During the current lockdown, it is more important than ever to explore ways to stay both sane and productive. If you are currently isolating at one of Almero’s stylish student flats, for example our popular student flats in Leeds, you may resonate with a few of the following ten tips to boost your productivity and make the most of the time indoors.

Get enough shut eye
According to the University of Georgia Health Centre, 25% of their students say that sleep loss hurts their academic performance, which is completely avoidable if you work enough sleep into your routine. There is no magic number, but most people need about eight hours of uninterrupted sleep for optimum results.
We recommend turning your phone off or activating airplane mode around an hour before you intend to sleep. This is firstly so you avoid temptation to check it in the middle of the night, but more importantly, the blue light from your phone screen is known to delay the release of melatonin. This means you are likely to feel more alert for longer, and potentially struggle to fall asleep.

Remove social media distractions
Minutes can turn into hours when it comes to scrolling through social media. As hard as it may be, limiting time spent on social media can really work to boost productivity especially when studying for tests or exams.
A top tip is to work social media into your study breaks and reward yourself with 30 minutes on Instagram after a productive study session, rather than having it as a constant distraction. Again, turning your phone off entirely or activating airplane mode may help ease the temptation to check your phone.

Watch what you eat


Stressed is desserts spelled backwards, and for many of us, sweet treats and other indulgent snacks do provide some sort of relief when we are stressed about uni deadlines or about being holed up during lockdown. It may seem like a horrible idea, but now is more important than ever to be loading our plates with vegetables, fruit, wholegrains and healthy proteins. Make sure to aim for three round meals a day, with nutritious snacks in between help stabilise your blood sugar. Believe it or not, blood sugar has a great effect on your concentration levels.

So, reach for the hummus and carrot sticks before you get your hands on that Cadbury Crème Egg at 15:00. Some other healthy snack ideas include: a small handful of nuts, a dollop of Greek yoghurt with a drizzle of honey, peanut butter on banana slices, a simple piece of fruit, or a rice cake with cottage cheese. If you need any other inspiration, search the hashtag #healthysnacks on Instagram, or search for snacks on Pinterest.

Shift your mindset
Staying holed up at home during the lockdown – even in our quality student accommodation – may lead to a lot of stress and a clouded mind. Declutter your mind by practicing breathing techniques, meditating for a few minutes each day, writing in a diary or writing a list of things you’re grateful for to start the day in a positive headspace.

Write these positive reminders on sticky notes, and place on your desk or the wall in front of you so you can look up at them when you’re feeling flat or frustrated, and know that these uncertain times will not last forever.

Declutter your desk


A jumbled, disorganised workspace isn’t likely to inspire productivity, so take ten minutes to create an environment that is conducive to studying, even if it is a small space in a shared house or student flat. A scented candle or little succulent plant are a cheap and effective boost for your desk if you have the space!

Compartmentalise your day
Break your day into study sessions and small breaks in between. Fitting in a quick catch up call with a friend or curling up with a cup of tea and a biscuit are great incentives to get through a burst of focused studying. Whatever it is, make sure there is a little glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel when you sit down to work or study.

Set goals
Know what you are working towards. Create a checklist that you can tick off once tasks are done, or write a summary of what you’ve achieved at the end of each day. It sounds silly, but it becomes addictive seeing how much you can get done in a day!

Stay active
Find new ways to keep fit and healthy, whether it’s a walk around the neighbourhood, a HIIT workout in your lounge or an online yoga session, make it part of your daily routine. Exercise releases endorphins, elevates your mood and according to goremotely.net a 30-minute walk can increase productivity by as much as 81%!

Collaborate
Just because you can’t spend time with friends and fellow students, doesn’t mean you can’t work together through this COVID-19 lockdown. Set up virtual study groups on Zoom or Google Hangouts, share notes on Google Docs or chat through problems on the phone with classmates and friends to find solutions together.

Rinse and repeat
Get into a routine and try stick to it for at least five days of the week. It makes downtime at the weekends that much more indulgent and well deserved.

If you’re reading this before you’ve decided where to live for your first year as a student in Leeds, pop on over to our Student Accommodation page and find out more about student flat in Leeds options. You don’t want to miss out on the chance to secure this sought-after student accommodation in some of the best locations in the city. We also have a new house checklist to help you move in with all the right things so you can settle in and feel like you’ve found home.