During this quarantine period, most of us have a lot more time on our hands, yet we can’t seem to get much accomplished. If this is something that you are dealing with, allow me to share with you my personal experience and hopefully, it can shed some insight and offer you some suggestions of how best to deal with this issue.
When I worked in the collegiate setting, most days looked like this:
10-10:30am 1-on-1 Student-Athlete Meeting
10:30-12pm Follow-Up with Physician, Treatment/Rehabilitation
12:45-3, 3:30ish Treatment/Rehabilitation, Practice Preparation
3-7pm Practice Coverage
It would change if there were games in the afternoon or evening, but I was almost certain that my mornings consisted of meetings and speaking to our team physician. Because my days were planned out this way, I could focus on front-loading my days with administrative work.
With our current situation, you may have an abnormal schedule, or at least created a “chaotic” agenda you may not be used to. The biggest point is that having a structure and schedule will help you stay on track whether that has to do with your work, health, or another priority. With a more structured day, you can anticipate what time you need to work, exercise, cook, and sleep. Here are some strategies to start planning your days out:
Prioritize What’s Important
- Family and Friends/Hobbies/Interests
We all need to work, and even though that may be hard for some of us right now, we are all trying to find out ways to pay the bills. If you have consistent work, do you have times that you know you need to be at your computer, times you need to set aside for “deep” work and not be bothered, times for video meetings, answering and making calls?
Scheduling times when to work first will allow you to look at the rest of your day and put your other priorities around your work times.
Setting up a time to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner is important. This can vary person-to-person depending on several factors, but pencil in what times you are hungry or about to be hungry.
For example, after you get ready in the morning(do you still shower?), write down what time you ate breakfast. From there, take a 3-4 hour window to schedule lunch. After lunch, schedule a mid-afternoon snack. Lastly, schedule your dinner.
Having times written down to know when to eat will help you prepare food in advance and not let you go hungry.
I’ll make this short and sweet: are you getting quality 7-9 hours of sleep? Quality meaning no cell phone or tv before bed, having your room be dark enough that you can not see your hand if you put it in front of your face, or maybe even reading before going to bed. Make sure to get ample sleep time because this will assist your recovery from exercise along with having energy for the next day.
This will be different for some people depending on if they can go outside but think of when you can schedule your exercise or movement for the day. I am a big believer in getting some sun or at least going outside even if it’s only for a couple of minutes, but getting your workout in or going for a walk is crucial for staying healthy.
If you can’t go outside, you can workout indoors and may have to get creative with what you have at your disposal. This can consist of stairs, chairs, and some open space. If you are on a time crunch, set-up a clock, and do what you can for the allotted time slot.
Family and Friends/Hobbies/Interests
What I mentioned before may be the easiest things to schedule, but having interest or hobbies are still important along with having some type of interaction with friends and family.
Make sure to reach out to your loved ones to check up on them by way of a phone call or video chat. (I have been playing this app with family and friends which can be lots of fun: Houseparty). If watching movies or shows is important, then do that. Pick up a book that’s collecting dust and start reading. If there is a certain skill you want to learn, there are online services available to take advantage of. Maybe set-up a “Date Night” and cook dinner together and watch a movie.
There are plenty of other ways to schedule your hobbies or interests, just make sure to set time for them, they are just as important as everything else.
No schedule is perfect, especially right now, however; having a bit more structure will allow you to plan ahead, know when and how long to do a specific task, and see what’s up for the next day.
If you find that you are having trouble figuring out your schedule or you do not know where to begin when it comes to exercise, nutrition, sleep, or another issue that’s bothering you, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have fun and stay strong!