The quarantine life has nothing on us


Last week marked my first whole month in self-quarantine and practicing social distancing and it has been a very interesting but challenging time. If you had read my previous column, you would know how I felt about this situation during its early days. But as the isolation drags out and streets remain empty and deserted, I’ve come to a few new realizations. The most important one being: we all process differently.

So, I want to take a step back and avoid telling you that now is the best time to get things done due to all the time we’ll be spending at home. You may get things done and you may not and that’s okay. Ironically, this is what I’m preaching during exam weeks. As such, I have had to ‘force’ myself to power through the last weeks of this quartile. This comes with the added stress of an endless loop of technical difficulties which we may all face (and I have already) with the online proctoring system.

Back to my point, forcing myself to be a student right now was only saved by a few new ‘habits’ that I thought I might share with you in case you need it. The following 7 new routine tips that I created for myself helped me organize my time more than anything else and with that, the added bonus of clarity and relative productivity. Disclaimer: these habits are used by many people but may not work for you because we’re all our own beings so take my word with a grain of salt if you may.

1. Small wins: Make your bed first thing in the morning.

This helps you get out of bed and not immediately get back in. Making your bed will give you a very small, simple task to complete in the morning and you will get the instant gratification by completing it and seeing your pristine new bed.

2. Clarity: Write down to-do list night before of the things you want to do the following day or so.

I have a racing mind and so, it can sometimes lead to situations where my brain doesn’t shut down when it’s time to. While it's racing, write it down. Make a list of all the small and big things you need to get done, just write it down to clear your mind.

3. Accomplishment: Set 20 minutes timer for any task.

Cleaning your room, doing the dishes, or organizing your closet: set a timer for 20 minutes and stick to it. You’ll amaze yourself with how much you can get done in 20 minutes. I found this sweet-spot time that’s not intimidating and never fails me.

4. Personal hygiene: Physically get ready.

Create a physical distinction between your ‘off’ and ‘on’ self to trick your mind.

5. Mental nourishment: Listen to podcasts and audio books.

Multitasking has never been easier. Don’t be too hard on yourself for not reading that book you promised yourself to, just listen to it as you clean or organize which brings me to my next point:

6. Organization: Organize and filter out.

Marie Kondo wrote a whole book on this one.

7. Self-Care: Prioritize your ‘me’ time.

Shut down your laptop, put your phone away, breathe and do as you may.

I hope this column finds you all well and safe. As always, please stay inside to protect yourself and your loved ones.

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