How I Managed My Focus During The COVID-19 Quarantine

Finding focus and staying productive during the quarantine, while having all distractions from our home around us.

Koen Verburg
4 min readAug 11, 2020
Photo by Roman Bozhko on Unsplash

It’s been a few months since we were all confined to our homes because of the raging virus outside, and I’m really lucky to work at the office again at the time of writing this.

Here in the Netherlands, it’s still not fully under control. And there are areas in the City where it’s mandatory to wear masks.

But now I’m want to reflect on the first couple of weeks of March where I really struggled with work and keeping focus and keeping my attention to work.

Here are a few of the things that helped me stay focused and sane during these weeks of working from home and maybe they will benefit you as well post-pandemic.

Let’s jump in!

1. I kept a normal work routine

I stuck to the routine I had before the pandemic and found that it was easier to focus. This meant waking up between 5:45 and 6 to get a workout in and start with work at around 8:30 or 9 and work till 5 or 5:30 in the afternoon.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

2. I placed my phone in the other room!

It doesn’t matter if you are working at the office or not, But I kept the phone time to a small window during the work hours.

This is always a good habit to have also post-pandemic. Think your boss will approve of that as well.

If I happen to have my phone the desk I will have Focus Mode enabled which prevented certain apps from sending notifications.

I will only get those notifications when I disable or pause Focus Mode.
Focus Mode is part of Digital Wellbeing on Android phones.

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

3. I kept my body moving

I’m a very active person before the pandemic and I still am. So with everything closed up because of the virus out there. I couldn’t go to the gym or practice Archery. So I had to get creative!

During meetings, I got up and passed around in the room. It didn’t distract anyone and I focused more on the subject where we were talking about.

Around lunchtime, I would eat my lunch outside on the patio to get away from the screens and get some fresh air. And after work, I went for a walk or a run around the neighborhood after my work

Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

4. Zone-out music

When I listen to my music I tend to lose myself in the music while trying to focus on the task I’m trying to do.

This changed when I switched to Binaural Beats. I got in the zone quicker and got a lot more done. From that point on, Whenever I need focus I would play Binaural Beats.

Photo by Nicole Wolf on Unsplash

5. I stuck with my desk and not the couch!

I never got work done anywhere else than my desk. So I stuck with working at my desk, and not the couch.

I have tried it, and It didn’t work, and even the kitchen table. The desk is where I can do deep work.

The couch is a place to wind down and relax at the end of the day.

These things have helped me during the “Work From Home”-weeks and I hope that you have picked up some ideas to try out for yourself.

Stay positive even in dark times.



Koen Verburg

Software Engineer based in Rotterdam — Photographer, Art Enthusiast, Dreamer, and thinker.