Social Distancing: It’s Not Over ‘Til It’s Over


 “Social distancing” has become a household phrase, whether we like it or not. And while some are sick and tired of the persistent crisis refusing to abate, others are using their newfound spare time to better themselves.

Not to dive too deeply into the “new normal” routines, let’s just say that working remotely has left us with more spare time than we normally have. What each of us is doing with it is another matter entirely – some are wasting time on their social media profiles, binge-watching Netflix and complaining how they’re bored/depressed/anxious, while others are adopting new routines and learning new things.

Which one are you?

Let’s see how this unexpected spare time can be used to improve your business and personal lives.

Be Accountable

Accountability is that rare skill that leads to enhanced productivity. Simply put, it means owning up to your decisions and accepting your mistakes, rather than blaming others. You can see how this skill is priceless in a business setting, but the same holds true for your private life.

You know that one guy who always blames others for his shortcomings? We all know at least one such person. Sadly, these people are dissatisfied with their lives and running in circles simply because they don’t know any other way to behave.

Fortunately, this skill can be learned. It starts with analyzing yourself and defining the areas you can improve.

Accountability in a company means that everyone shares in business but is also ready to make difficult decisions, when needed, and will own up to poor outcomes.

Here’s what you can do to become more accountable:

  • Acknowledge important tasks.
  • Work on the important tasks.
  • Own up to your mistakes and work on solving them (alone or with a team).
  • Own up to your contributions.
  • Never point fingers at others.
  • Offer solutions for your underperforming tasks.
  • Keep team members updated on the progress.
  • Stop procrastination dead in its tracks.

Add Value to All Aspects of Your Life

This crisis is perfect for taking your sweet time to see how you can improve your life. Start with treating every task, no matter how small, as important. The platitude “I’ll do it tomorrow” should only be reserved for tasks that aren’t urgent when you have a tight daily schedule.

Apply this reasoning to your private life as well. For example, many people have found it helpful during the lockdown to start/end their day with washing the dishes. Do this every day, and you will have acquired a new positive habit for the rest of your days.

Meet Your Friends Online

Online meetings used to be reserved for business purposes for the most part, but not anymore. You can see the reasons for this everywhere around you. With people spending whole days indoors, social lives are bound to suffer.

Since the pandemic started, there have been numerous ideas on how to host creative online meetups. There are birthday parties, cooking lessons, yoga classes, role-playing, game nights, etc.

Netflix has provided a new option for otherwise “usual nights out.” Namely, the Netflix Party Chrome extension synchronizes video playbacks and adds group chat to your favourite Netflix shows. This means you can now watch your favourites with family and friends without moving from your comfortable sofa.

Enjoy Your Favorite Foods Every Day

Let’s skip the boring part on how unhealthy foods can stress you out additionally. Duh! Don’t we all know that already, people!

Staying cooped up in your house is bound to make you feel down eventually, but why not use some time every day to prepare your favorite foods?

There’s a meme saying that if there’s one thing why the lockdown is great, then it’s because many people have gotten the opportunity to familiarize themselves with their kitchen for the first time.

Sadly, this is true. With our busy schedules keeping us occupied every day all day long, now we can actually enjoy some home-cooked meals, as opposed to rushed lunch breaks.

Try your hand at those dishes you always wanted to eat but never had enough time to prepare. You’ll discover that you’re enjoying both the food preparation and consumption! Double win!

Re-Evaluate Your Life Goals

Challenging times are, as a rule, a prelude to massive changes. Look up your history books and you’ll see exactly what we’re referring to in spades.

It’s only natural that people will start re-evaluating their standpoints when their world turns upside down overnight. Many people are working online and complaining about how difficult it is. Our answer is: think about people who have lost their jobs!

Suddenly, the security these people never questioned before is gone in an instant. It begs a couple of questions that surpass existential ones very fast.

Many people will inevitably come to form very different opinions from those they would have sworn were set in stone just yesterday. In a sense, this is a good thing because this is the road to becoming more open-minded and also more adaptable to change.

Build Self-Confidence

Lastly, why not work on building self-confidence when you have so much spare time on your hands right now?

No, don’t avoid the topic. Remember the accountability point from the beginning of the text and admit to yourself that your attitude doesn’t always come from self-confidence, but rather from hiding your fears and protecting yourself the best way you can.

Now that you’re working from home, you have more free time to enjoy your private life. How does that come into the picture?!

Having a healthy balance of work- and private life is, actually, crucial for building self-confidence. People overworking themselves are certain to feel miserable when their tasks are underperforming and won’t have any free time to unwind. In the long run, this means stress will build up and eventually will culminate one way or another.

Start with assigning small tasks to yourself, leaving enough time for all activities. Here’s an idea how to do that:

1.      Make your daily schedule.

2.      Sort work-related tasks by priority.

3.      Leave enough time for regular breaks (lunch break, exercise, leisure activities).

4.      Attend one social activity online every day (at least a video chat with your best pal).

5.      Leave some free slots for house chores.

In this way, you’ll cover all your daily tasks without rushing anywhere and still have sufficient time left to enjoy your favourite activities.

How exactly will this boost your self-confidence?

First of all, all your job-related tasks will be completed in a timely manner. Secondly, you will enjoy social activities and thirdly, you’ll have enough time for your alone time. Shortly put, you’ll have no cause to feel dissatisfied in any area, meaning there will be no stress.

Once you realize every day can be like this (yes it can), you’ll become more self-confident and come to a step closer to achieving long-lasting accountability.  

An Afterthought

Have you thought of finding a new hobby? Now that you have enough time for a new activity, why not try out something that you’ve always wanted or simply experiment with different ideas?

Why not attend a couple of online lessons and see if something is more appealing than you originally thought. Why not change your workout routine for a moment to experiment with new workout ideas? After all, there are free lessons and free lessons, so why not use the opportunity to try something new?