One Percent

The whole concept of time has changed amid the quarantine period. People have taken on the reality of managing their life from a kitchen table or living room couch. Some of us are lonely, bored and anxious. Some of us are overstimulated by duties that tripled overnight. How do we manage our time so that it still serves us?

1. Create a schedule
For those of us that suddenly have an empty social life or those that are overwhelmed by working full-time and making sure kids finish school, our schedules have changed dramatically. One of the best ways to take back your power in this situation is to create a schedule that gives your day meaning and ensures that you care for yourself. Schedule live fitness classes on Zoom, run outside two miles a day, attend a virtual happy hour or networking session, attend a drive-by birthday party, etc. Make sure you delineate between your work and when you do other things so you don’t end up in front of your computer all day. Try to keep it normal, but if you end up working a few hours in the evening because you spent three hours helping your child with schoolwork during the day don’t sweat it. Just make sure you don’t work all night. Keep it realistic. Don’t worry, you can write a new schedule every day if you want to!

2. Exercise
Make time for exercise! Don’t give up on your new year’s resolutions just because life changed significantly. There are so many online fitness courses to take right now and gyms have quickly ramped up online classes for members. If you absolutely need people to work out with, there are even several organizations that offer live virtual fitness classes to keep people motivated. If all else fails, go outside and walk around the block several times a day. If you have kids, take a daily break from school and work at the park or in the backyard and make sure that it is equally about you as it is for them. Play soccer, create family-friendly obstacle courses, race each other … just make sure everyone’s heart is racing. This is an excellent opportunity to make exercise a habit for everyone!

3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Work on your communication skills with the people you live with, as well as those you work with. If it’s not working for you voice your concerns and frustrations, as well as suggest a compromise that might work for everyone. It might take you a few tries to get it right, but eventually you will. Don’t be afraid to bend the rules a little bit. You aren’t living or working in your normal space right now and emotions are high. Give yourself, your co-workers and your little ones the grace and space needed to feel comfortable. However, make sure you set boundaries (this ties back to creating a schedule!) to make sure that you accomplish tasks by the end of every day. For example, schoolwork has to be done before 2 pm, no work calls after 6 pm, run every morning at 7 am, etc.

So many of us talk about changing things in our life to make ourselves feel more empowered. This really is an opportunity to assert yourself more at work, incorporate more exercise, try a new hobby, engage with family members more, carve out time just for you or to ask for more help. We all make choices every day, and ultimately, we choose what and who is part of our life. I like to think of this as the One Percent Rule. Do one percent better than the day before and before you know it you will see a difference!

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