There is no argument that staying at home for extended periods of time has not been the easiest decision for many. For the majority of the past year, you may have felt like the boundaries between work and personal life have been eradicated, resulting in you feeling like you are working a lot and enjoying life less.
Now, almost a year since the start of the lockdown for most places, it’s time to be more intentional with how you spend your time.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Set a Defined Working Schedule
Even if you’ve already been working from home before the pandemic and you were free to use your time as you pleased, the stay indoors may have removed the freedom you used to enjoy. Before, you were free to meet your friends and finish work afterward, but now, your employer may be more demanding and more exacting when it comes to your schedule. If this is the case, it’s time to accept the fact that your work schedule has indeed changed, and start working within that new schedule.
This schedule should not go beyond eight hours, and factor in some breaks as well. Beyond this schedule, let everyone at the office know that you will not be answering work-related emails and messages.
Use Your Free Time Productively
One of the reasons you feel you don’t enjoy life as much as you used to is because you may not be doing enjoyable things during your free time. If you’re laying in bed, watching endless YouTube videos, or simply scrolling through your phone mindlessly, you will notice time just passing by.
Remind yourself that your weekends and rest days are not just short intervals between workdays. These are full days you can use for learning a new skill, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, spending time cooking, buying cosmetic products online, or even catching up with friends. When you fill your rest days with tasks that will improve your life, you are caring for your future self instead of letting your time go to waste.
Create a Schedule of Things you want to Accomplish
A to-do list is not just for work-related tasks. In this technology era, plotting something in your calendar is the new version of “making time” for things you want to accomplish. Do you want to learn a new skill? Go ahead and carve out some time in your calendar. If your friends are important to you and you want to hang out with them, leave some room for it. Account for travel times and preparation times as well. If you know how much time it will take to prepare or reach your destination, add them to your calendar so that you will know exactly when to start moving.
When you’re staying at home for the majority of the time, it feels like you can’t really do anything. But that’s completely wrong. Whether you’re staying indoors or moving around outdoors, you have the same amount of time. It’s all just a matter of actively choosing how to spend it.