Monday 11 May 2020

How To Be Productive Without All The Pressure During Lockdown

Outfit: Shirt - M&S (similar) / Leggings - Primark

Some of us have been in the confines our home for nearly two months now, and it's not easy. Work and home environments have become one, for some work may even be on a complete hold and we're stuck with our devices and an unlimited access to social media. As you scroll endlessly through Instagram, especially, you may find people are doing more or even the most. Influencers are out there creating and delivering new content, they're still working and earning - putting on normal outfits everyday as if they would for street-style pictures. If I'm completely honest, it makes me feel a little guilty as a "blogger" myself that I'm not doing the most or even a little bit. Of course there's certain circumstances that prohibit me from maybe creating content (i.e: not being able to order any new products because that's kind of stopped here in Colombo, to my knowledge. Also my camera battery has taken to the grave and I haven't got a spare.) But I didn't let that stop me; I actually relaunched my YouTube channel because I suddenly had this time on my hands and thought; "I've got my phone, I've got a tripod, I've got editing software and internet. What the hell is stopping me?" And so last week, I posted a brand new YouTube video of 6 Easy Work From Home Outfits - I really enjoyed the experience, but here's the issue now: what do I do next? I have to top the last video. 

I also have been racking my brain for good blogpost ideas because there's only so much we can do sometimes and let's be really honest - I'm living in pyjamas or sweats, no make up and messy hair. If you're getting ready and all prim and proper right now, hats off to you because I simply cannot be bothered. I think the only truly productive thing I do on most days is workout and even that I slack on because I hate HIIT workouts, so I end up doing yoga or pilates instead. 

Maybe it's just me, but does anyone else feel like they're not doing enough? That there's this underlying pressure creeping up on you to do more?

Well I'm here to hopefully try and debunk that pressure by giving you productive things you can do that don't make you feel so guilty and feed your soul. 

1. Reading: As simple as it sounds, crack open a book. I cannot tell you how good it feels to just disappear into another world. I always talk about reading with my best friend, Tasha. We're both bookworms and we've set ourselves onto the GoodReads Reading Challenge, where you set yourself a number of books to read by the end of the year. I set myself at 24, Tasha's only gone and upped hers to 40 and she's already on book #26. That made me feel a little inadequate I can't lie but it's so good to realise you've got all this time to read. Finally grab those books that have been sitting collecting dust on a shelf or if you want to try something new, head to the iBooks or Kindle store and see what there is. I'm even just downloading free books from Apple iBooks because why the hell not and plus, they've got a whole array of Classics available for free too. I'm currently reading Wuthering Heights for the first time and plan to read a few more classics too. So why not sign yourself up for GoodReads and set a challenge, or just set a challenge by yourself: grab a notebook, a pen and write down a number of books you want to read, then keep a record of that and add a few stars as rating to remind you which books you really loved. 

2. Working Out: Okay I never shut up about working out, I know. But I really do enjoy it and I miss the gym but over this time, I've discovered new loves; yoga and pilates. I cannot tell you how good it is to stretch yourself out and have a change in my regular routine. Honestly, just jump onto YouTube and search for whatever you want because I guarantee it's on there. Then grab a mat, a water bottle and yourself and get to it. When you feel that pressure to workout, you don't have to go ham and do something crazy. The simplest workout that you feel and gives a bit of sweat is enough. Even simply giving yourself a good stretch out in the morning might just be enough. As long as you keep the blood flowing, the heart pumping and your energy up, you are absolutely fine.

3. Learn something new: I've seen lots of people mention this and I couldn't agree more. Maybe you've got a bucketlist/checklist of things that you've been dying to do or learn and you just haven't had the time. Well, now's the time and you've got no excuses. I mean, you do if it involves something like jumping out of an airplane or travelling the world... But you get my point. I've found via Coursera that there's online courses, both free and paid for, you can take from the comfort of your home. Whatever you want to learn, it's probably there. *Disclaimer for the free courses: if you want to participate and get a certificate, you have to pay like $50, otherwise you don't get a certificate but there are financial aid options or you can just do it for the hell of it.* However you want to go about it, it's a great time to learn something new and it'll make you feel really productive with tasks and readings etc. So why not try?

4. Create: Ah creation, my favourite thing in the world. I'm a creative, first and foremost so therefore this is my go-to. If you've got a passion for art, music, design, theatre and so on, why not dive into that? Take the time to draw or paint, work on that skill. If you can, learn a new instrument or take the time to further your knowledge in an instrument you already know. If you like acting, why not write yourself your own plays or skits or even act out your favourite scenes or plays then perform them for your family or even for the internet by filming yourself and publishing to YouTube. Filmmakers and script writers, maybe now is the time to work on that masterpiece. Why not write a book if you've got a flair with words? I find that creativity sparks so much joy and the time will fly while you're doing it, so before you know it you've been productive without realising or without the pressure. Enjoy yourselves, that's the main idea. 

5. Cooking & Baking: More than me, I think my Mum could tell you about this one. She has learned so many recipes online and executed them so beautifully that my tummy sings. It's so therapeutic as well and since we've all got to eat anyway, why not try out new recipes? You can get the most delicious things with the simplest and smallest list of ingredients sometimes. Seriously, my Mum's out here making homemade pasta and cinnamon rolls with very small amount of ingredients. So put on the food channel that you love, grab that cookbook of the shelf or even Google or YouTube recipes that you want to try and get to it. It'll make good use of your time because you're making treats for yourself and we all need a little bit of treating yourself right now. 

These five very simple things you can do without even thinking twice and they'll instantly make you feel more productive. There's probably other things you could do as well if you're up for it and have the resources, like redecorating or creating your master business plan. This is the time to do the things you've been putting aside because you didn't have the time. It's time to do things that you truly love. I know that for me it's really boosted my mood when I've felt a little down for not doing enough. But remember, you're all doing more than enough. This major change in our lives is not something we're accustomed to, we didn't plan or expect this. This is something we couldn't have prepared for, so doing your bit by social distancing and keeping yourself and others safe is more than enough productivity than you even realise. So well done to you for pushing through this. It's not easy, even for us self-decided homebodies because we all need a little bit of outside & friendship time too.  

I'm sending you lots of love and hoping you're keeping safe!

And a reminder, don't let social media make you feel inadequate. You're more than enough.

Lots of Love, 

Emily xx

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