My productive pandemic schedule

July 6, 2020

How to be productive during a pandemic

Two things happen during a pandemic when it comes to running your business. You’re either a machine and you take advantage of all the free time you now have to get work down OR you sit on the couch and catch up on Netflix shows. If you’re like me, staying motivated when I have so much free time is HARD so trying to be productive during a pandemic is a next level challenge. Since I am my own boss, I don’t have anyone waiting on me to get my work done which makes it even harder. But then it hit me!

What if I came up with a type of productive schedule that would motivate me to work based on the fact that someone is counting on me? You know, it’s sort of like having an accountability partner in a way. It’s true, if I know someone depends on me to get my work done in order for them to be able to do theirs, you better bet I’ll get it done quickly.

So I present you my latest invention in the world of productivity:

The Co-Dependent Schedule!

(Gotta work on the name though)

The Concept

Here’s the concept: If I need to get a blog post out by Monday, I know that in order to do that, three main things need to happen:

  1. I must write the blog post
  2. My Virtual Assistant needs to create Pin images
  3. I must pin all of the images to promote the blog post

So, if I don’t write the blog post, my Virtual Assistant cannot create Pin images for it and, therefore I cannot promote the post on Pinterest! 

I also like to make this a short term task. I don’t want to give myself 2 weeks to write the blog post. If I want it live on Monday, then it’s getting written the Wednesday before, Pin images created on Thursday and scheduled to go live that following Monday. Personally, I just work best under pressure! It’s amazing how much I can get done if I know someone is counting on me AND I’m paying them!

That’s the next part of this productive pandemic schedule.

Pay your Accountability Partner

Pay your so-called “accountability partner”. Not sure about you but when I join a gym, I do my best work and put in my best effort when I am paying a lot for the service. Those cheap monthly gym payments, I would eventually pretend as though they aren’t even there and would slowly stop going to the gym. Recently. I joined a gym that costs $30 per class and let me tell you, I work HARD during that one-hour class. I’m also seeing really amazing results but that’s a blog post for another day. 

Same concept applies for your business. If you join a mastermind, let’s say. Are you more likely to give it your all when it’s a paid mastermind or a free one? I feel like free business groups automatically make you feel like if you don’t participate it’s fine because it was free! So when you’re choosing your accountability partner for this productive pandemic schedule, make sure to pay them! Maybe you could even offer an incentive for achieving big goals together? 

The concept seems simple enough, right? Now when it comes to creating a schedule for this, it does require a little bit of planning out. Don’t worry, I’m making it easy for you and created a sample schedule based off of my own. You can easily swap out these tasks for your own and see how it goes! I’ve added all my Blog related tasks in blue, all YouTube related tasks in red and social media in green.

Blog post goes LIVEYouTube video goes LIVEWrite Blog postVirtual Assistant creates Canva Images for Blog & images for social mediaEdit YouTube Video
Schedule Blog PinsPop in to FB groups to add commentsFilm YouTube videoSchedule Facebook posts & Instagram
Virtual Assistant create YouTube ThumbnailsFacebook & Instagram Live

Along with this productivity schedule, I also like to add myself a few goals for the day, week and month. I actually write all of this out on a white board, my schedule included. It looks a little like this:

You can see that on the right side of my whiteboard I have what I call my “Top 3”. Now, full disclosure, this idea was taken by Erin on Demand but it works really well. The idea is that these are 3 non-negotiable tasks that you have to get done TODAY.

Below that, you can have a weekly goal and a monthly goal. This whiteboard sits directly in front of my desk so I look at it several times a day. It’s a great reminder of what I need to do every day. 

Need a more visual explanation? Check out my YouTube video about how I stay productive during a pandemic.

So what do you think? Manageable? Feel free to use my schedule as your own and replace the word “virtual assistant” with the name of your accountability partner. I also like to incorporate “batch” working with this productivity schedule. This means that each task is assigned a block of time. It’s by far the most efficient way to work and guarantees that I get the task done before moving onto the next. It also means that you can’t allow yourself to be distracted by social media platforms or Netflix! You get to enjoy those things as your reward at the end of the day or during a short break between tasks. 

A Helpful App to Stay Productive

To help me stay focused, I use an app called Forest: Stay Focused. It’s free to use and once you start it, it’ll show you a tree that is growing. The longer the timer, the larger the tree. But if you try to use your phone while the tree is growing, it will stop and basically…die. Sad, I know! Make sure to not touch your phone while the timer is going. I promise you’re going to be SO productive!

I hope this was helpful and made you feel equipped to start your own Co-Dependent Pandemic-proof productive schedule.

This is just one of many productivity tips to come on this blog so be sure to keep an eye out.

Let me know how it works by sending me a DM on Instagram. You can also leave a comment in the post below to let me know how it went. 

In the mood for some productive Pinterest advice? Read my blog on How to Make your Pinterest Profile show up on Google!