I personally have wished before not to have work or school for the week! I have wished that instead of waking up at 6:30am I could just sleep in all day and relax at home. Well now that is pretty much exactly what happened but a genie didn’t make this wish come true, COVID-19 did! Now that I do not have the option, I am forced to do online classes and my job has been furlo-
ughed. Although my wishes for laziness were probably not what lead to COVID-19, I still regret making them!
(to the right and is some of my family and I celebrating my little cousin's 2nd birthday over zoom due to COVID-19 quarantine)
In this blog I will be discussing my personal experience during this pandemic and some tips that might help with your time in isolation.
So do I go crazy or conquer quarantine?!
Quarantine has taught me better time management when working from home and how to maintain mental health during quarantine or isolation. It has been a very difficult transition for everyone and it will continue to be until we are all back to a completely new and less social state of life. Until then everyone is going to have to adjust and the ones who utilize this time effectively and strategically will come out smarter, stronger and better than before.
How I best manage time when working from home:
Everyone always talks about how they would love to have a stay at home job because, well, who wouldn’t want their warm comfy bed to also be their work desk!? The problem that a lot of people experience with this idea is that they find it hard to decide when their warm comfy bed is supposed to be a work desk and not their warm comfy bed! (I have that exact problem myself so if you are reading this and it sounds like you, well you aren’t alone.)
This is why my 1st tip for how I best manage time when working at home is to create a WORKZONE for yourself.
My WORKZONE is my kitchen table (as seen below), the desk in my room or on a nice sunny day sometimes the table in the backyard. For everyone during quarantine and for people who either work from home now or will most likely be working from home once this pandemic has passed, find a place that:
You feel comfortable enough to get work done for 20 to 30 minutes at a time (but not fall asleep!)
Somewhere with the least amount of potential distractions (that means for those who cannot see a notification on their phone without picking it up, PUT IT ON SILENT AND OUT OF SIGHT!)
Has all the required tools to get your daily goals accomplished.
That leads to my 2nd tip for time management when working from home that helps me tremendously. Write down a REALISTIC, PRIORITIZED and ORGANIZED list of DAILY GOALS!
Make sure you write down your list of daily goals the day before you want to accomplish them so you are ready as soon as your eyes open in the morning to crawl your way to that “workzone” and get things done!
Make sure to organize them so you know what should be the top priority for that day and write down next to it an estimate of how long you think the task/goal will take to finish/accomplish.
I highly recommend a daily planner to write down any deadlines for goals or assignments that are not a part of your daily goals already. You can easily order one online to be delivered to your home or make your own with paper you have at home based on templates online.
Here is one extremely important thing to remember when making this list of DAILY GOALS that will not only help with time management when working from home but also positively affect your mental health! This list of daily goals needs to be PERSONALIZED!
Everyone is different and has different moods, situations at home and capabilities! So know yourself and make a list of daily goals that reflect your mood and capabilities at the time. Make sure you have confidence that you can complete the daily goals you set for yourself. Do not make a list with 5 goals for the day that you think should take around 2 hours each...if you don’t want to do that math it should take about 10 hours to be successful that day? Unrealistic!
I am not saying you would be setting yourself up for failure however you are giving yourself some unrealistic goals for a single day that will make the day seem like an uphill battle from the moment you wake up! (I think I might call in sick today and treat "my desk at home” like "my bed" and not "my desk" all day instead of try to accomplish that list of goals!)
I have literally written the following list of DAILY GOALS for myself on a day
"1.) watch and take notes on the 20 minute personal branding lecture.
2.) Enjoy the rest of the day."
This wasn’t because I did not have other things that I should have probably started working on but it was the only thing that really needed to be done and the night before my mood was “I don't even want to wake up tomorrow let alone get out of bed!” So feel it out and make appropriate goals for yourself.
The 3rd tip that I do in order to best manage my time during quarantine and keep my mental health in a positive state is TAKE BREAKS!
People by law are required in the workplace to take breaks so make sure you give yourself 10 to 20 minute breaks every half an hour to an hour if you want. It may sound like you are taking a lot of breaks but this is crucial to maintain drive and energy for a longer period of time while working on and completing tasks at home. ( I took the picture of the rose seen below when I was walking around my street while taking a break from work last week!)
I make sure I do all of these tips and tricks I have given every single day in order to stay productive and finish university assignments and more!
So I can say I was successful the day I only completed one task/goal which only required me taking notes on a 20 minute video in a matter of 12 hours! It feels good when you can say you are successful today!
I have currently lost track of how many days I have been self-quarantining but I do know I am one week away from finals! I hate to say it but I am forced to put a few more daily goals on my list than I feel comfortable with because of deadlines but I enjoy a challenge and I have been feeling strong enough emotionally and mentally to challenge myself like this.
Keeping a positive and optimistic attitude during a global COVID-19 pandemic like the one we are currently experiencing is a constant challenge that I am sure many of us face.
I know I personally have lots of up days, and also down days where I am unable to complete my daily goals and stress about the everything happening now and even stuff that may or may not happen in the future! I always try to remember though, that tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to succeed and most importantly TRY YOUR BEST in accomplishing those daily goals!
Some of the important goals that I have set for myself and accomplished during quarantine as a marketing student are:
completing multiple marketing certifications such as Hootsuite Platform and an SEO Optimization certification online.
Managing a consistent diet and workout routine
Completing 5 business courses worth of assignments (so close! One more week!)
And the one that I am most proud of....
reaching out and volunteering to help create and manage social media campaigns for a non-profit dog shelter in Serbia! @dejans_sanctuary_for_dogs
I saw a video on @thedodo Instagram's account in which a gentleman by the name of Dejan Gacic was rescuing dogs that were being abandoned or abused. He was saving their lives by bringing them to the small shelter he built. Serbia has no animal rights so stray, lost or abandoned dogs & cats are brought into kill houses where they are killed within one week if no owner comes to claim them.
He is one man and since first opening the Vucjak Shelter and Wildlife Sanctuary in 1996 he has saved thousands of dog’s lives. He now has 700 dogs at the shelter, 1 full time employee, 3 volunteers and one amazing volunteer in Canada who runs 6 of their social media accounts with no social media marketing experience.
So while applying for internships I thought the best way to gain experience was reach out and ask if I could help!
So now I have one more thing to put on my list of DAILY GOALS but this is one I am passionate and more than happy to work on!
The things that I do in order to best manage my time when working from home and to make the best out of this unfortunate experience is get to my personal “WORKZONE”, write down on paper that list of realistic, prioritized, organized and personalized DAILY GOALS and to not forget to take breaks while checking those tasks/goals off your list!
This has helped me incredibly with my experience transitioning from in-class lectures to taking online classes at home and being isolated with only digital forms of socializing. Although I do a little bit of real socializing with my housemates (thank goodness I have awesome housemates!) .
Thanks for reading if you happen to be bored enough to actually read all the way through! Remember that we will get through this together! Don’t forget to reach out to friends or family and ask how their experience with the COVID-19 pandemic is going!