Right now we are all being asked to stay home. Some of us are working from home, while others are out of work completely. Either way, your daily routine is probably starting to fall to the wayside. We no longer have a daily commute and therefore we are all probably sleeping a little later and some of us may not be changing out of our pajamas at all.
If you have kids, maybe you have become a homeschool teacher all of the sudden. If you don’t have kids you may have decided to foster an animal, or maybe you’re spending this quarantine time completely alone. For introverts like myself, you’re probably thankful for the much needed alone time, but if you are extroverted, you could be starting to feel a little antsy.
The one thing we all can benefit from right now is routine. Regardless of what your new normal looks like, you need to create some semblance of a routine for your days. Everyday may not look the same, but everyday needs to have a schedule that you will follow.
Last week we talked about making the best out of this shutdown. We gave some goal setting examples and ideas on how you might be able to help your local community. Now, let's talk about creating a schedule for those ideas and start putting them into action.
What Does Your New Normal Day Look Like?
Before you can create a schedule, you need to know what activities your day is going to consist of. Will you workout? Are you trying to learn something new during this time? Do you have to teach your children? Are you still working?
You need to ask yourself these questions, and probably others before you can lay down a cohesive schedule.
Your basic daily outline should look like this:
Wake up time (approx. 7am)
Morning Routine: Breakfast, coffee, brush teeth, wash face, etc…
Our suggestion is a workout or mobility session depending on the day.
Decide how much time you want to spend here. 1 Hour is sufficient
Our suggestion would be to use this time for learning and spend 2 hours here.
Learn something new.
Homeschool kids if you have them.
Lunch time Or Snack time (approx. 12pm)
If you’re hungry at this point, eat.
If you are not ready to eat, use this as a 30 minute break time.
Activity # 3 - spend another 2-ish hours here.
If you are homeschooling or working from home this activity can be one of those things.
If you are a fitness enthusiast you can put a 2nd workout or mobility session in this slot.
If you are not working, use this time to continue a new hobby, file any paperwork you need to file, or virtual meetup with some friends.
Get Outside. Use this time to go for a walk.
If you need to get to the grocery store, you can do that during this time.
If you are still working, finish your workday here.
Homeschool finish up.
Not working, you may now allow yourself to watch a show or browse the internet.
Dinner (approx. 7pm)
Cook a meal in your kitchen and sit down to eat it.
Try to eat mindfully during this time.
Shower, teeth brushing, etc…
Whatever getting ready for bed looks like for you.
Wind down time
After getting ready for bed, take some time to calm your body and mind.
Read a book, stretch, meditate; do something that relaxes you and try not to use your phone.
Filling in Your New Schedule
Using the template above try to plug in your desired activities for the day. You may have more or less than what is in the template and that is fine! The goal is to be productive for the majority of the day while also allowing yourself leisure time.
You should aim to break up the day into blocks so that it doesn’t feel like everything is just running together. Once you have assigned a time slot to each activity you should stick to it as closely as possible. Use a calendar app like iCal, or Google Calendar to set up your schedule. Both of these calendars will send you reminders for all of your activities.
You need to think of each activity as meetings and do not cancel! Not only is a schedule going to hold you accountable but it will allow you to make sure you are making time for each of the activities that you want to complete each day.
You do not have to do the same activities everyday! However, you still need to make a schedule for every single day, whether they include the same activities or not. Naturally, weekends usually look different than weekdays; make a schedule for Saturday and Sunday.
Holding Yourself Accountable
Holding yourself accountable is the best skill that you can develop during this time. Use your daily schedule to practice accountability for yourself. Set alarms or reminders to help you stick to your schedule. When you don’t feel like doing something (and you will) remind yourself of WHY you should do it and how you will feel afterwards.
Use this time to master accountability. Become so good at sticking to a schedule that when this is over you will be able to adjust a new schedule faster than if you had spent this time doing nothing.
This is your opportunity to come out on the other side better than you were before. This is a time to learn and master something new. Improve your quality of life by starting NOW rather than waiting until this shutdown is over.
Focus on the Journey. The next chapter starts now.