Just like that, life as we once knew it changed for all of us. As much as we’d like our lives to go “back to normal” as soon as possible, the reality is that none of us know how long the coronavirus pandemic lockdown is going to last.
If you’re one of the billions of people worldwide who feel like their lives are spinning out of control, you’re certainly not alone. Being stuck at home with so much uncertainty can be overwhelming, to say the least.
Here’s the good news: Creating a routine schedule during times like these can help tremendously, offering the direction and grounding energy we all need to help keep ourselves sane.
When you think about it, everything that normally structured your daily routine has been thrown out the window. No matter how this has affected you personally, it can be really easy to feel like you’ve completely lost all sense of direction. Creating a routine won’t just help, it’s practically essential to regain your direction and feel a sense of purpose and productivity.
Tips For Scheduling Your Time During Social Distancing
Whether you’re on lockdown solo or at home with your kids and/or significant other 24/7, being home all the time when you’re not accustomed to it is enough to drive anyone crazy. This is why most people who work from home have a schedule that they follow each and every day.
Now that you’ve joined the ranks of those who stay home or work from home, a schedule is essential. Following are some tips to help you schedule your time during this historic period of great uncertainty.
Set Time Blocks
Whether you’re working from home or at home and out of work, setting up time blocks to keep you organized throughout the day can help tremendously.
Recent research supports working in 90-minute time blocks. Why? Our brains can only spend roughly 90 minutes concentrating on one specific task before we begin to lose steam.
We’ve personally found that sticking to one task for 90 minutes has been a game-changer. Try working in 90-minute blocks, taking a 20-minute break and then working on something else for another 90 minutes. Whether earning a paycheck, reading a good book, working in the garden, cleaning the house, or virtually catching up with friends, carving out these 90-minute time blocks will become an effective aspect of scheduling our time during this new normal.
If you’re out of work right now, use these time blocks to catch up on things you’ve wanted to do but haven’t simply because “you didn’t have the time.” For once, time is on our side, so make sure to use it!
Create a Solid Morning, Afternoon and Evening Routine
The way we start each day has a huge impact on how the rest of our day will unfold. As tempting as it might be to sleep late and stay in bed after you’re awake, getting up at the same time each day and starting your routine is crucial.
Wake up at the same time you normally would, make your bed and get dressed like any other day. Get out of your pajamas and put on some clothes! Remember a few weeks ago when you’d wake up and do the same thing each morning? Keep doing it. Only now, you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
Same goes for your afternoon. If you’re working from home, you’ll likely work throughout the afternoon. Keep using those 90-minute time blocks to make sure your mind stays fresh. If you’re not working, consider doing certain things on the same day each week and at the same time. You might try to fit in a yoga class or online workout every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon at 2. Virtually catch up with friends on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon. Creating a solid schedule in this way will give you something to look forward to and help keep you from going stir crazy inside.
Treat your evenings like you would before our world got turned upside down. Make dinner or order take-out to help support local restaurants. Have a virtual happy hour with friends. Relax and spend quality time with your family or pets while you reflect on how much smoother your day was when it went according to the schedule you set up for yourself.
Pick Different Projects To Help Occupy Your Time
Mandatory lockdowns have most of us at home way more than we might normally be. Choosing projects to work on during this time can be a great way to help occupy the extra free time you now have on your hands.
You don’t have to write the next best-seller or learn to cook like Martha Stewart, but there are plenty of things you can do from home to help occupy your time. Following are just a few ideas:
Pick one night each week to bake/cook something new. Bonus points for learninghow to bake with CBD.
Choose one room in your house to focus on each week and clean and organize it to your heart’s content.
Plant a garden. Don’t have space to dig in the dirt? Consider container gardening on your porch or deck, or grow herbs on a windowsill instead.
Read one of the classics. “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau seems especially fitting right now.
Use this time to learn something new. Did you know you can take some Harvard courses online for free?
As new as social distancing and mandatory stay-at-home rules might be, humans are a naturally adaptive species. Scheduling your time during the COVID-19 pandemic can help you stay grounded when the rest of the world feels upside-down.