How I Stay on Schedule During Quaratine

Let me start off by saying that after about a week and a half into quarantine, I was a hot mess. I kept none of the  structure in my life that I had before the shutdown. I had no consistent sleep schedule, I hardly ever wore clothes other than my pyjamas, and (for some reason that I can’t explain) I watched a lot of Scooby-Doo episodes on the Teletoon network. It’s safe to say that it was getting bad the morning (more like afternoon, but not important) that I woke up and legitimately wasn’t sure what day of the week it was. I’m a person who without a consistent routine just falls apart and gets stuck in a slump, so when I realized that this was happening, I knew I had to adjust my life to fit into quarantine style.

 

1.      So normally, if I don’t have a big commitment in the morning (like school or work) I have a pretty hard time getting out of bed. Waking up late was my biggest problem because half of my day was spent sleeping. I knew that I wasn’t going to give myself a realistic reason that would motivate me to get up, so I compromised. Usually I wake up at 6am to get ready for classes, but I figured if I set my alarm a little bit later, it was like a tiny reward. So, getting up at 8 am is what I chose to be my new normal. It also helps that my dog is like a tiny and cute alarm who has her own needs that push me out from underneath my comfy blankets each morning.

2.      The next thing I did was set time limits on my phone for app usage. There’s really nothing stopping me from playing on my phone all day, but I consider that wasteful and get kind of mad at myself when I do it. So, having a little reminder pop up on my screen after two hours of using certain apps, like social media or random games, helps to kick me into gear.

3.      I also struggled big time with not being able to go to the gym. Going there after classes or a difficult shift at work always helped me to blow off steam. Not having the gym also affected my sleep schedule because I had a lot more energy later in the night when I normally would’ve been tired. I knew that somehow I was going to have to get more physical activity in, even if I didn’t have access to equipment. At first I considered just running up and down my staircase (I remembered it was something my boss told me she did when she hadn’t gotten enough daily steps in on her Fitbit and it was too late for her to hit the gym or take a walk). The first day I made it into a game, like how fast I could clear the stairs or if I could do interesting footwork to keep it from being repetitive, but I quickly got bored on day two. I took to Pinterest to find a variety of different at home workouts that switch what you’re doing daily so you don’t get bored and opt to lie on the couch and watch Netflix instead.

4.      I also needed some kind of stimulating knowledge since I wasn’t really getting effective learning from online classes. I used to use Duolingo to help me study German when I was enrolled in classes at the University last year. I began to pick German back up again and it’s been a really great decision to keep me occupied but not wasting my time.

5.      Lastly, I made it a goal to clean something around the house, even if it was super small like organizing the junk drawer. I considered it a small accomplishment that I probably wouldn’t have done if I wasn’t stuck in the house, and that made me feel like I at least made use of my time for something that would benefit me after we’re no longer quarantined.

If I’ve finished all those things, I settle down and watch some Netflix before bed. It’s starting to feel like a reward system that almost motivates me to get out of bed in the morning. Like the sooner I do some productive things, the sooner I can binge watch tv. It also helps me to not go completely crazy while I’m staying at home! If you’re struggling to be productive like I was during quarantine, why not give these things a go and see if they fit into your life as well. Regardless, I hope everyone stays safe during these hard times.