Maintaining A Productive Routine During COVID-19

Dated: 04/07/2020

Views: 25

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We’ve all started to adapt to the new reality that COVID-19 has thrust upon us. I’ve decided to share some tips on how I’ve been able to pivot into this new lifestyle, and I hope that this helps you to create a productive routine too.

 

I’ll begin by disclosing that I have a professional business coach. Coaching provides me with the support and guidance needed to make bold changes in my personal & professional life. I know that most of the people reading this article will not have access to the same support system, but these are simple steps that can be implemented by anyone so I wanted to share my journey in the hope that it provides you with a similar benefit. 

 

If anyone reading this is struggling to develop a routine then we should chat. Please feel free to comment or reach out to me directly and I will do my best to provide some support.

 

  1. CREATE A PLAN

 

Develop and stick to a schedule that creates a sense of normalcy and routine in your life. I use a technique called time blocking that allows me to build a weekly schedule through Google Calendar (I’m a Google user, but any calendar app will work). Every aspect of my life is in my calendar; if it’s not in my calendar, it doesn’t exist. 

 

I’ve found that it works well to start by defining the bookends of your day, or when you wake up and when you go to bed. Once you’ve established a consistent beginning and end to your day, you can fill in the middle. Create blocks of time in your day that allow enough time to complete scheduled tasks. As an example, I allow 90 minutes daily for my morning routine, which includes a shower, breakfast, light exercise, and most importantly, coffee! 

 

Once my morning routine is complete, I begin my scheduled work tasks for the day. I create one hour blocks of time for important tasks that I must complete throughout the day, and for me some of those tasks include things like checking email, contacting clients, reviewing MLS, attending webinars & video conference meetings, and various marketing activities. Time blocking allows you to visualize your daily tasks, and if necessary, move them around as needed. My tasks are colour coded and organized to provide clarity, and this also allows me to create a separation between my personal and professional life. At the end of each work day, it’s important to review your calendar and confirm that everything has been completed. If something was missed, the time block must be moved into a future time slot - don’t procrastinate! 

 

If you want to take this up a notch, I would suggest tracking your tasks with a spreadsheet. I’ve created a 90-day business plan specifically for the COVID-19 isolation period that measures every business task I complete. This added data helps me stay focused and on track.

 

  1. DEFINE YOUR SPACES

 

It’s important to view your home through a different lens. Does your living room double as a homeschooling classroom or a home gym? Something as simple as a yoga mat on the floor of your bedroom could create a dedicated work out space. 

 

A proper workspace is needed if you want to remain productive. If you have a dedicated home office that’s great, but if you’re in a tighter space then a kitchen table or small desk works just fine. Keep your space clean & organized, and avoid setting up in a space with too many distractions.

 

Be sure to consider the ergonomic impacts of your workspace, and remember that you should be taking regular breaks to walk around your home, have a stretch, and rest your eyes from screens. 

 

Take on the projects that you’ve been putting off. Take this opportunity to de-clutter your home, rearrange furniture into an optimal layout, and find ways to maximize the space that you have available. 

 

Many of you are probably familiar with Marie Kondo. If not, check out her series Tidying Up on Netflix for tips on how to tidy your space and transform your life. 

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  1. TAKE YOUR MEDS - MEDITATION, EXERCISE, DIET, SLEEP

 

Meditation

Meditation can impact both your mental and physical well-being through the elimination or reduction of stress. Alternatively, some people choose to use prayer, and that’s a perfectly suitable substitution for meditation if you prefer. Whatever you choose, the added focus on your mental health will help you achieve greater focus. 

 

Meditation is new to me, but I’m finding it beneficial as I learn to navigate the world of COVID-19. I use an app called Waking Up, which is a mediation course from a neuroscientist’s perspective. I turn off all distractions and spend 15-30 minutes daily focusing on my mindset and mental health. I’ve added a few other options below:

 

 

Exercise

This one should be obvious for everyone. Exercise is one of the most important things we need to stay consistent with while remaining socially isolated. We need to keep our bodies moving to remain healthy. 

 

I’ve been going on a one hour walk every afternoon, while trying to avoid high traffic areas like parks and the seawall. I do push-ups and crunches daily as part of my morning routine. I’ve been cycling to get some cardio and fresh air, or there are plenty of resources available online if you prefer to workout at home.

 

I use the Fitbit Charge 3 watch which allows me to track my daily exercise, or you could use one of the many smartphone apps that are available if you want a free option. Tracking your daily exercise and setting simple goals will help you stay focused. 

 

 

Diet

We’re all aware of the shortages that we’re currently experiencing at grocery stores, but it’s important to stay away from processed and junk foods as much as possible. Try to choose foods that provide nourishment and energy, and don’t forget to take your vitamins!

 

I’ve been noticing a lot of social media posts from friends that are taking this opportunity to experiment with new recipes - keep those videos coming! We’re all going to be doing a lot of cooking at home for the foreseeable future, so why not take the opportunity to improve your diet and culinary skills?

 

If you decide to order take-out, support local businesses. Try to avoid apps like Skip the Dishes or Door Dash, and instead order directly from the restaurant. The food delivery apps are convenient, but they take an unnecessarily large portion of the proceeds from the transaction and many restaurants actually lose money fulfilling those orders. 

 

 

Sleep 

Our sleep schedules have a major impact on our health and wellness, and tracking my sleeping habits has proven very beneficial. I use an app called Sleep Cycle that tracks the quality and patterns of my sleep. You need to use the app consistently to generate accurate data, but after a couple weeks you’ll begin to see patterns form. I’ve adjusted my sleep cycle to the recommendations of the system and it has led to increased energy levels and a feeling of being well rested. 

 

Consistency is key, and this ties into what I said above about creating bookends for your day. When you have scheduled times to go to bed and wake up, you’ll begin to see similar benefits. It’s easy to get caught up in a Netflix marathon, but an erratic sleep schedule will slow you down and reduce your general sense of well-being. I’ve added a few additional resources below to get you started on the right path.

 

Pzizz – App with sounds and voices designed to help you fall asleep. 

My Sleep Button – For those of you who get stuck on a thought that keeps you awake, use this app! Relax Melodies – Just like it sounds, music to lull you to sleep.

 

  1. STAY INFORMED, AVOID INFORMATION OVERLOAD

 

We’re constantly being bombarded with media updates about COVID-19, but it’s important to limit our intake. We all need to stay up to date on important health notices and recommendations, but the 24 hour news cycle can sensationalize stories and lead to added stress. 

 

Try to limit your media intake to once or twice per day, and make sure that you’re getting your information from trusted, credible organizations. There’s a lot of misinformation out there so we need to ensure that our updates are coming from a reliable source, and we all need to work to minimize the spread of misinformation. 

 

I’ve been tuning into the daily press conference with Minister of Health Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry, and I've found their updates to be clear, balanced, and informative. The Canadian response to COVID-19 has been proactive and based on scientific data, and I applaud the efforts from all levels of government in Canada.

 

It’s imperative that we follow the guidance of our elected leaders and officials. COVID-19 is a very real threat, and our actions in the weeks ahead will have a direct impact on our loved ones and on others in our communities. We will get through this, but we need to work together by staying apart. Stay informed, but avoid information overload.

  1. STAY CONNECTED

 

Technology allows us to stay connected with people across the world through social media, email, messaging services, video conferencing, and more. We’ve all been presented with an opportunity to take that technology and use it in a way that benefits your business or personal life. 

 

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve pivoted my business into the world of COVID-19 by going completely digital. I’m hosting and attending meetings via video conference, documents are being signed with digital signatures, and properties can be viewed with video tours and 3D floor plans. Real estate is a business that relies heavily on face to face interactions, but Realtors are doing our part to support the needs of our clients while maintaining physical distancing. 

 

I’m the type of person that chooses to view a glass as half-full. I’m trying my best to maintain a mindset that views COVID-19 as an opportunity, as opposed to a burden. I want to make the best out of a difficult situation, and I encourage you all to view this through a similar lens. 

 

We’re all busy people, and we all have to make choices about how we spend our time. Time is a finite resource, but we’ve all been given an opportunity to regain some of the time that we lost in the past. I encourage you all to use this opportunity to spend time with your family, host a happy hour or dinner party, reach out to old friends that you may have lost contact with, but all via video conferencing! 

 

It’s business as (un)usual in the world of real estate, but I’m here and I’m ready to support my clients in any way that I can. I’m hosting my buyer and seller consultations through the Zoom video conferencing system, so if you’re ready to make a move then I’m ready to help. If you just want to catch up over coffee, I’m ready to do that too. I want to support my clients and community during this pandemic, so if you need anything please get in touch.

 

I’d love to hear how all of you are coping with social distancing. Please leave a comment or send me a DM if you have any tips! 

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Blog author image

Chris Lambert

Hi, I’m Chris. I help people like you to buy, sell, and invest in real estate throughout beautiful British Columbia. I love what I do, and I’d love to help you too. I'm an experienced and hard w....

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