April 6, 2020

How to Race Against
Too Much Time


With social life on pause and no place to go, I was excited to get into project mode. Look how much time we have! Well, a month into quarantine, I’m finding that none of these initiatives have gained momentum.

In fact, my inspiration is at an all-time low! I get distracted within minutes of picking up a book, my screen time is up 12% and, you guessed it, I’m consuming more media than ever before (thanks, Tiger King).

Then it dawned on me. My former lifestyle of bouncing from one activity to the next gave me the energy and space to focus. Taking advantage of those little pockets of time helped me prioritize and keep things moving.

So, with at least another month of this new normal, I wanted to find a way to shove my ever-changing lifestyle into a single place. Here’s a list of tips to create more physical and mental space for increased focus and motivation.

  • Establish a routine. I’m learning more and more that I’m a creature of habit, so why not use this time to lean into it? Set a sleeping schedule. Never miss a Monday workout. Unwind with a book before dinner. Shut off the screen 30 minutes before bed. Stick to it.
  • Write it down to hold yourself accountable, or better yet, tell a friend your quarantine goals and do them together!
  • Dedicate blocks of time for each type of task. I bucket my tasks into five categories folks like us can relate to: administrative tasks (i.e. emails, organizing), meetings, creative (writing, designing, building a presentation), review (editing, providing/gathering feedback) and education (reading articles, training). Designate a room or chair for each type of task.
  • Got a roommate? Clue them in. Once you’ve established your schedule for tomorrow, talk with your housemates the night before. This way, you can shuffle between the different areas of the house and the times of day you’ll do it — like meeting rooms at the office.
  • Make an “on-air” sign when quiet time is needed. It can be as blunt as “do not disturb” or as fun as “on air.” Make a streetlight, hang it on your door. Go nuts.
  • Take advantage of spring: work outside. Even if it’s only 10 minutes, soak up our newfound sun. The Midwest is about to get good.
  • Take frequent breaks to get out of your space. Carve 3-4 times in the day to check in with yourself. Make a cup of tea, turn the laundry, shoot some hoops, stretch or pick up lunch from a local restaurant. We don’t have the luxury of a simple hallway chat, so get creative with what that brief downtime looks like.
  • Make your space your own! Adorn your desk with a favorite scent, like a candle or houseplant. And be sure to keep it clean (we are reminded of this more now than ever).

What do you think? DM us on Instagram or Facebook to let us know how these work for you!