Gosh it’s like being in a film right? There is currently a documentary on Netflix called Pandemic that was recently released, I wonder did they know something we didn’t? One thing for sure is that we are in a whole new world and we need to adapt. If, you’re like me, and find yourself completely out of kilter it’s hard to know how to manage your life during this volatile time. I don’t have any revenue generating work right now and I have had to dig deep to motivate myself to keep productive until work resumes. Whenever that will be.
But, one thing I like is structure to my day so I am trying to create a new routine to adhere to. On Friday I sat at my desk and gave a lot of thought to how I was going to do that, and while I made a content plan stick to, I jotted down some things I noticed with my approach to share here. So if you are in a new routine at home, here are the things I’ve found have helped me.
TO DO LISTS
I am making two of these. One is for the week, which includes goals, must-do jobs, when I plan to do my exercise as well as some meal planning. Then I make a daily one, which breaks down the day. I have to say I borrowed this idea from my friends in the US who are working from home and trying to keep up schooling their two children while schools are closed. I start with the target time to be at my desk, for example, then I add a time to each task followed by my breaks. It’s this kind of structure that gives me a purpose on these unusual days. If you are working, you may already have set times that you need to log on and off, but those who are their own boss might find adding these times helpful.
AND ABOUT EXERCISE
We can still get out for walks (at the moment anyway), and I have to say it’s the one thing I look forward to about the day. I walk the dog about 815am and again at 530pm, this in itself adds some routine I’m also trying to get in three runs per week (added into my weekly list) which is doing my body and mind the world of good. There are also lots of free online classes going on right now; one such idea may be to do a virtual yoga class – take a look at Yoga With Maura who is doing free classes at 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday. I’m adding the exercise and running updates on my Instagram stories too so you can follow along.
Not everyone has a workspace ready-made at home. I have my office in my house so I have my work setup already in situ. Chatting to my friends most of them have a kitchen or dining room set up which isn’t ideal when perhaps you have more than one person trying to work from home under the same roof. One tip I read was to treat your kitchen table like a hot desk. So at the end of every working day, clean it down, put your work and computer away so the room can resume its usual purpose but also give you some headspace away from work; that space that you need when you come home from the office. We just have to try and make that work a different way for now. So when you are preparing your meals, your work is out of view and you can think about something else.
PLAN YOUR DOWNTIME
When you come home from work on a usual day what do you do? Watch TV, go for a run, meet friends? I’ve started to plan what to watch on TV each evening at a set time. So, for example, we just started watching Newsroom, so we sit down at 730pm after dinner each night to watch maybe two episodes. I have two ‘virtual’ meet ups with my friends this week. One on Friday evening to have a drink via Skype with my friends in Boston and the other side of Dublin for a catch up. It’s in our calendars and I am really looking forward to it. I’m also going to do the same with some of my work friends – that is taking the form of coffee via a What’s App video call. Seeing people helps me. Thank goodness we have the technology to feed that need.
It’s hard to avoid any kind of social media or news update at the moment. But reading Twitter, news websites etc all day was really not helping my mental health so I decided to limit it. I check the news in the morning – I’ve always done that and continue to do so. Now, I check it just once again in the evenings for an update and that’s it. Yes, I still scroll down through Twitter but I am using it more to chat to people I follow and friends. Not to consume more news or rumours. And there have been a lot of those in recent days.
The world is in a weird place. We don’t know what normal is right now or when our version of normal will return. For now, all we can do is stick to the advice we get from professional and expert bodies, and mind each other.