When the pandemic first hit I will be the first to admit that I had no idea what to do with myself. The weekly Netflix treat was now a nightly routine. The calendar that was always blocked and booked with appointments and meetings was now empty.
I spent the first few weeks treading water and doing the bare minimum to get by. And if you really know me then ‘getting by’ doesn’t really work for me. I love routine and I thrive on structure, so I needed to get that back into my life.
Sticking to and pivoting my morning routine to adjust to this new normal is where it starts. Getting up and having my water with sea salt and lemon and chugging a litre of water before running out the door was pre-pandemic. Now with extra time and the luxury of no commute, I can slowly sip instead of chugging.
My daily gratitude practice has become a non-negotiable because as shitty as this situation may be its important to remind myself that I can find three simple things to be grateful for every day.
Final part of my morning routine is my newly found meditation practice. Previously, I was never someone who meditated because I couldn’t stop my mind from racing but I’m learning that that’s part of the practice. My meditation practice is very fluid with no pressure, so whether its 5 minutes or 10 minutes, it has helped keep me grounded.
Blocking off my calendar (the remixed version)
I am fortunate enough to continue teaching my classes and coaching my clients virtually now so naturally those appointments are blocked off. It’s also been important for me to block off other appointments such as time for emails, social media (yes, this is a thing) and working out. The practice of blocking off time and batching tasks has been proven to increase productivity and efficiency. It has helped me stay organized and more importantly motivated to keep showing up as my best self for my clients.
The Get to Do lists
Shifting from a ‘to do’ to a ‘I get to do’ mindset has been key. Being able to continue doing what I love is a privilege that I don’t take for granted so I make daily lists of things I get to do that are manageable. The key word being manageable. Sometimes we create these beyond lofty lists and when we can’t get through we’re hard on ourselves. Realizing that I am only one person and can only accomplish so much during the day has been something I have come to accept. That’s been hard for me as an overachiever, but I am learning as I go.
I have and always will be an advocate for meal prepping. It sets your week up for success and spending a couple hours batch cooking and preparing a few meals will give you time back in your days throughout the week. If you reverse engineer the practice of meal prepping, it leads back to spending less time and money in the grocery store. Why? Because you would have made a list of ingredients needed for the meals planned.
Let’s review: more time plus less money spent (because you are sticking to the essentials) plus eating home cooked meals equals winning. And winning makes me feel productive.
Establishing a sleep routine and time away from our screens is crucial especially now that most of us practically live on Zoom. Winding down earlier, not responding to emails after 7pm and going to bed at the same time everyday are a few things that I do to make sure that I am getting the most rest. When I am rested and alert, my productivity is on point.
Lastly, let’s remember that we are going through a pandemic. These are unchartered territories for everyone, so no one really has a manual on what to do or how to act or feel. We are all doing the best we can and that’s all that matters. Remember to be kind and forgiving with yourself.