Do you have a plan?
Hello, fellow quarantiners! Are you having a hard time not letting the days just kind of drift by in a hazy yet absurdist wave of naps, Netflix, Zoom meetings, day drinking, and... more naps? If so, and according to the internet, you are not alone. If you happen to be like me, and are unemployed during this quarantine, it can be hard to keep track of the days, stay productive, and maybe, occasionally put on real clothes. (Full disclosure, I did not leave my pajamas yesterday...or the day before.)
And if you are, also like me, VERY EXTROVERTED, these are tough days indeed. I'm about 2.5 weeks away from drawing a face on a volleyball, if you know what I mean.
A fitting tribute, since Tom Hanks was our first celebrity to announce his Coronavirus status. Stay strong, Tom! You are America's Sweetheart, and we need you now more than ever!
But even I, resisting rigid structure as I do, have to have a quarantine plan. A plan to stay sane, and reasonably useful. So here is my gentle suggestion for you, if you are struggling to keep it together right now.
But first, some backstory:
The First Plan
My first plan sounded great! Ha! And was clearly far too ambitious, as it lasted for a whole 2 days. My first plan consisted of:
2.5 hours spent on job search activities
2.5 hours spent on Shrewd Productions (my theatre company)
1 hour spent on fitness
1 hour spent on household chores
Just an 8 hour day! What's the problem? The problem was, I didn't account for a lot of things. Like, there's a lot to life other than these four categories, for one (or, err, four). Also, life is just generally weird now, and that seems to take up more time and energy.
My second quarantine plan was similar to the first, I just thought I'd whittle down the time commitment to make it more manageable. Alas, it was also a miss.
The best I managed was this small epiphany - instead of making to-do lists, only to have those items left undone mock my efforts the very next morning, I tried another approach. Every day, I write down in my calendar what I've DONE. It's a To-Done list! So when the week flies by, and I feel like I haven't accomplished a thing, I can look back and see that I have not just been sitting on the couch, eating Doritos, and binge-watching shows about vampires or something.
Then I had a conversation with Bustle one day when she mentioned that after her first son was born, she promised herself that she would do three things every day, no matter what.
Take a shower
Make her bed
Put on mascara
This inspired me. Not to make my bed, which all due respect to those it works for, I find a waste of time. But it did inspire me to simplify my plan. Just make sure you do three things.
Vim's 3/7 Quarantine Plan
So, to keep it simple, every day I make sure I do three things. Not the SAME three things, though. And not everything counts. For instance, today I put on sunscreen, fed the cat, and ate dinner - but those don't really count toward the three. I use seven general goal-categories. So may I present, Vim's Seven Houses of Accomplishment (your houses may vary):
And then I make sure I do at least three.
You may be asking yourself - why would you put annoyances on your to-do list? Well, they don't go away, do they? This is for adulty-type things like, making doctor's appointments, paying bills, disputing things on my credit report, etc. For instance, today looked like this:
Mental - I journaled
Physical - err, nothing today
Career - I applied for 4 jobs and updated my portfolio
Art - nothing today
Loved Ones - Reached out to an old co-worker, texted w/ my BFF
House - nothing today
Annoyances - responded to an email needing my attention, despite really not feeling it
I invite you to come up with your own categories that are meaningful to you. I feel I should stress, that if you are person who is attempting to work from home, while home-schooling children at the same time, YOU ARE DOING ENOUGH. Just try the One Thing Plan, which is - try to do one thing a day to take care of yourself.
(Also 3 things)