Updated: Jun 21, 2020
Blog post written by,
Carolina Gaviria, LMHC, NCC, CEDS
The Covid-19 virus has brought to us big changes and overwhelming emotions. We had to adjust rapidly to the new health care practices to prevent the spread of the Corona Virus and learn a new culture to support community efforts. During these difficult times, self-quarantine by staying home is really important. We are now faced with the challenge to homeschool children and work from home while also taking care of ourselves and our relationships.
Spending time together is a gift but for many managing the work-home balance can be challenging. I get it. Many of us have a hard time transitioning between roles and wearing different hats. I know by the end of the day I’m exhausted, and really need a break!
Time management is a skill that many of us seem to learn through necessity but the problem with learning a skill this way is that, more often than not, old, negative habits creep in and we end up procrastinating or feeling overwhelmed when we decide to take action. Here are a few tips to consider for managing time effectively:
Make lists. Write as much down as you can. Continue to use your planner if you don’t have one use a notebook to create a daily list of things you need and want to complete. A simple To Do List is often a huge help and can help you stay on track with daily goals.
Create a daily routine. Set your alarm and start your day with a balanced breakfast and some exercise. It can be a yoga video or a short work-out. Then, take time to plan your day.
Balance your time. Designate times for work, family, meals, exercise, and self-care. It’s important to have time together and alone.
Concentrate on one thing. The human mind works more efficiently when it is focused and gets things done! Although at times, multitasking may seem like a more efficient route, it’s not. Recent studies suggest that our brains are not nearly as good at handling multiple tasks, as we like to think they are. In fact, multitasking seems to reduce productivity by as much as 40%.
Avoid procrastination at all costs. Procrastination tends to increase anxiety. Set times to work and have down time so you can stay energized.
Involve your family and delegate responsibilities. Sometimes we take on a lot in order to not deal with the disappointment and frustration of not getting things done. Later, we become resentful because “nobody is helping” and feel burdened. Have a family meeting and get them to choose a few chores. Even young kids can help in some way!
Limit distractions. Schedule break times. It can be having a coffee break or listening to music, watching a video or taking a walk around your home. Changing spaces can give you a new mindset and reenergize you. Set a timer to signal the end of a break.
Set goals for the future. The quarantine won’t be forever. Set goals for the future and make plans. You can create a vision board to have a visual prompt of what you want to do when the quarantine is over.
Let go of high expectations. Many people are saying that if you don’t walk out of quarantine with a new skill or hobby, you wasted your time. This isn’t true! Don’t allow other people’s ideas of what you should do with your time take over. Do what is right for you and lower your expectations if needed. Take care of yourself!
Include time to play. Try limiting your time on social media and the news. Make sure that you have down time and play time to counterbalance work and responsibilities.
Be in the moment. It’s important to take breaks from thinking about how things used to be or how they will be in the future. Let yourself come back to the present and deal with one thing at the time. The nostalgia of the past and the anxiety about the future can lead to feeling overwhelmed. Being in the present will help you stay grounded.
Set the emotional tone for the quarantine. How you respond emotionally to the current challenges influences how kids will respond. Offer the space to talk about feelings and be clear about expectations and time management on their part. Encourage them to make a list and stay on track with school assignments.
Reward yourself. Whenever you accomplish something, especially the important things, make sure to take the time to acknowledge what you accomplish and reward yourself. Remember to reward yourself with activities, not food or alcohol.
Don't overdo it! This is a trying time. Take it easy and allow yourself to get to a rhythm that honors who you are. It's OK not to have things perfect or do it all.
By taking active steps to manage your time during the quarantine
you can honor what you need and want to do. This time is challenging and it’s important to have compassion towards ourselves! Stay healthy and safe!
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