How to make Quarantine Time “count”

You’re “stuck” in your house and your day to day life as you know it is long gone. That doesn’t mean your levels of productivity & self betterment need to diminish or falter — much less be muted! On the contrary, this quarantined time where we will be physically secluded and constrained to our home environments is a fantastic, one in a lifetime opportunity for growth.

Illustration by Abstract Memento

Step #1: Organize Your Goals

Dust off those notebooks full of side projects, and clear your now not so busy social schedule — you’re about to go on a journey!

Family time? Fix your website? Paint that flower vase you bought just so you can paint it? Whatever it is that you have been putting off because you simply “didn’t have the time” — is fair game now! But if you’re anything like me — you have lists upon lists, notes upon notes on all sorts of crazy side projects you have been aching to do. Prioritize, discard the ones that no longer interest you and make a final list of all the side projects you would like to accomplish on this newly found free time.

Step #2: Schedule it In

I get it — you’re home. Home is the place you relax — not the place you are necessarily productive. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Now that your personal space becomes the central office for everything regarding your life — you should respect the time spent there and organize your tasks responsibly. Just think of that amazing thrill you get when you’ve accomplished something. Schedule your days at home — even family time, eating time and binge watching time. It will take away any guilt and will allow you to generate accountability for yourself. It will also allow you to understand how it is that you truly spend your time and work in this new constant environment. Which brings me to the next step…

Step #3: Learn + Adapt

Noticing how you react to certain activities at certain times a day, noticing how you feel and work depending on what part of home you are in, and which times a day make you the most happy and excited for certain activities is key. What works? Music/ No music? TV on? Off? Desk? Sofa? Dinning Room? Close to the kids? From 2 am — 8 am when everyone is asleep and you feel alone in the world?

Don’t assume what you’ll think or feel — just try it out! Remember its your home — and its OK to make whatever change necessary to make you feel comfortable. Personally, I have found that changing your physical work environment from time to time allows me to break the predisposed pattern of my thoughts, and provides creativity and inspiration that inform new unique solutions to my creative problems/tasks.

Illustration by Abstract Memento

Step #4: “There is a lot you can accomplish in 10 minutes”

I had the most wonderful English teacher in my Junior & Senior year of high school. She always used to say that people waste time by not realizing the amount of things that can get done and accomplished in just 10 minutes. Folks, she is right!

Setting short term goals or tasks of 5 min, 10 min & 15 min can be an extremely fulfilling and fast paced way to get the bulk of your lists done. Subdividing large tasks this way helps immensely too! These micro accomplishments will allow you to build productive momentum — which I define as a winning streak of productivity that will motivate you to keep going.

Illustration by Abstract Memento

Step #5: Fully Disconnect

Shut off your phone.
Turn off the TV.
Take off your headphones.
Sit in silence.

I know it may sound boring, but in this time of forced pause — allow yourself to confront your thoughts uninterrupted & get to know yourself a little bit better —

These five steps have been allowing me to optimize the level of productivity I achieve during the past 8 days of quarantine. They have been the guiding principals in which I keep myself focused and relaxed at home — which is riddled with fun distractions and spontaneous interruptions coming from all directions. Having an established road map on what my goals, expectations and work deadlines are allows me to maneuver my time intelligently, enjoy the random distractions without feeling guilty or stressed and overall enabling me to feel in control of my time and space. The most crucial part of it all is the time of day I allow myself to disconnect and reflect on my accomplishments and faults — and then revitalized & refreshed I can revise the road map for the next day.

Stay healthy! Wash your Hands! Stay home.

Aspiring Architect — Currently in the journey of finding my voice as a writer.

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