Keeping a Routine and Staying Productive during Coronavirus

on March 26, 2020 • Grace

In a time of change and uncertainty, it is important to try to keep to some sort of routine going in your day. Dr. Steve Orma, a CBT clinical psychologist says by creating a set schedule for doing chores, work tasks, meetings, exercise, paying bills, and all the usual things you need to do will help reduce stress. Once this becomes your normal routine, it’s easier to accomplish everything, because it becomes a habit.” So here is some advice on how to keep your routine despite the change that Coronavirus has inflicted on our lives.

Start Your Mornings Early

We now have plenty of time on our hands but waking up early each morning creates better discipline and structure. According to recent studies, morning people are reportedly more productive, proactive, happier and healthier than night owls. Science doesn’t lie!

Winston Churchill, for example, woke up at 7:30am every day. He didn’t, however, get out of bed until later in the morning, instead of spending those early hours preparing for the day by eating breakfast, sorting through his mail and reading the national newspapers.  Now that we are in no rush to beat the morning traffic, what better way to start the day!

If you are not a morning person try setting your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier tomorrow morning. Then, as you adjust, set it another 15 minutes earlier. (Hint: This also means going to bed 15 minutes earlier. Don’t sacrifice on your seven hours just to be the first bird to catch the worm, as that is the perfect recipe for burnout.

Plan Your Day To Eliminate Decision Fatigue

By taking the time to review your tasks for the day and schedule everything from workouts to breaks to homeschooling the kids, you’ll experience more productive days that are also more manageable and less stressful. 

A well-thought-out plan also helps to eliminate decision fatigue, which happens when you spend so much of your energy making small decisions that you are too tired and drained to decide when it really matters. 

Plan for the following day the night before in order to avoid decision fatigue. You can do this in the format of a to-do list and daily calendar.

Commit to Daily Exercise

Even if your goals don’t revolve around fitness or your health, a daily exercise routine is essential for your mood and productivity. That’s because getting your body moving helps you stay focused, think clearer and combat stress and this is really important right now. 

For some inspiration, here are some people and companies that are offering great home workouts:

If your daily routine already feels jam-packed, between trying to work from home and homeschooling the kids don’t fret: your daily exercise doesn’t have to be lengthy or super intense. Try:

  • Taking a walk every day, or walking your dogs every morning. 
  • Practicing 15 minutes of yoga before bed, or 15 minutes of stretching when you get up. 
  • Having a quick dance session to your favorite playlist in the mornings or afternoons (fun and silly to do with the kids also!)

Upskill and Read

Motivation doesn’t last forever, especially when you are doing the same things over and over. Because of that, keep looking for new inspiration, skills, and knowledge. 

There are a number of websites that offer a range of free MOOCs (massive open online courses) courses accredited by top universities such as Harvard and Trinty. They offer a variety of courses for free. If you are looking to come out of this isolation period with an added string to your bow well take a look at the links below for some upskilling inspiration.

If you don’t have time for a full course try to stay current and inspired by making time for daily reading. It’s easier than it sounds. Try:

  • Subscribing to newsletters from websites or companies that align with your goals.
  • Reading an article.
  • Listening to audiobooks while you cook dinner. 
  • Start an inspirational book and reading 15-minutes of it every night before bed. 

Take Some Time to Reflect and Meditate

With everything going on in the world it’s important to take a moment every day to reconnect with your purpose and yourself. What better time then to try to start meditation to calm and compose our minds.

While meditation sounds like something reserved for the crystal shops of the world, a surprising number of people swear by it. That may be because of its very real physical and mental benefits, such as the release of feel-good endorphins that help you feel less stressed and more motivated. 

Tennis champion Novak Djokovic also saw amazing results from meditating. After experiencing an injury that took him out of the game, he started incorporating daily mediation into his routine, which helped him get back in touch with his purpose and passion. As he says, “I’ve had to rediscover this inner joy of motivation, of playing. And not only to win or lose but playing for the sake of enjoying the game.”

If you’re new to meditation, start with short, guided practices. There are various meditation apps that are free to download, as well as YouTube tutorials. Or, if sitting in silence doesn’t feel like your thing, you can also try different forms of meditation, such as journaling, yoga or practicing gratitude. 

So try as much as you can to stick to some sort of routine to maintain a good headspace and a healthy body.

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