How’s your productivity been these days? Are you “making the most” of the pandemic? Or are you just getting by?

We’re all dealing with different stresses and situations, so there’s no right or wrong answer here. Many people are finding they are more productive now that they are working remotely, or have some extra time off. Others certainly aren’t as they are now trying to balance working from home and homeschooling their children.

While scrolling through social media amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there are all sorts of reminders about how people are “making the most” of this situation. After all, Sir Isaac Newton discovered calculus while in quarantine due to the plague. Surely you can do something great with your time as well, right?

If it turns out you’re feeling anxious rather than productive, you are not alone. Here are some great tips on how to deal with productivity anxiety.

Remember that social media can be deceiving.

I’m guilty of sharing only the great things that are happening in my life on social media—my 10-mile run, my kids being cute—but not my failures—cereal for lunch again, the giant pile of laundry I don’t have time to fold. What you see on social media doesn’t really reflect the reality for most people, and it’s good to remember this as people post their goals and to-do lists.

Actually, it may be best to look at it less.

Avoid social comparison and the feelings that come with it by looking at social media less. You might not have much control over this pandemic, but you do have control over what you do online. It’s OK to unfollow or unfriend someone who leaves you feeling more anxious. You can set your own limits on how much information you consume. There’s a freedom in keeping yourself informed just enough and letting the rest go.

Quit comparing yourself to others.

If there ever was a time to quit comparing yourself to others, this is it. We are all dealing with entirely different stresses under this pandemic umbrella. Just because your coworker has the ability to put in extra time and efforts into learning new skills right now, does not mean you are a failure if you don’t. They might be single without kids and you’re married to a nurse and have three kids at home now. Be realistic about your situation compared to others and be OK with just doing the things you can do.

Know there is no “right” way to cope.

It turns out we all manage stress differently. Surprise! I know depending on the day, I’ve either been an overachieving superstar or a complete blob during this pandemic. This whole thing is new for us all. It’s OK to be overwhelmed. It’s OK to not be overwhelmed. We all require different types of self-care, and its up to you to figure out what works best for you. And don’t forget while you’re figuring out your best way to cope, others are still figuring out theirs, too. It helps nothing to judge others, so be nice.

Create a routine.

There’s a reason why schools and daycares run on schedules; it’s because they’re comforting. Adults can also find comfort in making a routine. Maybe you find taking a walk or doing an at-home workout makes your day better. Creating a new routine doing things that help you feel OK can help you manage your anxiety and stress.

So even if you don’t write a great novel or turn into a body builder while you quarantine, remember it’s OK. As we face these changes, know that you are capable of more than you think. Keep your focus on yourself and the things you can control and let the rest go.


 “You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.”  – Bob Marley