The second wave of the coronavirus epidemic has hit most of the countries by now and people are back to spending all their time at home. Working, shopping, working out, and even going to concerts can be an at-home activity in today’s world. This is both good and bad since it leaves us with more time at our hands, but tends to make us lazier and less productive.
Before quarantine, I was the person who’d always complain that they don’t have enough time on their hands. Not enough time for work as well as pleasures. I used to be puzzled about how entrepreneurs like Tim Ferris can pull out doing so much in one day when I can’t get done with simply studying for exams. I would justify it by thinking that I have more responsibilities than they do. While I have to attend classes, study, clean the house and help out older members of my family, they can focus solely on their work and passions. And then at the beginning of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic happened and I found myself spending all my time at home. I was left with more free time at my hands and had to face the truth. My excuses were just excuses. Even though I had the resources to work on my passions and dreams, I was laying in bed, watching Netflix and meaninglessly maundering through the house to the point when I couldn’t stand myself anymore. I had to take action.
Write it down
I made a list of all the things I always wanted to do in the past but ”didn’t have the time for”. I decided which ones I wanted to achieve the most and wrote down how many hours of practice a week they would take me. For example, I always wanted to learn how to juggle, so I watched some tutorials for some advice from professionals and decided to practice 20 minutes a day. So I set a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound), which was to practice 20 minutes of juggling everyday until I can comfortably juggle with 3 balls. I was able to do that 5 days later.
If you don’t have any idea how can you use this free time productively, consider the following: rethink the small business you’ve always wanted to start, learn a new language, declutter your house, learn speed-reading, practice yoga and/or meditation, establish a workout routine or do anything else that you want to get better at.
Make a plan
It’s one thing to know what you want to do and another to actually do it. In order to attain any kind of productivity during quarantine you have to strictly plan your day. I made a time-restricted to-do list with all the things I wanted to accomplish. Having a work-like schedule is helpful in making the day feel more like a work day. When wrtting your to do list, include even the most basic of actions like making your bed and dressing up, if you know that your quarantine-self is always wearing pyjamas.
Stick with it
Treat it like a work assignment by removing the optionality of completing the task. In a few weeks, it will become a habit but in the beginning, it might be necessary for you to push yourself a little.
In order to maintain your motivation and make a habit stick, remember to track your progress and compare your current result to the day when you first started. Noticing the level of improvement will create a sense of confidence and enthusiasm essential to keep going and succeed in the long run.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that might not happen again. Sure, the current situation is not ideal but focus on the bright side and take advantage of the opportunities it creates. In a couple of years, you might miss the amount of free time and the possibilities you have right now. This may not be easy, but try to appreciate and – with all their flaws – view the current circumstances as a blessing. Consider them a chance to improve the relationship you have with your family, friends, and also the one with yourself. A chance to revisit old passions and dreams and to actually fulfill them. A chance to accomplish the things, which will be impossible to accomplish when we eventually return to the hustle of normality.