Tips for Staying Productive While Taking Breaks From COVID-19

Like everyone else, I’ve been following the minute-by-minute updates of the coronavirus COVID-19. How many new cases are there now? What about now? It gets overwhelming quickly. Between learning new digital tools and efficiently working remotely to staying up on all the emails, Marco Polos, texts, etc., to balancing work and parenthood, it’s an extra-stressful time for all of us.
We all need to occasionally step away and give our minds a chance to process it all. Plus, the research shows it’s healthy to take a break from the constant updates. For me, I like to stay busy. So I started thinking about what I can do to still be productive while taking a break from COVID-19.
Here are a few things we can all do to stay busy—even while on break:

Reflect on personal goals and accomplishments.
I’m inspired by the noble actions people take to help one another and the smart responses to help our colleagues, friends, customers, those in need, navigate through this together. It usually gets me thinking how I can better myself, both professionally and personally. What goals or accomplishments have I achieved? How can I use my strengths to help in a way that’s different from what others are doing? It’s easy for the days to pass without really taking the time to reflect on your latest accomplishments… and failures.

Action: Take an hour (or two) to jot down what you’ve succeeded in and unpack what you did that made it work. On the other hand, what’s something that you think could have gone a little differently to achieve a better outcome? We know it’s important for every great leader to take time to reflect, so let’s take advantage of the extra time we have in our day from not commuting to invest in ourselves. I like to keep a journal dedicated solely to my personal growth to make it easy to look back at and see what milestones I’ve reached. Grab a snack, open a White Claw (an akhia favorite) and jot down some notes in your journal.

Focus on a big project or new idea.
With deadlines always on the horizon, I tend to work on those projects and push aside the bigger projects. I’ll do it next week! And that turns into the following week. Now, as deadlines are all up in the air, it’s a great time to get those ideas and projects moving. As someone who likes to be organized (see #3) and plan ahead, one thing that you can use this time for is to dig into your customer journey. Plus, if you need input from your colleagues, those team members who might be on the road all the time are home now and eager to connect.

Action: A critical part in the customer journey is really getting to know your customers to enhance your content marketing strategy. Do you have personas for your audience segments? How do they prefer to receive their communications? What are the industry trends that they’re interested in learning more about? This—and more—is critical for a targeted campaign. Use this time to dive into your customer personas to really understand your audience and make the necessary shifts in your content to align with those audiences. As that comes together, you can get ahead on developing your content marketing pieces—and here are some tips for getting started on one!
Organize your files.
For me, organizing is a way to destress. This is a simpler task to complete when I just need to step away. With so many worries and questions around the coronavirus, I find it helpful to get organized. I don’t know about you, but this process helps me wrap my head around all my thoughts.

Action: Start by organizing your email inbox. There are lots of great articles out there with tips on how to tackle it but find a system that works for you. For me, I like to keep an “FYI folder,” where I keep emails that I might want to reference later, like an educational article, a great case study, inspirational quote, etc. This has been especially helpful with the abundance of emails around coronavirus!
Of course, we can’t be productive ALL the time. The days are getting longer, and spring is in the air, so I’m also taking breaks to get outside and support local businesses too. shared some things to safely do in the Cleveland area during the coronavirus crisis. Enjoy!
What are some ways that you’re taking a break while still being productive at your home office? I’d love to hear your ideas—send them my way at