How Productive Should We Be During a Pandemic?
I'm not productive enough? A question that popped into my head during my fourth week of being in COVID-19 lockdown. After four weeks of having more free time, I felt I should have accomplished more, but instead, I had let time slip through my fingers.
Why was I questioning my productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I was seeing a lot of messages on social media right now about how being in lockdown is an opportunity to tackle your to-do list, be productive and get things done. This notion of being more productive is based on the fact that many people now have more free time on their hands and should be able to get more done. I started to reflect on this and completely understood the whole sentiment around it, more available time the more stuff we can get done; makes sense, right?
But I was left wondering:
How do you be productive while there is a global pandemic? For many people, myself included COVID-19 has brought some anxiety, uncertainty, overwhelm and mushy brain syndrome. These are not exactly the ideal ingredients for being super productive.I reflected on this a little more, and what was obvious, is COVID-19 has resulted in large amounts of loss. Some of these losses include loss of life, loss of loved ones, loss of jobs and the loss of a way of life that we once knew. Going through loss requires time to process and understand it and also time to grieve. To be asked to be super productive during a time of loss and grief is a little unfair. After all, we never tell a person who has just lost a loved one to be more productive; instead, we give them time to grieve.
I have come to understand that for me, the last four weeks have been about taking the time to reflect and process what is happening, I have mourned, and now I feel more ready to plan and move forward, my mind is a lot clearer now.
My view has now changed; it's no longer about how to be productive during a pandemic; instead, it's about focusing on what I can and need to do to get through it. My main focus is ensuring I keep on top of the basics:
keeping the house clean and in order
staying connected with others
All these essential life tasks might be all that you can do right now. And that is okay. And where I can, I will tackle more substantial projects that are on my list, but without the pressure of having to get them all done. So, if you can tick some of the more significant projects off your to-do list that's great, but know there is no right or wrong type of task you should be doing right now, let's focus on getting through COVID-19.
The other thing I have experienced over the last four weeks is how much my energy levels have fluctuated. There have been days when my energy levels are high, and there are other days when they are low. During my low energy periods, I turn to my activation toolkit to boost my energy, some of the things in my kit include:
going for a walk
writing a gratitude journal, no really this does help
music, I seem to get a lot of cleaning done while listening to Celine Dion
During this pandemic, we will all continue to experience different levels of motivation and emotions, so please go easy on yourself. And please don't feel pressured to be super productive and tackle everything off your to-do list right now. Instead, focus on what you can and need to do to get through this challenging event.
Finally, if you are struggling with your mental health during this time, reach out to a family member or a friend for support or consider speaking to a qualified mental health professional, below is a list of some online support I found within Australia:
Be safe and take care.
Joey Camilleri Professional Organiser Creating Positive Spaces Melbourne, Australia firstname.lastname@example.org 0401 149 185
Disclaimer: I'm not a psychologist or mental health worker; this is my view on where I am at regarding COVID-19, seek you own professional advise where required.
Cover Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash