We’ve all been shaken by this Covid-19, and now with our nation on lockdown, we just wanted to share some tips on making the most of this time.
Not everything will apply to every single person, of course, because we’re all facing varying situations.
Also, please bear with me if you’re not a parent, as some of the tips have to do with children (because we have many lol!…but if kids don’t apply to you, I hope you can put something else in their place and the advice will still apply.
Here we go:
1. Have a Positive Attitude
I know a lot of people are overwhelmed by this whole working from home and having to take care of kids while you’re at it. I know, I know, trust me. I have 4 children aged 8 and under, and I work from home every single day. It’s not a walk in the park.
There are definitely pros to it (like not having to wear real clothes lol!)
but the challenges of taking care of children while trying to be productive are real.
Having a positive attitude will go a long way. I personally try to do this by being grateful. Instead of magnifying the problems, I focus on the things I can be thankful for.
And in this situation, I’m grateful for my health, I’m grateful that all my basic needs are met, I’m grateful for the work that I do, I’m grateful for my family and I’m grateful that I get to spend some unhurried time with them.
2. Plan to Enjoy this Time
This is closely related to the first tip. Yes, it’s not the most ideal situation but plan to enjoy and make the most of it.
You will most likely get what you make of this time.
If you’re gonna walk into the situation with an overwhelmed attitude, or a plan of how you’ll “tolerate” your children for the next month, you’ve already lost. You will get exactly what you have in mind. You Will be overwhelmed and you Will tolerate your children for the next month.
But I’d like to challenge you to go into it with a different perspective: most parents usually complain/wish they could spend more time with their kids…why not see this as an opportunity just for that? Think of ways that you can make this time super fun and memorable instead of miserable.
It all really begins in your mind, and I’m not saying that if you have a positive mindset, your children will magically turn into the sweetest angels, all your days will be rosy and everything will just magically turn out however you envision. Nope.
It’ll likely still be challenging some or most of the time . But going in with a positive mindset and positive plans and expectations, you’re more likely to have a positive experience/results.
My challenge to you:
Instead of viewing the lockdown as something difficult to be done, take is as a chance to do something significant.
Instead of viewing being with your children 24/7 in this lockdown period as a difficult chore to be done, take it as a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to build significant memories.
Life doesn’t hand us our desires on a silver platter but there are really much more horrific things that can happen to the world than having to spend extended time in the comfort of their own homes, with their loved ones for a while.
3. Focus on What You Can Do
This one doesn’t need much explanation.
I challenge you in these 21 days to not utter one complaint about what you cannot do (it’s a waste of your limited energy anyway).
Instead, focus your attention on what you Can do.
You CAN work, you CAN read, you CAN watch stuff, you CAN learn something new, you CAN walk around your yard, you CAN sit outside and enjoy each day, you CAN spend time with those in your presence, you CAN have meaningful conversations (in person/via calls)….there is soooo much you CAN do!
For parents, you CAN give lots of hugs, cuddles & tickles, you CAN play, you CAN take walks with each child around the yard or complex, you CAN read together, you can have meaningful conversations, etc.
For parents, remember that our children are also aware of what’s happening around them, and are possibly just as uneasy, anxious or uncertain as you are. And in a time where they can’t interact with other people, they need us even more. So give more hugs, talk more and spend more time than usual hugging, affirming, and just being there.
4. Set Goals
504 hours is a long time, and there’s definitely opportunity to achieve one or a few goals.
What were your 20Plenty goals? Is there one of them that you can use this time to achieve?
Don’t even try to do a lot, 3 would be great but if you can achieve or start working towards even one of those goals, it’ll be a great achievement.
Take a few minutes and write those goals down.
Maybe even put them up on your fridge (the fridge will most likely be one of the most visited places in these 21 days lol!) so you can see them every day for these next 21 days.
And it doesn’t even have to be deep, some of us have been meaning to springclean or purge our wardrobes, for example.
5. Have a Schedule
Write out a schedule of what you’d like your day to look like.
This will go a long way in giving you direction and purpose. But obviously, leave room for flexibility, especially if you have children.
We’ll share our schedule over the weekend, subscribe to our posts if you’d like to receive them in your inbox (Don’t worry about us flooding your inbox, we only plan to post at most about once per week, but we might post more during the lockdown as we think of more useful things to share)
6. Be Realistic
I know goal-setting can be an exciting and ambitious exercise but be realistic 🙂
It’s nice to set grand goals but it’ll definitely be discouraging if you can’t achieve them.
Be realistic about what you can reasonably do in this time, and how long tasks take you to complete.
As an entrepreneur, I use an app called TogglDesktop to help me measure the amount of time it takes me to complete a task.
If you’re a parent, you need to also be realistic about how much you can achieve with kids around. Factor that into your planning, so you can allow yourself to be distracted here and there without being annoyed lol!
My heart really goes out to parents whose work expectations haven’t been adjusted in light of having to take care of kids, with no helpers around.
If you’re a manager or a boss, I really hope that your expectations of your team (especially parents) are not remaining the same in this period.
7. Wake Up Early
I know it’s tempting to treat this as a mini-holiday (and by all means, do so if you need to) but if your aim is to be productive, you’ll need to wake up early, or sleep late if that works better for you.
Put to good use the time that you would’ve spent dropping kids at school, getting ready for work, being stuck in traffic, etc.
For most people, that’s at least an hour each day that you can use to write those blog posts, learn that thing you’ve been wanting to learn, finally get around to doing that thing you’ve been meaning to do.
I’m generally a night owl, I would stay up till midnight every day given the choice but these past few months, after reading the 5am Club, I’ve been waking up early instead.
It’s really been so great for me, because I’m able to be productive in the first few waking hours, while everyone is still sleeping (it’s honestly harder to control what you’ll be able to do when the kids are awake)
However, it’s definitely been a huge adjustment for me because I’m not a morning person. It’s great being able to work till late but then I struggle to wake up in the mornings if I do.
And there’s honestly nothing worse than being woken up by kids demanding things and attention and you’re just not ready to wake up!
I feel so much better when I can wake up earlier than them, get work stuff out the way, plan for the day, and when they wake up, I’m refreshed, I’ve had a fruit or cereal so I’m not hangry, and have already had coffee…I’ve had an hour or so of productivity, I’ve exercised (sometimes), I’ve bathed and I can just be a nice person all round! 🙂
I can be like FNB, on some: “How can I help you ?” haha!
The reverse is also true for when I sleep late. When the kids come into my room early in the morning, my first thought is “please get out…no, I don’t care…no, I don’t want to do that …leave me alone…no, no, no…heeyi”…
And my whole morning from there typically goes downhill as I react to everything….and it definitely feels like the day is ruling me as opposed to me owning the day.
8. Do the Most Important Work First
If you’re going to be working during these 21 days, do the most important or difficult work first, ideally during that first hour when there are less distractions. That way, even if the rest of the day goes pear-shaped, you’ve achieved something 🙂
9. Have a plan for each day
I’ve already talked about creating a daily schedule but it’s also important to have a specific plan for each day.
Take a few minutes at the start of each day, or the night before to think about and write down the specific things you’d like to do.
So, in my daily schedule: I have a slot for:
Family Fun – I’ll think about what we’ll do in that slot, whether it’s playing a specific game or whatever
Work – I’ll detail what work needs to be done on that day
Even if the plan doesn’t 100% work out, it’s definitely better to achieve 50% of a plan than to just wake up to chaos.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”― Benjamin Franklin
10. Take It Easy
Even with all the scheduling, goal-setting, waking up early and planning, you probably still won’t get to do everything you’d like to do, and it’s totally ok. And if the kids have to have a bit more screen time, it’s really ok.
I know in this time, I’m going to try to not stress much about trying to get the house clean 24/7, trying to create 21 perfect dinners, trying to make sure everyone’s bathed everyday lol!…I’m gonna try focus on the things that will have a lasting impact, such as spending meaningful time with the family, and working on my business.
What We’ll Be Up To:
Some of what we’ll be doing during this time (we’ll share our daily schedule on the next post, subscribe to our posts and it’ll come straight into your inbox J):
- Reading: We’re not really gonna be “schooling” over the 21 days but we’d like to read everyday. We’ll read after breakfast and at bed time: bible devotionals at one slot, and fiction at the next. We’ll encourage reading during the day as well, but the main focus will just be having fun with the kids and us getting some work during the day.
- Family Fun: Some of the stuff we plan on getting up to: family sized puzzles, picnics, playing cards, 30 seconds, charades, hide & seek, hopscotch, playing on the trampoline, board games, cook/bake together, watching movies & documentaries, etc
- Busy Play (stuff they can do on their own): puzzles, sticker books, hopscotch, playing in the garden sprinkler, playing on the trampoline, lego, painting, etc
- We generally only do screen time (movies, shows, etc) on weekends, hopefully we can keep it to that, but if we can’t, oh well, we’ll get back to it when normal life resumes 🙂
- If you don’t want your kids to default to screen time, you could set some rules around it, eg. certain chores, a certain amount of reading, or other activities before they are allowed screen time, or screen time only at certain times, etc
- Try to use screen time sessions strategically for when you need less distractions/ when you have important work to do. Try not to start the day with screen time – leave it as a last resort
There’s been lots of stuff circulating on the webs, so we’re not really sharing activities to do as such.
However, here are two of the helpful resources we’ve come across that don’t require any prep :
https://stories.audible.com/start-listen Amazon has cancelled the subscription of books and audio stories for children and students of all ages as long as schools are closed, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.
https://www.babiestobookworms.com/2020/03/12/no-prep-activities-for-kids/ – These are easy, fun, no prep activities for the family J
Aaaaand that brings us to the end of our post 🙂 I really hope that one or more of these are helpful to you. I would love to hear from you….and what you have in mind for the lockdown…please comment below or on our social media post 🙂
Happy Lockdowning 🙂
Lots of love