Stir Crazy Yet? Here’s How Time Management Can Help

Time management doesn’t sound solution, but if this resembles your day-to-day life, keep reading…

dog on couch time management
Photo by Paolo Nicolello

Have you been:

  • Wearing the same sweatpants since last Thursday,
  • Spending more time online than asleep, or
  • Getting addicted to this Smores cereal that I discovered that’s basically crack and gorging yourself on more and more is literally the only thing you have left to live for?!

For many of us, binge-watching a docuseries about a gun-obsessed gay polygamist seducing young straight men with tigers and meth has become the new normal. However, even after finished Tiger King and came to the conclusion that Carole killed her husband, you’re back to having a case of the blahs.

It’s very easy to get or feel lost during this time. Jeans and slacks are collecting dust, no one knows what day it is, and the government just announced that we’re going to continue staying quarantined through April 30th. Unless you’re an essential employee, work for you has likely either slowed or stopped entirely. By creating a clear divide between ‘work time’ and ‘home time’ you will feel more productive, more accomplished, and help the time go by faster. 

Let’s not treat April the way most of us treated the last two weeks. By scheduling some of your time each day to work or work-like activities (i.e. admin work, chores, doing those projects you keep putting off, etc.) you’ll find yourself feeling more productive, more accomplishing, and the time will go by faster. 

Here’s an example of what a typical schedule for me would look like during this quarantine:

My Quarantine WFH Schedule

Will I follow this down to the minute? Probably not, but by creating this schedule I’m giving myself a helpful guide to follow so that I can better stay on task. You’ll also notice that I’ve omitted weekends from this list. That’s because we need days off whether you’re working or not. By treating your usually days off like they really are your days off, you’ll maintain a sense of normalcy in this very unusual situation.  

Before You Get Started

 

Time management is an important skill to have both during, before, and after being quarantined. Before writing out a schedule for the week via a Google Sheets template, Google Calendar, Business Calendar, or something similar, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are your goals for the day/week?
  • Roughly how long will it take to accomplish them?
  • How many hours per day during your ‘workdays’ are you committing to working?
  • What order do these tasks have to be done in?
  • Are you adding enough extra time – just in case?
  • Is this schedule realistic?
  • Will this how you achieve a positive work-life balance?

After the first day or two, revisit your schedule and making changes as needed. If you need to devote an extra hour to emptying your inbox, or if cleaning your closet only took one hour instead of two, make those adjustments. 

Final Note on Time Management

Treat your workdays like you would a regular workday. This means that you need to get out of those pajamas and put on your work clothes – or at least clothes that you’d typically wear while running errands. This will help get your mind in work mode and keep you from starting that Grey’s Anatomy marathon at 10 in the morning (16 seasons?! Holy hell!). Here are a few others things that you should also be doing during this time.

This is a weird time for all of us. Social/physical distancing can lead to increased depression for many of us and/or leave you feeling lethargic. My happiest days since the quarantine started have been spent writing posts like this one and treating my workdays like they’re just that: workdays. Time management has worked for me. I’m hoping that it’ll work for you, too. 

Stay tuned – there’s a lot more to come for this blog series. Here’s that template again, and if you have any tips or tricks or want to share your schedule, please do so below.

And for those of you who have finished Tiger King, check out these wickedly funny memes.

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