Being productive has become very difficult to measure for those trapped inside during the COVID-19 pandemic. With schools and businesses conducting operations remotely, those in homes all across the nation are experiencing complications with feeling accomplished in traditional ways. Whether you’re unable to focus on simple tasks or you’re berating yourself for not seizing the opportunity in the way you’d initially hoped, you need to redefine your idea of productivity to feel sane these days. One way to achieve this is by using some of your idle hours to tackle activities you might not immediately view as “productive” in the traditional sense.
Instead of viewing your sense of accomplishment based on how much you’ve achieved in regard to household chores or job-related tasks, consider these ideas. Establishing habits that encourage a sense of happiness during these complicated times can be rewarding in unexpected ways.
Learn a Language
According to international statistics, Americans are some of the least likely to speak more than one language by choice. This is not exclusively for lack of interest, either. A large percentage of citizens claim the desire to learn another language. However, many never take the initial step or give up before getting too far. It can be very easy to rationalize away the desire when you don’t have a practical application for the language. If you want to learn how to speak another tongue, now might be a good time to try.
Don’t view the acquisition of a second language as something that you will need to apply to your life later. Start educating yourself on the basics out of curiosity and discover methods of increasing your comprehension. Creating this productive foundation for a new language in your free time can speak to the parts of you that find the concept exhilarating without the immediate disappointment that comes with realizing how difficult the journey will be.
Be Creative for the Sake of It
Artistic pursuits can also be alienating for some. While certain individuals might be born with a natural affinity for selecting colors or discerning musical keys, all people benefit from engaging in creative activities. Though it is often downplayed in educational settings, people who take time to draw, paint, and play music often have improved skills when solving problems, working though complex emotions, and understanding internal struggles. Unfortunately, many people view the pursuit of art as a career choice and never follow the urge to pick up a pencil and start doodling whatever comes to mind.
It can be hard to grasp in today’s internet-driven culture, but not everything a person creates needs to be posted on Instagram or sold on Etsy. If you use your time in isolation to play around with your creative side, you’ll learn the joy comes from the action itself. Even if you hate the finished product, there’s a meditative quality to the act that nourishes the soul and calms the mind. Grab some colored pencils or that guitar you never learned to play and have a little childish fun.
Literally Dance Like No One Is Watching
From bumper stickers to Facebook quotes, you’ve likely seen the phrase “dance like no one is watching.” Though it might seem silly, now is the time to take that advice on a literal level. Movement is wildly important for the human body. Endless studies have illustrated how some of the best thinking processes develop when a person is engaged with a physical action. If you can’t hit the gym or take a normal stroll through your local park, jump off the couch and just move. Eventually you’ll work through the awkwardness and find the liberation movement brings.
While life has changed dramatically in recent months, there are plenty of new ways to spend your time. Redefine how you view your sense of what being productive means, and it will help you discover new meaning in the activities you dedicate this time in isolation to.