It’s COVID-19 — Don’t be busy. Be productive.
A simple enough concept but in these uncertain and unchartered times, we have to stop and think about what that means. Here’s a guide to stay productive when everything has been turned upside down.
For most of us a typical work day involves getting up at a certain time, leaving the house/getting somewhere/being in a meeting at a certain time. Our lunch and snack breaks are planned. We have a schedule that is more or less the same. Now suddenly here we are working from home. The kids are at home. We have to STAY AT HOME. And I bet we all initially thought “This is GREAT! I’m going to get so much done!”. And then reality sets in. Without our routine, we are a little lost. That feeling of loss of routine and loss of control can make us feel like a car stuck in mud. Our bodies cannot/do not want to move, but our minds are spinning. So, let’s break it down and control the things we CAN control…
1. Make (and follow) a family schedule.
Make an effort to get up at the same time every day. Eat your breakfast, have your coffee, take a shower and get dressed. If you are working from home, set a schedule and get started as you would if you were in the office. Ensure your work space is comfortable and well stocked so you can focus on your task. Set an alarm to get up for a “coffee break” and stretch your legs. Do this throughout your day so it loosely resembles a day at the office.
If you are at home and not working, filling the hours can be daunting but the same principle applies. Get up and start your day. Eat, have a shower and get dressed. Then, make a plan for visiting, chores, activity and cooking. For the kids, reach out to teachers for learning resources and set a loose school and activity schedule. There are many online resources and ideas to keep young minds engaged and learning. Now would be a great opportunity to follow up on that course you wanted to take. Many companies are offering free online courses during this time of quarantine so do your research! We can’t go out to restaurants to eat, so cook your meals at home and discover your inner chef. Is there a closet, room, cupboard or drawer that you’ve been meaning to clean out? Do it now! And it is so important to remain connected with friends and family during this time so schedule phone calls or video calls to keep in touch with your loved ones.
2. Make lists.
In the same way a schedule keeps us focused, a list is a great way to feel productive and accomplished. Your list can include big tasks like paint the fence and organize the garage, but don’t be afraid to include small items like send an email, make a phone call, make the beds or empty the vacuum cleaner! Seeing check marks next to your tasks can make you feel accomplished and will ease feelings of being unsettled and unfocused.
3. Stay active.
Quarantine and social distancing are not excuses to let your physical activity suffer. If anything, it is even more imperative to stay healthy and active. Now is the time to take control of our health. Referring back to scheduling, set a time every day to do your workout, take a walk, do some stretching. Is your gym offering on line classes and virtual training? Reach out to them and see what they can do to help you. If not, there are many online resources for great workouts to suit all abilities and circumstances. Social distancing does not mean staying inside. Go for a walk with your family and enjoy the time you have together. Discover the beauty in your neighbourhood as spring unfolds. Get out your bike, pump up the tires and go for a ride. Do something active every day and be sure to schedule it in and check it off your list!
4. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Are your kids spending more time than usual on their devices? Did your spouse forget to close a cupboard? Did you forget to cook the potatoes for dinner? Before getting annoyed and starting an argument ask yourself “Is this important and worth a discussion?” If the answer is no, then move on. Everyone is facing a different reality and trying to figure out how to get through relatively unscathed. So truly do not sweat the small stuff. Let some of the control go. Which brings me to my final point…
5. Stick together
We are all in this together. Now is the time to lean on each other and be kind. Be helpful and patient. If you can, hug your family extra tight and tell people you love them and appreciate them. Offer to help someone who needs it but also remember to ask for help if YOU need it.
We are better together. We are stronger together.
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We’re sticking together through these tough times. We’d love to have you join us!