

Emma: Seriously, nobody wants a noisy or cluttered working environment. Make your study area a place you enjoy working in. If you create a space that you enjoy, you’re not gonna resent spending so many hours at the desk. There are so many little things you can do, whether that’s switching on the a/c, making a study playlist, or lighting a candle. 

Creating an environment that you find comfortable is important. But not too comfortable, so don’t study on your bed because you might fall asleep. Having a regular place to study, whether that’s a spot at your dining room table or a chair in your room really helps. Try not to do fun activities at those specific places, keep them work only zones so that when you go there you stay working, and you don’t get distracted so easily. Find out what environment works in helping you stay focused. 

John: If you find that you’ve got a short attention span, set a timer for 15 minutes, then take a break for five and repeat. It’s that simple. It’s funny how when I was a kid, my mom would make my siblings and I set timers for ourselves. We had the timer set for 30 minutes to an hour where we focus solely on that task. If we finished before the timer was up we’d get a longer break, if not we’ll go for a short one and then come back to finish it up. But now I find that I’m setting timers for myself because I need to be productive. You’ve really got to be accountable to yourself. 

Emma: Write notes for yourself. Not just because you’re lonely, but to remind you to stay on task. These are just things that I place in prominent places to remind me to stay on task throughout the day. Before I used sticky notes, I would just write things like “pay attention” on my arm in sharpie and I don’t recommend doing that.

John: Going on a happy note, I wish you all the best in your work today. You’re gonna smash it! Remember to be accountable to yourself, don’t succumb to laziness and don’t give any excuses. With that being said, you don’t have any excuse to not check out our podcast. You can find us on Spotify, Apple podcasts, and YouTube. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at The Socially Awkward Podcast!

Backside Radiation

John: Hello, welcome back to video three of Pandemic Productivity with John and Emma! If you’re wondering why this is welcome back, go check out video one and video two before watching this one. 

Emma: If you’re studying for an exam and don’t feel smart because you can’t seem to memorize things, it’s probably not because you’re not smart. Maybe you just haven’t found the right way to memorize things yet. Hey John, how do you memorize your stuff? 

John: Heavy lifting nachos kill rambling capsized fires. Heavy lifting nachos kill rambling capsized fires. Being magnetic was a serious Backside Radiation. Being magnetic causes serious Backside Radiation. Being magnetic causes… oops I was just trying to memorize stuff for Chemistry. I  made my own mnemonics. 

You see different people have different ways of learning. There are things online to help you figure out if you are an audio, visual, or kinesthetic learner by using techniques suited to your learning style. It will help you enjoy the process a lot more and maybe help you retain more information. Okay, imagine a scenario where you have to study for a geography test, but you can’t seem to remember the capitals of each country. Well, I suggest going online to find a song to help you out.

Emma: Another good way to study is to study in groups. Especially if you guys are studying in the same class or learning the same topic. then you can help each other out just make sure to keep each other on task. Trust me, peer pressure can be helpful in moderation. 

John: Lastly, the best tip is to not just study. I know that doesn’t really make any sense, but remember to take a break from work. Go bake some cookies or play games with your family so that your day is not just all work. Remember, learning is not just what’s in a textbook. Learning is about living life.

Emma: Studying from home can be stressful, and it can result in a decline in productivity, especially if you’re not used to it. With careful planning and intentional regulation, you might even be able to find yourself time to do a little extra learning. Learning from home doesn’t have to be boring. It can be fun and interesting if you find ways to optimize your environment, organize your tasks, and find sources of motivation. If you’ve watched all three videos, we hope that it has been helpful in enhancing your work or study-from-home experience. 

Follow up interview (2023):

1. What do you do now?

John: I’m in college at Asbury university studying film and business.

2. Compared to the last time you were with us, what has changed?

John: I think I’ve become a lot more conscious about how I spend my time and where I devote my energy to. Because when I have more and more things to attend to I’ve realised how limited those resources are and how valuable they are.

3. Do you have tips or tricks for teen homeschoolers who want to continue homeschooling?

John: Pursue what you’re interested in and passionate about. You’ll excel the most there and derive the most joy from it. Even things that you don’t enjoy, see how you can incorporate them and work them into the things that you are interested in, you’ll often be surprised by the overlap.

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