Now that we’re all home and have more solo time on our hands, I find myself frequently thinking about what I can accomplish that I normally wouldn’t have time for — without the long commutes, evening plans and weekend outings that normally need to be heeded before scheduling anything extra. No, I’m not talking about sitting in front of the TV and binge-watching shows on Netflix for hours on end, even though that is a completely acceptable way to pass some time! I’m talking about taking this time to reevaluate my habits and building more productive ones that will better serve me in the future.
As a publicist at a PR Agency in Los Angeles, I know how unmanageable life can feel — the piled up deadlines, meetings and myriad other unpredictable events (or event cancellations) that often pop up in our work and personal lives can make us all feel like we need to hit pause and slow down, but can’t. Now that I’ve had some time to slow down and pause over the past couple of weekends, I thought of habits I can put into practice during this time — and since it’s my turn to contribute to Konnect‘s blog, I figured I’d share them with you. It’s hard to say when self-isolation will be over, so let’s just assume it’s enough time to make some of this stick (typically proven to be 21 days)!
Putting the Phone Down
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a little too attached to my phone. But I’m not the only one. Mindlessly scrolling through apps like Instagram and Tik Tok for hours a day is something the majority of us are guilty of, with studies showing that 75% of Americans are addicted to their phones.
When the Shelter in Place mandates started rolling out, I made it a goal of mine to only look at my phone when I receive an important notification that requires my immediate attention or to call a friend to catch up. In doing this, I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting better sleep and am reaching for my phone less.
Setting a Morning Routine
Now that I no longer have to commute to work (beyond the few steps from my bed to my desk), I have plenty of extra time in the morning for more of a routine. Making my bed, actually eating breakfast, pouring myself a cup of tea or coffee — all of these have become a sort of grounding ritual for me in the morning. I’ve noticed that getting up at least one hour before working from home helps me settle into my morning routine and sets the tone for how the rest of my day will go.
Creating a Budget and *Actually* Sticking to It
Like so many people across the country, I’ve been ordering my groceries through delivery apps, which makes impulse purchases available at your literal fingertips. It is so easy to mindlessly add items to a cart and then — BOOM — you’re up to your eyes in hundreds of dollars of “groceries” in your virtual cart.
On the weekends, I set up a spreadsheet that breaks down week-by-week allotments of how much money I am going to budget for my specific needs. Take out is constantly tempting (especially from the standpoint of helping out hard-hit local businesses), but I’m also limiting myself to ordering out once a week. We can have it all — just in moderation!
Spending a Few Minutes to Tidy Up
More time spent at home means there’s more time to create a mess. How many dishes can one family go through in one day?! Instead of letting your space become overrun with clutter after a couple of days, I find that setting aside just 10 minutes each day to tidy up makes a huge difference (and helps relieve stress). When I finally close out of my email at the end of the day, it’s nice to have a less cluttered room to relax in. It really is the little things these days 🙂
Picking Up A New Skill or Hobby
I recently learned that many reputable universities are offering free virtual classes. I’ve always wanted to learn to code, and now that Stanford is offering a free class I’m excited to learn more about it and eventually (hopefully) create some creative content. All you have to do is sign up and be accepted. Here’s to picking up some more transferrable skills!
Again, I want to qualify all of this by assuring you that I’m no expert on the subject of weathering a quarantine. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting cozy on the couch, binge-watching shows if that helps you get through it. But, personally, by looking at this situation as a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence (hopefully!), I’m looking forward to taking this time to learn, grow and harness more of my potential.