It has begun. You are officially on “lock-down” during the circuit breaker period. That means no visitors, including relatives and friends, home tutors or part-time helpers. You are not going outdoors, except for exercise in the park or to run errands for essential services.
If you have always complained about the lack of time to pursue a hobby or finish the books you want to read, now you do. If you have ever wished for more time to spend with your family, now you do. With a month-long circuit breaker ahead of us, how are you spending your time?
Whether you have a structured work plan, running a business from home, working as a free-lance or contract worker, or between jobs, working from home with children attending home-based learning or elderly parents to manage can be challenging. We share a few strategies you can implement to maximize the time you have staying at home to accomplish some of the goals you have been wanting to achieve but never got round to doing it. Now is the time.
Below are some guidelines you can implement to minimize distractions and help maximize your stay-at-home time during the circuit breaker days.
1. Set Work Goals
Pen down your goals or tasks to accomplish during the circuit breaker period. Break it down further into daily or weekly goals to help you keep your eye on the target. Write down the tasks you have to do each day to keep you focused on the goals. Help your school-age children set goals so they too, can be efficient and effective working from home. Remember to allocate time for meals and relaxation.
2. Have A Routine In Place
Start your day as if it is a regular work or school day. Get up at the time you normally would, get dressed and have your breakfast before heading to your work station. Designate and set up an appropriate space at home for work, and a different space for play. This will help put you in the right mind frame for work or play during the circuit breaker days.
3. Eat Right and Stay Healthy
Cook, order or pack healthy meals daily. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Try to cook fresh meals for yourself and your members. Cooking is a collaborative and engaging activity that your family may find enjoyable.
Remember to hydrate yourself with lots of fluids. Limit junk food, sweetened drinks, and packaged foods to occasional treats. Observe regular sleeping hours during the circuit breaker nights.
You can still exercise even if you are home-bound. There are plenty of videos on yoga and mat exercises that you can easily follow. Skipping ropes, and light weights exercises are also ideal indoor exercises. If the weather permits, venture outdoors to get some much-needed vitamin D from the sun. Swimming is not encouraged though.
4. Create a Support System for your Mental Well-being
Even though we are not encouraged to meet in person, we can still share our experiences via technology with friends on social media, WhatsApp chats, or gather in virtual meeting rooms. Read this post on how to set up a virtual meeting for free. This will give you an outlet to interact with friends and colleagues or to air your frustrations outside of your immediate family members. Avoid oversharing of negative messages that may dampen your mood when you stay at home.
5. Enjoy your Time with Family Members.
An entire nation who stayed at home during the circuit breaker is an unprecedented move. Relish this opportunity to work from home with your family members in close proximity and take advantage of this occasion to bond and enhance relationships with your children and spouse. Need some ideas on what to do at home with your kids? Read this post.
If there is tension due to financial stress, marital problems, or other issues, try to settle the issues as calmly as possible. Press the “pause” button and take a break from the discussion if there is no immediate resolution and try communicating again at a later time.
6. Chill and Catch up on Hobbies
Catch up on the books or movies you have been meaning to read or watch, but have not found the time due to work or family. Use the extra time from not traveling to do so. Don’t stress over housework or cooking as you can still “ta-bao” or pack food from hawker centers or have food delivered via GrabFood, Deliveroo or Food Panda.
7. Reflect on Your Priorities
The sudden explosion of this coronavirus and its subsequent worldwide pandemic has compelled us to reflect on our priorities. Take some time to consider what is important to you at this stage in your life and what needs to take precedence. Is it your career? Your children? Or your health?