Tips on Improving Your Productivity – by Marysol Hernandez


In a “not so busy” year for many people, how many of the “I need to do that soon” tasks did you accomplish? It’s easy to say that we all want our lives to go back to normal- to enjoy time with friends and family or go out to our favorite spots. Life may be feeling like a routine lately and it’s causing us to lose motivation to do even the simple things. But don’t worry! Here are a few things that could help boost your productivity!headshot of Marysol Hernandez Community Engagement Specialist

Dress for Success

In a time when not much is happening outside of home, dressing up almost feels like a waste. Dressing up, however, is more than just putting on clothes. It’s about making yourself feel good about your appearance which in turn will boost your mood and confidence, and hence, your motivation to take on the day’s challenges! But don’t just stop at your outfit. Go out and get a haircut (just remember to wear your mask!), trim your beard or facial hair, put on some makeup, and even do your full skin routine! Involve your family in it too! Always remember that the loss of motivation you’re feeling, your family is probably feeling it as well. Getting up a few minutes earlier in the morning to get your kids showered and dressed (in things other than their pajamas) is sure to bring up their mood and help them stay focused in class! As for stay-at-home days, try that something you’ve been wanting to try but won’t because it is out of your comfort zone. You might end up finding your new staple!

To-do Lists Are Your New Best Friend

Most people find it very beneficial to write down their daily tasks, but somehow always run into the problem of not keeping up with them. I personally think that writing a to-do list makes my day feel productive. Something about being able to check off my tasks and knowing what I have to do next feels like I’m on top of things. Sit down a couple of hours before bed and come up with your tasks for the next day. The secret is making sure that you do your tasks in order of importance. Scheduling your to-do list can also be helpful. Make sure you schedule your hardest tasks when you are at your best. You don’t want to do 10 simple tasks, get tired, and then suddenly lose motivation to do the one hard task left, which also happens to be the most important one. Also, unless you’re a very forgetful person, keep your to-do list short. Don’t add unnecessary tasks like “take out the trash” if it’s something you know you will do naturally. If you need more than one to-do list (one for work, school, etc,) that’s okay too!

Take Your Office Outside

Fresh air never hurt anybody, as long as we’re alone or with household members! If you work from home, try taking your computer outside to do some work. If that’s not an option, try setting your desk up by a window. The bright sunlight will help you feel like the day is still young and if you’re outside, the new atmosphere will give you a change of scenery that is sure to make you feel refreshed.

Rearrange and Reorganize Your Office Space

I recently rearranged my entire room/desk area- and wow! For the first week or two, my room felt the same as it did when I first moved in, fresh and new! I highly recommend moving things around and giving your workspace a new look. Even if you’re not able to rearrange, you can reorganize. Tidy up your area with some stationary, or even add a plant or two to make your space feel lively. Working in an organized environment is guaranteed to boost your motivation to get your tasks organized and completed.

Plan for Something Exciting

At the end of every week, I always make sure to plan something I enjoy for the next week. This can be something like ordering from the restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, renting a movie you’ve been wanting to see, date night, family game night, anything you can think of! Add it to your to-do list and keep a daily reminder of it in the back of your head. Having something to look forward to will keep you motivated to complete your tasks so you can get to doing whatever it is you planned!

Call a Friend or Family Member

As we know, right now isn’t the best time to have  person-to-person interactions but that’s okay! This is the perfect time to catch up with someone you’ve been meaning to catch up with. Whether it’s a phone call, FaceTime, or Zoom, chatting with people you know will put you out of an otherwise dull routine. Go and call that friend or family member you’re thinking of. I’m sure they would really appreciate it!


The pandemic has put a lot of stress on many of us. Don’t forget that you have been working hard and trying your best and it’s absolutely ok to reward yourself even for the little things! Giving yourself little rewards here and there is going to help you feel accomplished. Don’t forget to share the happiness, if you reward yourself make sure you are rewarding others around you and that they are doing the same for you!

Have you redesigned your office lately? Maybe you’ve redecorated or even remodeled at home? Show us on social media! We love hearing from you and hope to see you soon.

Marysol Hernandez is the Community Engagement Specialist for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. She can be reached at 703-335-8872 or via email at

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