All That Extra Time!
So, tell me, what are you doing with all that extra time?!
Now you’re on lockdown, and you’re spending your whole day at home, you’ve got all this extra time, right?!
Every second post I see online or on social media is telling me I have oodles of extra time now that I’m not:
– commuting to/from work
– wasting energy on meaningless meetings
– eating out
– going to the pub
– not dropping off/picking up the kids from school
– no kids sports to taxi driver to
We’re living in a time rich, productivity utopia!
If this was a financial reward, it would be akin to winning the lottery!
Now we’re bombarded with the things we should be doing to monopolise all this extra time:
– Paint every inch of everything
– Fix up that piece of furniture
– Start that new workout programme
– Become the gourmet chef you always wanted to be
– Homeschool the kids
– Walk the legs off the dog
And yet, what have you done.
Why? Because you’re human, that’s why!
For the first week or two, the lockdown was a novelty.
This strange scenario where you don’t have to get up super early to battle the traffic or get to the gym because you know you won’t after work. Where you get to play with the kids in the morning or take them with you when you walk the dog.
Then the reality starts to set in.
Yes, you’re still expected to get work done, but now you’re perched on the side of a table with everyone else. Those lazy mornings laying in bed with your laptop are now hours of frustration competing for underpowered wi-fi and suffering a sore back and eyes.
You’re less productive but it takes up more of your time.
It’s increasingly more difficult to drive a wedge between work and home life because now they’re both as one.
It feels like there’s no escape. You’ve become a virtual prisoner in this supposed utopia.
One of the best tools for being productive is the list.
Make a list of all the things you want to get done, then tick them off as you go.
You’ll feel super successful and extra productive.
But now, you’ve got all your normal daily responsibilities, PLUS all this extra stuff you’re going to get done now you have a whole heap of extra spare time.
And now hows that list?
Mine spent last week staring at me accusingly as I achieved pretty much nothing on it!
You see, I’d filled it with so many additional tasks and chores, that I was paralysed into inactivity!
Then I found a way to take the pressure off of me, and to be productive without beating myself into the ground!
The Three-Step Solution
Try this. We’re going to get you into the grove of grading your to-do’s, so we put a little perspective on things, and save your mental health!
Draw a simple table, three columns wide and four columns deep.
Put Needs, Likes and Niceties across the top. (I’ve put mine below so you can see how simple this is)
|Drink 2l Water daily
|Clean out the garage
|Eat 40g protein each meal
|Service the rower
|Start that new book
Start with Needs.
Pick three things that you know you need to do to focus on your wellbeing. For me, drinking water daily, eating a certain amount of protein each meal and making sure I journal at the end of each day puts me well ahead of the curve.
Next, work on your likes.
Pick three things you’d like to do if you had space and time. These tasks shouldn’t be essentials, just things you’d like to get done.
Thirdly, pick some niceties
These are non-essential, niceties that you wouldn’t normally get done.
How to use this table
1st – Get all your needs done. Do this daily for two to three days
2nd – If after a couple of days you’re finding you’re knocking off your three needs, you’re good to start in on your likes.
3rd – If you are in the groove, your needs are being met, and you’ve got through two of your likes, get after one of your niceties.
Hopefully, this approach will allow you a little room to manoeuvre, and to treat yourself a little more sympathetically, whilst allowing you the great feeling of success.
It’s an adjustable approach, so you can swap out things if circumstances change, but stick to three things in each column, and stick to the process of completion.