As news spreads that Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been spreading across the globe to the point that it has now been declared a pandemic, and we are seeing entire countries shut down and people are being forced to self-isolate in their homes, we are seeing a tremendous amount of anxiety, fear and panic in supermarkets, shopping centres, in the streets, on social media platforms, and in the news. Even in countries such as Australia where the Coronavirus situation is not yet as serious as other countries, we are still seeing a lot of behaviour driven by anxiety, fear and panic. This is especially the ‘panic buying’ of unnecessary stockpiling of items such as toilet paper which has also resulted in physically assaultive behaviour towards others and barging supermarket trollies in front of others in line at the checkouts in order to get served first. It seems as though the fear surrounding this is becoming more of an issue than the effect of the actual virus on physical health itself. This is to not downplay the seriousness of this virus, as yes, it is a serious situation for mainly people who are elderly, have a co-morbid medical health condition, or have a compromised immune system. Rather this article is about putting it into perspective and finding effective ways that we personally can get through this current world event that is affecting all of us.
We have already written a blog article on this yesterday titled: Dealing with Corona Virus (COVID-19) Fear & Panic which detailed 10 tips on how to deal with the actual anxiety surrounding this issue. However, last night and this morning I have been thinking even more about this situation and how best to help people across the world take a different approach for dealing with this pandemic that most of us in this lifetime have never seen before. The angle I have been thinking about just now is about utilising this time to increase productivity. As previously mentioned, a few countries have already gone into entire shutdown where they are forced to stay in our homes. I’m no virologist expert, though common sense from what statistics and other news updates I have been looking at regarding this situation tell me is that Australia could probably experience something similar to other countries with a shutdown. Now, just to get this out of the way, IF this does happen, it does not mean that our country is shutting down because we all are going to get extremely sick and die from this virus. From the live statistics, that’s just not the case. But rather, if a shutdown does happen, it is to slow down and hopefully stop the spread of the virus as some people won’t be able to handle and recover well from the virus. This does not mean if you contract it, that you won’t be okay. If we go back to the statistics, most people (about ~94%) who contract the virus have not much more than mild symptoms and recover well from the virus. The issue is spreading it and it affecting people who might not handle it as well. So, let’s put that catastrophising back into perspective. If you are worried about your body’s capacity to recover from the virus IF you do contract it, make sure you follow the recommendations of your country’s health authorities such as following hygiene practices and social distancing etc. on top of that, keep your immune system as strong as possible with fresh fruit and vegetables and natural health supplements recommended by health professionals such as your local naturopath or doctor, get good sleep, and DON’T worry and stress so much about this situation as stress is just going to weaken your immune system.
Okay now we have that out of the way, let’s get back to the point of this article. Productivity. If you do have to spend less time outside of your house doing work, errands, and fun activities that you normally enjoy and you have to spend more time inside of your home, let’s talk about ways to make the most of this situation, rather than getting negative about the way this is impacting on your daily life i.e., stopping you from doing things that you normally can do outside of the home.
If you do have to spend more time doing less of what you normally do, right now is no better time to spend more doing more of what you normally do not do! What is it that you have been putting off, and putting off, week after week, month after month, and maybe even year after year? Usually because life gets in the way, work gets in the way, or we just procrastinate. Now is the time to start looking at those tasks, projects and hobbies. Below I am going to give you some ideas to get the ball rolling.
People often want to achieve or have things, but don’t often make a plan on how to get to those goals let alone then stick to the plan by taking those necessary action steps. Use this time to do exactly this. What are your short- and long-term goals? Which are your most important goals? What’s your plan to achieve those goals? Break it down into “SMART” goals where your goal is S = Specific, M = Measurable, A = Attainable, R = Realistic, T = Timely and then start taking those necessary action steps to achieve the goal, and every day and week review your progress towards achieving the goal. Are you heading in the right direction, or do you need to adjust your level of action?
Has there been a language that you have been interested in learning but haven’t gotten around to starting it? Now is a good time to do it, whether it be learning Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, Japanese, or some other language. These days there are many fantastic apps to make it easier and more available for you to learn a new language.
Is there a business idea you have had in mind that you have wanted to get up and running? What’s stopped you from getting it going? Was it fear? Not making the time to get started? Not knowing where or how to start? Right now is no better time to start getting your side hustle business idea together and start taking action on it, especially as it’s a time when many jobs are going to be affected. What is a side hustle idea that could be a needed product or service during such economic times? If you are not sure, start following people in the business world and use them as mentors to learn from and see what they recommend for right now. Then when you come up with an idea, figure out a way to start taking action to get this side hustle off the ground. Get specific on the idea, what your goals are with it, how you need to implement it, and start taking what action needs to be taken first. Don’t forget to use the help of your mentors online, on the phone, or from books for this.
With the availability of cloud-based software nowadays, it’s a very easy way to start learning new skills of how to create projects on your computer. Adobe Creative Cloud is one such type. It’s a great software package that I use myself for many things. There’s applications to create illustration designs, graphic designs, audio and video clips, amongst many more. This could be to create vector images, a new business logo, graphics for a website, a new book cover, a music file, a short film, digital photo editing, and the list goes on. Check out their website to get the full run down of apps. Other ideas could be software to do interior or architectural design.
Many people these days have some sort of muscle tightness, stiffness or injury going on whether it be from poor posture, sitting too much, sporting injury, accident or some other cause. When we have any sort of musculoskeletal issues going on, even though we know we should be doing our physio rehab exercises, or at least even stretching the body out, we just simply don’t tend to make the time for it. If you have to spend more time at home at the moment, now would be the time to stop making any excuses and get to doing those exercises daily. Even just doing a bit of stretching out your hamstrings daily for 5 minutes would make a big difference over the next 14 days or several weeks.
Is there a particular area that you have been wanting to learn more about to perhaps even implement in your life? Perhaps this could be learning about trading and investing, how to be more effective with money and create budgets and save, or learning how to renovate your home, or how to make decorative cakes for special occasions that you might want to start a side hustle for. Now is the time to start learning about this topic in more depth. There are loads of free and paid eBooks, audiobooks, google articles, and YouTube videos on so many topics these days. There are also loads of free and paid webinars available as well.
There are many online courses that are readily available to start online, anything from nutrition to business to real estate and so much more. Courses can be made available through Udemy, Open University and others. Have a google of online courses in a topic you’re interested in and see what’s going.
If you are like many people, your house is probably at least a bit disorganised or untidy. Use this time in isolation to get your house into order. Clean out and organise your fridge, kitchen cupboards, pantry, storage cupboards and your garage. Perhaps even go through your clothes and sort out the ones that you want to keep and bag the ones you want to give away to charity because you don’t use them anymore. Do an early spring clean of your bed linen and window curtains. If you have a carpet shampooer, pull this out and start cleaning your carpets and lounges. Getting your hands dirty and busy will surely make the hours of the days in isolation pass a whole lot quicker and you will feel a lot better for it!
This is only a few ideas to get you started. Not all of these are going to suit you, however, use it as a way to get your brain to start thinking of ideas that are going to suit you and take the action needed to get it done. Take the action that when you get to the end of this isolation period and life goes back to normal, that you can look back on this downtime and be proud of how you used this time productively to get yourself closer to your desires and goals.
If you have a business, there is probably a whole lot of work that you could catch up on from your computer at home, whether that be frontend and backend administration, updating your website, bookkeeping and accounting, dealing with employee matters, updating your business and marketing plans and budgets. Use this time to get ahead with your business to make it effective moving forward with the current economic times.=
Let us know what ideas you have come up with and what action you’ve decided to take to get through this COVID-19 self-isolation period!
Stay safe, look after your loved ones, keep stress down, and be happy and healthy. That’s what it’s all about.