What to do with your newfound time at home

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Normalcy and routing have both been totally uprooted by Coronavirus and replaced with physical distancing, quarantining, and working from home. 

By now you have likely been inundated with a variety of tips as to how to be intensely productive when working from home during this unprecedented, aggressive, undiscriminating, and pervasive global pandemic. Read that again...it's absurd.

"Hustle culture" has permeated our lives so deeply that when forced to stop, we find new ways to busy ourselves, ensuring that we are tired by sundown, having rung each ounce of productivity from our brains and bodies...even while we are mentally and emotionally traversing a frightening and unfamiliar new world.

Maintaining some sense of regularity certainly has its benefits. And for some of us continuing to be productive is completely necessary in order to provide essential services in our communities and of course to continue to earn an income. In that context, the work from home tips that have taken over your Google page are very welcomed. Having a designated work space, maintaining regular work hours, creating to-do lists, changing our of pyjamas, and maintaining communication with colleagues are all helpful tips that facilitate the ability to tend to regular work tasks while working from your dining table instead of your office desk. 

However, has the encouragement (read: pressure) to optimize our productivity at this time and in this context gone too far? Based on the articles on virtually every media outlet, we are being directed to devote every waking moment, expenditure of energy, and thought to commodification and self-improvement. 

This urging has triggered an anti-productivity narrative, informing us all that it is indeed okay if we experience a reduced ability to focus on our regular work tasks and that it is completely okay to simply work through the many feelings that have accompanied the pandemic. The anti-productivity narrative carries the message that we are currently operating under an informational and emotional overwhelm and that we should resist feeling guilty for not working more hours, sanitizing our washing machines, or writing the next sensation in teen trilogy novels.

So which camp is right? What is it that we are supposed to be doing with our time while we are quarantined? It is important to note that I am not an expert in what each of us should do to fill time during an unprecedented global pandemic. In fact, no one is as developing an expertise in anything requires experience. 

The approach that my be most helpful is to acknowledge that your level of productivity (or lack thereof) is okay. Whatever you are feeling in response to the current situation is also okay. We are all navigating this for the first time and we are likely all at different stages of that navigation.

What each of us can do right now is pay attention to our inner yearnings that for so long we have wished that we had time to bring to fruition. Perhaps we can use this time to do the simple things that we have wanted to do for what feels like forever, but weren't "important" enough to precede our endless to-do items when things were "normal". Me? I took a bubble bath...for the first time in 5 years. 

How I suggest we spend our days in quarantine looks different for each of us - because we all have different things that we have neglected within ourselves as we have gotten entangled in hustle culture. The incredibly fast pace that we have become accustomed to has come to an abrupt stop. We have been forced to slow down. Instead of working overtime to maintain our hectic "normal", or getting lost in the emotions that have crashed down upon us with the presence of COVID-19, perhaps we should strive to embrace this slower pace and find new rhythms - ones that not only include aiming to achieve our professional goals but also make space for the things we may have been disregarding like hobbies, physical, mental and spiritual wellness, making meals at home (and actually sitting down to eat them), daily walks, and many of the other simple pleasures that we have recently had time for since being safe at home. 

My hope is that we can fill our time with things that cannot be taken away, regardless of any future interruptions that may come our way. The biggest quarantine tip, strategy, or hack that I wish to pass on to you is that you fill your days in a way that enables you to reflect on this time with gratitude that you were able to finally do many of the things that you had hoped do for so long but did not have the time for. 

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Thank-you to the @themondaybest for sharing with us! Shop her looks online now (here)
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Era Style Loft is an upmarket women's boutique located in the heart of downtown Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in the historic Birk's Building on 21st Street. With its convenient location and modern design, the women of Saskatoon finally have a luxurious place to shop. Now, era has expanded to offer that same in-store experience, online. Era offers everything from clothing and shoes, to handbags and accessories.

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