How To Stay Motivated and On Task During Quarantine

If you’re anything like me, getting started on a project and staying motivated and on task has never been easy for you. Especially with the quarantine keeping everyone home. It’s super hard to designate your time and get your work done. Every day has become a string of distraction after distraction. And being in the same place every day brings a sort of monotony that breeds procrastination. Well, no more! 

I struggle, like many people, with ADD. This makes getting and staying focused even harder. Though, even without this added annoyance, being stuck at home is a huge drain on people’s work ethic and motivation. Having no distinction between home and workplace and no time spent going out with friends causes a huge disturbance in a lot of people’s ability to stay motivated and on task. During this quarantine I decided that I’ve had enough. I was sick of feeling unmotivated. Of feeling like I wasn’t accomplishing my tasks. I was sick of feeling like I couldn’t schedule my time and stick to it. Sick of the half-assed or half-finished projects, and I was especially sick of the messy room. I was sick of it all.

I was in the quarantine slump.  

What Is The Quarantine Slump?

Well boy am I glad you asked! This is a new term I’ve coined during my time sitting in one room for months straight. It’s the fun feeling a lot of us are dealing with right now. It makes you feel depressed, unmotivated, anxious, and generally lazy. It’s pushing things off and never getting back around to them. It’s a really slippery slope that many of us seem to be sliding down. This slope is so hard to overcome. Without help or advice, it’s a slope that leads to a lot of negative emotions and situations. But I figured out a few tips to getting and staying out of that nasty slump! 

Okay, so… What Are Some Tips to Get Motivated and Stay on Task?

Well slow down there bucko. First, I want to preface by saying if you think you may have a problem with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issues, I urge you to talk to your doctor about it. They can help you figure out a plan to help. However, if you’re just having a tough time right now because of quarantine, or are already seeking/getting help for any mental health issues, boy do I have some tips for you! Whether you’re in school, work, or in between right now, old or young, these tips can work wonders for anyone.

You can work with the people around you and find mutual interests. Or even bring some of these ideas to someone you trust like a friend, family member, or mental health professional. Seeing how they think you could implement some of these ideas is a great way to get yourself started. 

Okay, finally, let’s get into my tips for getting and staying out of the quarantine slump. 

Try To Keep A Schedule 

Planning things out in a way that works for you is so incredibly important. Learning what works for you and sticking to it works wonders on your productivity. Whether it’s an app like tiktik, a physical calendar you can reference, a to-do list in your notebook, or even setting a million reminders throughout the day to make sure you know what tasks you’re trying to get done, organization is key. Trying out multiple apps and getting a feel for how they differ will help when it comes time to decide on a long term plan to get and stay organized. The biggest problem I had when getting organized was just simply not checking apps, and then letting the overdue tasks build up because I didn’t want to check and see all the things I fell behind on.

Having a place you can neatly plan things out at the start of every morning helps you keep a level head on timing for your projects and tasks. (Even if all you need to do is clean your room!) Finding the method of task tracking that works best for you is one of the most important things on the journey to getting motivated and staying on task. Finding something that will be easy to update and check every morning makes your days much easier and less stressful. Once you find that system that works, it’s a really good feeling. I promise. Checkout my article on helpful apps for organization and time management here. 

Remember It’s Okay To Have An Off Day

No matter how much work and planning you do, there are still going to be days where you have no motivation. Days when you feel like you can’t get out of bed. Or even days where you just don’t get everything done that you wanted to. It’s so important to not let these days get you down and start a cycle of pushing things off. It is so easy to let things go “one more day” or say “I’ll start tomorrow”, but that thinking can be really really harmful to you in the long-run. So tell yourself that this is an off-day, and that’s okay, but tomorrow will be back on schedule. 

Sometimes planning to keep track of so many things just creates an even more stressful environment. So when you have an off day, or if they seem to be happening a lot, maybe take some time to consider simplifying your schedule. Try to plan less tasks for days when you’re feeling down. But still plan your day no matter how you’re feeling. This will help you bounce back into a healthy routine when you do get your spirits back up. Even planning things like getting out of bed or doing some leg lifts in bed for those days when you’re feeling extra bad will help a lot. Giving yourself the sense of accomplishment no matter the size of the task is important for mental health. 

Use Lists And Routines to Stay on Task

Keeping lists of long term and short term goals is a super clean, simple, and satisfying way to stay organized and motivated. Crossing things off on your list feels so good, and seeing everything you’ve accomplished is a good motivator to keep working towards your goals! I know it’s tough to get things done, but breaking things down into smaller lists will help you get the extra serotonin you need to keep you going! Keeping a list of long term goals and projects is a great way to track your progress over a longer period of time. Besides, figuring out how often you need to check this list now will be a great tool in the long-run. 

Establishing a morning routine that includes planning out the tasks you need to do for that day is essential. It creates a fun designated time where you can plan things without stressing. If you’ve ever finished a task. Then immediately became stressed out because you can’t remember the next thing you needed to work on, then you know what I mean here. Creating a nice morning ritual is so fun and helpful, and can even be really relaxing. Including enjoying a favorite morning beverage like coffee or tea while you plan your day can make it a lot less stressful. 


Have Designated Break Times

Working with no set break times is just asking to get distracted. If you don’t have set working times and de-stressing times, everything meshes together into an anxiety filled mess of a day. Setting aside 5 or 10 minutes every few hours is a great way to start. It’s also a great way to get your mind used to the idea of staying on task until you decide to take a break. Don’t be hard on yourself if you need to take a short break from working. However, do make sure to start setting a time for your de-stressing breaks. This way you don’t get lost in your phone for hours and end up missing a whole day!


Taking a break from stressful work before you start getting too flustered is so helpful to staying motivated. Even a simple 10 minute window where you just watch a video, read something, or just sit in silence to de-stress will help you stay calm and relaxed when doing stressful work. Figuring out how long and how often you need these breaks can help with planning them out a bit better in the future as well. These breaks are incredible for keeping you motivated and on task during quarantine. 

Look Into The Pomodoro Method For Breaks

Breaking every hour or so even when on a role is a useful tip to stay focused. This is called the Pomodoro method. It helps by keeping you engaged and active so you don’t get worn out so quickly. The method is also said to help you resist bad choices throughout the working day.  The suggested path is working in a series of short bursts or ‘sprints’. These sprints are followed by short breaks that are supposedly the best way to keep yourself on track.


The Pomodoro technique advocates for shorter sprints of 25 minutes followed by a 5-minute break. (With a longer break after every 4 ‘sessions’). Though others have devised different time breakdowns. I recommend you try a few types of break scheduling and see what works for you! HERE is a great read on this method.


Breaking during the work day comes with many benefits. 

  • Getting you up out of your chair. Sitting for hours on end is terrible for your posture and can cause pain. That won’t keep you motivated!
  • Giving your something to look forward to so you work more diligently.
  • Keeping your mind engaged and on task.
  • Keeping your eyes off of your phone and on your work.

Figure Out What Works For You

Try out a bunch of different methods of lifting your spirits and planning your days. Maybe you need long term goals, and can stay motivated to finish projects in that way Or maybe you need to plan every piece of a project so you stay on track. Maybe you check in weekly to your to-do list and can work through lots of projects that way. Or maybe you need to check in daily to make sure you’re on task. Personalize! 


If you need to add basic tasks to your to-do list like cleaning your room, showering, brushing your teeth, or eating, then so be it! If you need some help staying motivated with daily tasks, I’d recommend an app like Smartsheet or Do! Whatever it is that keeps you motivated and on task is totally fine. Just make sure you understand how your brain works and work with it. Not against it! Everyone is different, and what works for someone else might not be what works for you! 

Everyone’s brain works in different ways. You should never compare the way you keep yourself on track to the way others do it. Focusing on finding what works for you. Stop constantly worrying that you have too many breaks scheduled; Or that you needed to push a task to the next day. Keeping yourself on track with work goes hand in hand with keeping yourself motivated and proud of yourself. No matter how long tasks take for other people. As long as you’re finding a schedule that you can stick to, you’re doing great! Don’t worry about pushing a task or two. This will only catch you up on simple mistakes.

Plan Activities You Enjoy Just Like You Plan Work

If you need to have weekly zoom meetings with friends, or just a night to pamper yourself every once in a while, do that! Scheduling these activities that are good for your mental health stops them from feeling like a waste of time and makes them feel productive. Sometimes you need a break from the stress to be more productive, and that’s totally okay! Sometimes taking these breaks can make you feel even worse or guilty. This is usually because you didn’t do the things you wanted to get done. But remember that being in a good place mentally is the first step to being productive.

Taking the feeling of wasting time out of activities that put you in a better headspace is so important! When you’re in good spirits, you get the best work done. So planning these stress relieving activities gives you something to look forward to. It also helps a lot by allowing you to feel like your mental health is just as important as the tasks you have planned. A lot of people forget that and try to push through by ignoring how they’re feeling, but this will just lead to a breakdown, and no one gets good work done during a breakdown. Staying happy is the first step to staying motivated and on task. When your brain is happy, it’s so much easier to get things done without panicking. So let loose and lose that stress once in a while!

Experiment With Focus Music for Motivation 

Sometimes sound can be really distracting when working from home. Especially if you have a large family. Some noise cancelling headphones, or some music designed to keep you focused may be a huge help in staying on task. (It works for me!) We have a whole article (HERE) about focus music and how to utilize it to its fullest potential. Using sounds that are designed to help you focus on your work and not drag your attention away from what you’re doing is an awesome resource to have at your disposal. I’d recommend checking that article for more of the pros and cons to focus music.

I personally put a lot of merit into soundproof headphones with noise cancelling. For someone who gets distracted by every noise I hear from around my house, noise cancellation has done wonders for me. My ability to focus jumped by a crazy amount and it’s so nice in a busy house to get that feeling of solitude and peace while you work. Quarantine has made it really difficult to create a separation between home time and work time. So being able to block out a lot of those distracting sounds helps bring that division back a bit. 

Eat Healthy

I know, this one sounds dumb, but it does help! People tend to underestimate the effect your food has on your brain. Eating junk all the time can put you into a slump of not caring for yourself, and lead to a whole slew of other problems. Keeping your brain and body fueled with the proper nutrients is a great way to keep a positive attitude and get motivated. It can be so easy to just order Ubereats or Postmates during this pandemic. But making an effort to cook and eat more healthy foods during the week is important for feeling great and getting work done! We have a great article all about Food’s effects on your health. HERE is one on juice cleansing.

Cooking a meal, even once in a while can give you a really nice sense of accomplishment as well! It can be easy to slide by and stop doing things you’re passionate about right now. Carving out a time for cooking healthy meals will grow a skill and improve your health. Quarantine is such a good time to learn a new skill, and cooking is a great one to choose. Knowing what’s going into your meals and being able to choose those ingredients is a powerful feeling. And your body will thank you for making the right choices! Keep off the quarantine 15 and make some tasty, healthy foods. Meal prepping also helps for those days when you are feeling extra down in the dumps and don’t want to perpetuate a bad mood with bad food! 

Motivate Yourself With Movement 

Exercising is a great way to burn off the extra pent-up energy from staying home all day. Or to get you more energized if you’re feeling like you’re in a slump! Working towards a goal (losing weight, gaining muscle or definition, etc.) is a great way to keep your spirits up and you mind engaged. No matter your energy level, exercise is a good regulator and even a distraction from things that may be stressful or scary that won’t leave your mind. Get some fresh air in your lungs. Clear your mind. Even as we descend into the colder months, the chilly air can bring you some clarity. Get out of that stuffy office! 

Even if you don’t get outside for your exercise. Just having a designated spot in your living room or house where you spend some time working out is great for getting pent up energy out. It can even help to get your blood flowing on a particularly lazy day! Having a designated spot in the house is a good way to make exercising feel more productive. Besides, there are so many types of exercise to try indoors. Yoga, jogging in place, jump roping, lifting weight, whatever interests you.

Just a quick break may be all you need to stay motivated and on track for the rest of your day. You could even add this to your long-term goals and keep track of your progress if it interests you enough! Even dancing can be a form of stimulating exercise. HERE is an article where we go into it! 

Keeping The Phone Away

I know I know, it sucks. I love my phone too. But our phones are one of the biggest distractions in the world. And they’re meant to be. They’re designed to pull your attention away from what you’re doing and over to them. Their entire goal is to keep you engaged. Noises and colors threaten to destroy your focus at every turn! Try setting the phone in a different room while you work and see how much your focus and work ethic improves. Really, I swear! This is such a simple one that so many people don’t utilize. Most people don’t even think about their phone as a distraction to their workday. 

If you need your phone out for work, a good way around getting distracted is to just put it on do not disturb mode. People tend to underestimate the power of a notification. It’s one of the most distracting things in the world to see a little message pop up. They’re designed to make you want to click them, but you’re smarter than that! Put the phone on a charger in a different room. Or even shove it in the desk for a few hours. The amount of rabbit holes and things grabbing at your attention from your smartphone is astronomical. Don’t fall into the smartphone trap. Stay motivated and on task during this quarantined time! 

Well, that’s it for me on this one. But let me know if you guys want more tips on organization, motivation, and all around procrastination tips. Because I’d absolutely love to share them! Let me know if you try any of these tips and how they work out for you, and like always, thank you so much for reading! Now stay motivated and GET TO WORK!!!!!!!!

HERE’s another article by us on Productivity while you work from home! 

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Thank you for reading!