During this new world of quarantine living, our schedules (or lack thereof) have become a major talking point. Admittedly, I struggled significantly the first week working from home and I’m an introvert. Also, I normally find working from home extremely rewarding. However, with all the confusion and anxiety around COVID-19, I just felt stuck. I felt as if I was out of sync and had a lot of trouble focusing. Which, I found disturbing since previously I had a schedule that I did a good job sticking to.
Back in September, I returned to Jamaica to attend a friend’s wedding. I was just starting to feel settled in a new job as well as feel more comfortable living in NYC. It takes time to grow into the changes that we make in life. For me, I finally felt like I was at the point where I felt comfortable with my current bandwidth and capability and wanted to accomplish more. So, I took out my phone, opened the Notes app and wrote down my ideal day.
That schedule was working great. Sure, some days were a wash, but generally speaking, I felt like I had an anchor to re-align whenever I strayed. I had a foundation that supported the goals I wanted to accomplish. “Show me your calendar and I’ll tell you your priorities.” More often than not, my days reflected my priorities. Right up until the quarantine went into full swing and I had to start over again.
It takes time to grow into the changes that we make in life. In this case, the changes were independent of my doing but they were taking place none-the-less. I know I wanted to start moving towards having more productive days, but I just felt stuck. So, starting from zero, I asked my friends what they were doing to see what I could steal and apply for myself. This is pretty much how my first few weeks played out.
Zombie Mode. I didn’t get much done for myself. I ate ice cream and cookies all week long. But, I started asking what everyone else was doing.
I started getting my habits back on track. I meditated every day. I woke up at the same time a couple of hours before work.
I meditated all week long. I started running every day (except Friday, that was a struggle). I started reading every day (except Friday, struggle bus). I also kept waking up early each day.
Where I’m At Today
Today, I have the outline of a schedule that has been working well, but not perfectly. Some mornings, I can’t get up. Other mornings, I couldn’t get myself to go running. Then, there are the times when as soon as I get up, I need to get to work and get stuff done. All that being said, I have already started seeing the benefits of having an outline of what I want to get done every day -
Consistency - The best way to accomplish your goals is to have the discipline to work on what needs to get done over and over again.
Cultivating Habits - Maintaining healthy, personal habits is the key to growth and development, but also provides much need self-care.
Avoiding Creep - Work creeps, especially when working from home. Avoid always being on to allow your mind and body to rest and re-start.
Having a daily schedule where I don’t leave the things that matter to me up to chance has been a game-changer. In full transparency, I know that having a lot of details around your day can feel stifling and robotic for some. While I do not agree, I understand.
Regardless of which side end of the spectrum you find yourself, remember that it’s ok to take time to recover when significant changes have occurred in your life. Spending some time thinking about how you will spend your days during said change could be the step needed to push forward.