It’s funny, you know. About 4 months ago, I was reading articles that gave tips to free people from traps of the internet. For years, I have been reading articles that educate the reader to see the real world, get out of the internet rabbit hole and be productive
And now here we are. Welcome to the Corona-times, where coming out of our homes is looked down upon, and sitting comfortably at home is the most appreciated thing to do!
Mind you! I’m not that naive to not understand the seriousness of this matter. But it is weird how times change.
Anyway, the purpose of this blog is not to get you into an existential crisis. But to tell you how to be productive when you are social distancing. So let’s get started.
How to be productive at home when under Self-Isolation
1. Learning New Stuff Online
I know, I know, learning would be like one of the last things one would want to do when instructed to isolate themselves and practice social distancing. But think of it this way- you are probably going to spend the next 2-3 weeks at home. Sure, you will have a lot of fun with your family, and yourself. But when things get back to normal, what will you take away from the experience of social distancing?
if you stay as lazy as you are right now, perhaps there’d be no takeaway. I’m a fan of this great quote by Pablo Picasso, “Every act of creation is first an act of Destruction”. The context of this quote here is that it takes a situation of crisis to come up with solutions, experiences, and lessons that make for a better future. Necessity is the mother of innovation, and this pandemic could be time for your evolution.
2. Moving on from Bad relationships
A major impact of COVID-19 that no one really talks about will be on relationships. COVID-19 will make most college relationships, teenage relationships and those of bachelors’ a long-distance one.
So if you’re in a bad relationship, are desperately looking for ways to break up, this is a good time. I know some of you may say how this is bad advice. But bad relationships, sometimes make for bad lives. And I’m sure nobody among us wants that.
This is an even better time to move on if you have only recently had a breakup, or finding it hard to forget a loved one. This is the best time to forget your past and create a new present. I mean, what could be a better time than this time where you’re under no social obligations!
You don’t have to give a fake smile to relatives that come to visit uninvited. You don’t have to go out with friends just because they will bitch about you behind you back if you don’t go with them. All you have to do is stay at home, as much as you could. So in the process, why not create habits, memories, and interests that create a new you?
3. Learning new habits
It is often said that our small habits compile to make up our lifestyle. It’s actually true. If you have a habit of working late at night, it probably also means that you have a habit of waking up late. Since you have a habit of waking up late, you might also not have the habit to exercise early in the morning and bath every day.
A chain of small habits compounds and creates your lifestyle. In these times you’re under self-isolation, it can be a productive thing to identify the micro-things that make your day less good than it could be. For one thing, lockdowns are already providing to be effective in removing alcohol and smoking addictions (unless you were one of those geniuses who bought entire crates of booze and bundles of cigarettes).
Through my experiences in changing habits, one thing I have learned is that habits only change, literally. You cannot create new habits out of nowhere. At its core, all new habits are only a replacement for past habits. Say, you used to sleep for 14 hours a day which gave you less time to focus on the important stuff. Now, to be more productive, you can try sleeping for only 10 hours. But not sleeping and sitting idle won’t break the habit.
You HAVE to find something else that you could do in the time you’re not sleeping. Else your brain will induce you to sleep as the pattern of a 14-hour sleep is already made in your head. Just like this example, new habits are replacements of bad habits. You can replace a decent habit with a good one, a good habit with a bad one, or replace a bad habit with something that’s even worse. It’s your choice.
4. Become independent
Independently managing yourself simply means to be in control of your thoughts, actions and most of your needs. Living in the midst of lockdowns and practicing social distancing means that most of your emotional, social needs won’t be met. But it is in these times that it helps to realize that in the end, the only thing we have the most control over is ourselves.
While we can’t control what goes around the world, we can be independent in our thoughts. We can make choices that don’t come out of the pressure of social obligations, we can make decisions that won’t be liked by everyone, we can commit to causes that hold more meaning to ourselves more than anything else.
Staying at home, with no commitments towards anything other than perhaps those you’re living; is the perfect time to make your life’s more dependent on what you want to do, rather than what the world around you convinces you to do. It’s a chance to meditate, to think freely, about all the things you never thought about before.
5. Making that big change in your life
Tell me, how many times in a day have you thought, “This will be the last time this happens to me”, “I’ll change everything”, I will become a better person”, I will work hard”, “I will overcome that fear”. Yet, we end up in failure. We fail to live up to the new year resolutions, promises made our girlfriend/boyfriend and everything in between.
We fail. But most of the time, we fail not because we were not meant to overcome that hurdle. But we fail because our daily routine remains the same despite all our new resolutions.
You fail to fulfill your New year’s resolution of going to the gym every day because doing so was never a habit, it was never a part of your daily routines. Similarly, the big changes that you dream about in your life require big changes in your daily life for its fulfillment in the future. Huge dreams require huge changes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put all of us in a terrible situation. Yet the need for self -isolation, social distancing and working from home has created an environment for all of us to change, to think about what we’re doing, and to work harder to create the tomorrow we dream of.
Being Productive means doing something that helps fulfill Priorities
In this pandemic situation, there are only a few priorities that are under our control. So when self-isolating and practicing social-distancing, it’s best to think about what we can do to make the present better, rather than getting panicked and ruin all possibilities for a better future.