Stay-at-home recommendations due to the coronavirus pandemic may leave you with more free time — time that’s far from normal and that could sap your motivation to get things done.
However, this free time, even if it’s only temporary, can be an opportunity to tackle important tasks, such as searching for new scholarship opportunities or boosting your financial wellness. The key to making that happen? Staying organized and productive so you can make the most of this extra time before your schedule fills up again.
Here’s how to do it.
For better productivity
Try the Pomodoro Technique®. Studies say that we are more concerned with our present selves than our future selves. That means we work better with deadlines that are in the very near future — which is what makes the Pomodoro Technique such an awesome time-management hack. Whether your goal is to crank out an extra job application, polish up your college resume, or search for more scholarship opportunities, work on tasks in 25-minute sprints. When the 25 minutes are up, take a break for five minutes before diving back in.
Batch similar tasks. Simply put: Do like tasks together. For example, if you have two papers to write and a test to study for, you would allocate time to write both papers and then set a separate time to study. Essentially, batching helps you avoid multitasking, which can hurt your productivity. The time of day at which you tackle certain tasks can also make a difference. See “It’s science: The best times of day to do everything” for more.
Exercise regularly. It’s no secret that exercise is important in maintaining your health. But did you know that exercising can also increase productivity? A National Center for Biotechnology Information study found that exercise leads to immediate benefits that enhance cognitive abilities, such as memorization. Today, there are more apps than ever that specialize in at-home workouts, so you can still get your sweat on even in your living room. If you’re a gym member, check to see if your gym is offering virtual classes, too.
For better money management
Get smart about paying your friends back. Even if you’re following social-distancing guidelines, you may still need to exchange money with friends (like when paying your utilities bill). Apps such as Zelle® make it easy to send and request money; you can access Zelle from your Wells Fargo Mobile® app1.
Use technology to help save money. Roughly one-fifth of Americans have no savings at all and would not be able to cover a surprise $400 expense. To build your savings, you need to create a goal and a plan to get there — setting aside a small amount from each paycheck counts. When you’ve created a plan, you can use an app to help reach your goals. If you are already a Wells Fargo customer and have a savings account, you have access to My Savings Plan®, an online financial-management tool that lets you set up target savings goals, savings amounts, and optional target dates.
For better health
Keep to a schedule. During times of uncertainty, setting up a daily routine can be a key to eating healthy, getting enough exercise, and getting enough sleep. Match your days at home to your usual day-to-day schedule. So, for example, if you have a morning class and an afternoon study group, be sure to use those time slots as “school time” while you’re learning online from home. Also designate specific spaces for work or study and use them to help you stay focused on the task at hand.
Start a meditation practice. Meditation has a slew of health benefits including decreased anxiety and better focus — plus it’s easy to do from your living room. Some meditation apps, such as Calm and Headspace, offer free access to meditation practice.