I don’t know what the quarantine has been like for you, but at times I’ve felt like I was on a roller coaster. Highs and lows so drastic I had to put my motivation in check. Until a week ago I had been handling it well. Then, I got a little unfortunate news and it put me in a tizzy. I was panicked and for a moment almost allowed it to drive my productivity down. With social media in our face more now, it’s tough not to indulge ourselves with useless content. It can also be bad for comparisons. Watching others who are constantly on their A-game when we want to tune into Netflix or nap in the middle of the afternoon. It can be daunting trying to find inspiration to stay motivated during Coronavirus.
Don’t beat yourself up over your daily status quo though. As long as you aren’t checking out all day everyday there’s nothing to worry about. We all need a breather from time to time. Working from home, keeping up with kids 24/7, or staying inspired to do anything after losing your job, is a job within itself. Why do you think self employed and entrepreneurs are constantly focused on time management? How would they ever be successful otherwise?
One of the things I’ve been doing that’s really helped me to stay productive during this time is set goals for each day. For example, my day might look like: cook a recipe, photography recipe, write a blog post with recipe. Walk/run two-to-three miles with Gatsby, work on my novel, take a bath and get ready for bed. Another day might entail binging half a season of a Hulu show (checkout Younger!), or spending the day painting and decorating.
Track your productivity daily by maintaining the same level of activity you had with pre-Coronavirus. Utilize the weekends, or two designated days a week, for things you enjoy. Break any toxic patterns of punishing yourself for not doing enough. The onset of burnout comes when you are trying too hard to do more than you can. It’s great to be encouraged, motivated and inspired. However, don’t let too much of a good thing become a bad thing.
This time working differently has helped me see where I should be spending my time. It’s taught me that slowing down is pertinent for a healthy mental and physical balance. Though we are nearing the end of the “safer at home” orders, it doesn’t mean life as we know it will be the way as it was before. It’s a gradual progression and a new learning curve for us all. Find a routine that works for you that leaves you feeling good about yourself. Someday’s I make a checklist and other days I wake up and decide I’m not doing anything on my list. It’s not bad to adjust your life as you go. Just make sure you eventually accomplish the things you are setting out to do so you don’t beat yourself up later.
If you are past the point of motivation and seeking inspiration to get back to work again, dive into passion projects, ideas, a good book or recipe. Find other ways to bring your passion back. When I feel lost I always write, paint or cook. Since I am a creative person, those things bring me back full circle and inspire something else within me to keep me going. The hardest part is feeling like there’s too much work to do, but that’s just fear and ego taking control. If you need a boost of energy start small, just start somewhere. Tackle one task at a time and eventually all the work will be done. The struggle isn’t a lack of inspiration, its fear of boredom or being overwhelmed. Look inward and ask yourself what you need to do to show up for yourself daily. Allow yourself to do just that.
During this new normal stop and appreciate what you are a part of. An entire world that is so much bigger than all of our small problems. Enjoy this human experience and accept that as humans somedays we are meant to checkout and do nothing.
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