Coronavirus Diaries: Productivity VS. Unproductivity

Quarantine Day 43. Every day in Quarantine is different. Some days I wake up, and I want to conquer the world. Other days I want to stay in bed all day and hide away from everything that’s happening. When the first guidelines were laid out, and we realized that we would be in the house for two weeks, I made a list of all the things I wanted to get done and attacked them with fervor. But then the days began to bleed into each other and my list began to feel more like a chore than a blessing. Being at home alone for a month has been challenging at times and I wanted to share some more ways that I am coping with these changes.

  1. Embrace what each day brings: I am working from home and understand during this time that my ability to have a job and work from home is a privilege. Because of this privilege, my days have a bit more structure to them since I have to log on to my computer and have a video meeting every morning. There are some mornings when I wake up at 8:30am and start my day before work, and there are some days I don’t change out of my pajamas and open my laptop right as my meeting is starting. I decided that I wasn’t going to force myself to do anything that my body and mind are not feeling on that day. I won’t always get to roll out of bed and start working. There are a lot of emotions in dealing with our new way of life and it’s ok if some days are harder than others. Being gentle with yourself allows you to better accept these changes.
  2. Productivity vs. unproductivity: There has been a lot of argument about how productive or unproductive we should be during this time. I think you can be both. If sitting on the couch for a couple of days binging a new show helps you to feel better, then do it. If you stay sane by working and exercising keeping as much of your regular routine as possible, then do it. Only you know what will work for you. Try and insert small periods of productivity with periods of unproductivity to see how much you can manage.
  3. If you are working, create an end of work routine: Because of the nature of my work, I had already set hard boundaries about working from home and also what energy I allow into my space before quarantine started.  Now that I am working from home, I have had to be even more intentional: No working from my bed.  I either work from my desk or the couch. At the end of the day, I put all of my work materials on my desk and then go lay down on my bed. It’s how I signal to my body and my mind, that work is done and I will pick it up again tomorrow morning. I’ve also started lighting candles during meetings to help dispel some of the negative energy that’s coming into my apartment.
  4. Try and learn a new hobby: I have been taking this time to work on my book, as well as trying to bake more. Often times we tell ourselves that we’ll start something once we have the time, and then we get the time only to learn that time wasn’t the issue it was our lack of discipline. So try and see if you can do something that you’ve always wanted to do, but lacked the time. It doesn’t have to be “productive”, it could be reading a couple of books to finishing your Netflix list.

For me, I don’t want to look back on this time and think that all I did was work and worry about the end of the world. Balancing productivity with times of rest allows us to break up our day into manageable chunks and helps us to feel a little better about what’s happening. Try it this week and leave a comment letting me know how it’s worked for you. I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy!

2 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing, even in a pandemic you are growing and becoming more aware of yourself. I think that is commendable. I am going to work on two projects this week. Shredding old mail and working on completing a book I have written, are the projects I will work on. I will share my progress with you. I too do not want to look back on this time of sheltering in place, with any regret. I see this time as a respite from God. We are resting and the earth is resting.

    Sent from my iPhone

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  2. These are all wonderful tips. I especially liked (and needed) the idea of creating an “end to work” routine. As an educator, parents and students are looking for support. Each day’s work can drag on into the night if we let it. But, setting an end to work routine will help me pause, reset for the next day and then give myself completely to the remainder of my day. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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