Productivity Tips during Quarantine

Daily routine. Work, family, balance, harmony.
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I’m sure what’s on everyone’s mind is this: When will this whole quarantine situation end?  How will things be afterwards?  And, will things actually return to normal?

It seems as though an endless period of time has passed during quarantine, and I sometimes have to check or be reminded what day it is. Weekends aren’t as exciting as they used to be because you can’t go anywhere, and worst of all, you can’t visit your loved ones and hug them.

Whether you are a teacher, student, or anyone else in self-isolation on your own or with family, know that we’ll all get through this. It will end. Some have it more difficult than others, and I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve compiled a list of things that I do daily to stay productive and healthy, both mentally and physically.

Stay in Touch

It’s important to stay in touch with family or friends no matter where they are. If you’re like me and have various apps to communicate with family or friends living in other cities or other parts of the world, use them! Now is the time to stay connected and nourish those relationships more than ever!


I don’t mean that you should develop a grueling workout regimen because, for some, that can be quite overwhelming and discouraging. What I’m suggesting is to simply go out for a walk, especially now that the weather’s getting nicer.  I have a little dog, and we enjoy going for walks almost every day! I strongly believe walks help not only with staying active but also feeling mentally relaxed and healthy. Walking – if you are able to – is one of the simplest forms of exercise you can do and it has plenty of benefits for everyone!

Get Organized

Create and follow a work schedule if you’re working from home. Since I work from home, I have a workspace that I use that’s specifically dedicated to getting work done. I write a to-do list every morning and do my very best to follow it to get as much done as I possibly can. Are there sometimes things on that list that don’t get finished?  Absolutely!  I’m not a superhero and sometimes, certain things take longer to complete than others.  You, first, have to tell yourself that your pace is okay because it is!

Eat Well

I miss going out to restaurants, ordering a meal, and enjoying it, but I’m very grateful that I have more time to learn to cook more at home, save money, and enjoy this time with my husband. This could be the time to try something new such as plant some vegetables in your home-made garden, learn a new recipe, or even create one and share a video of yourself cooking it with family, friends, or the world! We’ve been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, lately, just to feel good and to add more nutrition to our diets. Have you made any positive changes to your diet?

Have Fun!

Don’t forget to take time and have fun! Dust off those board games and introduce (or reintroduce) game nights! Or, if you are self-isolating alone, ask some friends or family members to join you online for virtual game night! There are lots of free games available online that you can play in groups. It can be a lot of fun and you may have a better time than you thought you would! Not into games? Read! If you’re like me and have a stack of books you have lined up to read “in the future,” it’s time to crack open a book and get reading! I thoroughly enjoy getting lost in a good book while drinking a hot cup of coffee or tea, especially on rainy days. After all, who doesn’t?

Above all, remember that we’re in this together. Keeping our minds and bodies healthy during this time will strengthen our preparedness to be supportive and productive for our students and colleagues, now as well as when we return to our non-quarantine routines. We will get through this!

What do you do to stay productive? Please share some tips!

Martina Finnegan, being a former ESL learner from Bosnia, truly enjoys teaching ESL students! She has been teaching at Niagara College for 9 years and when she isn't in the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her family, going for walks, watching movies, and reading a good book!


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