Coronavirus Survival Guide

Time to turn on the alarm clocks again


Fourth Estate/Alexandria McAlpine

At this point, COVID-19 and the way that it has reoriented our lives is not brand new. We know that we should only leave the house when necessary and, hopefully, we have all developed a few strategies in order to keep our lives moving forward during the shutdown. So, I’m proposing that it may be time to turn the alarm clocks back on and feel a little guilty when we wake up at noon.

During the height of uncertainty that occurred a few weeks ago, anything that you could do in order to find some solace and peace was fair game. It was a crazy time and we were all dealing with a ton of drastic change.

Today, it may be time to look at this new situation as the current (perhaps not eternal) reality. Being at home presents new challenges, which I think require a bit of a different approach than life before COVID-19. Actively organizing your daily schedule is a fantastic way to deal with the ambiguity of being at home all day.

Unfortunately, being organized — especially with time — is challenging, and you have to approach the situation holistically if you want to be successful, so here are some tips.

Find a reasonable time to get out of bed

When there isn’t a specific time during the day that you have to get something done, I think the tendency is to assume that you can turn super-human and get it all done in four hours of intense concentration. So, while getting up in the early afternoon may feel great, it feels less great 12 hours later when you’re wondering where the day went. However, be flexible and reward yourself on the weekends or whenever you can afford it.

Schedule breaks, too

Being productive all the time is impossible. Period. When at home all the time, at least for me, it feels like you have to be doing something during every waking moment and on call 100 percent of the time. That isn’t the expectation during regular life, so make sure to find some time in the day to goof off, video chat with your friends and watch YouTube. Additionally, know when it is time to shut it down for the day.

Come up with a to-do list at the beginning of your day

Instead of trying to blow through task after task with no real direction or finish line, come up with a simple list of what you want to get done that is manageable. This will help you find some sense of accomplishment at the end of the day while keeping you motivated throughout.

Find a way to peacefully end your day

One of the biggest challenges for me has been finding any sort of healthy sleep cycle. Midnight, 2:30 a.m., 9:15 p.m., noon, 8 a.m., it all kind of feels the same. Finding a relaxing activity that you start at a certain time of day is essential. Reading a book, watching a show or talking to someone on the phone all work very well. Try saying, “at 11 p.m., it’s time to break out a novel and start winding down.”