In the first week of the lock down, I slept a whole lot. It looked like my body was shutting down in response to the fear, anxiety and stress. By day 10, I started to worry that I would never get back on the saddle.
But I found out that it wasn’t so bad after all. I fell back to my routine developed as a freelancer – I have been waking up, exercising, freshening up, eating breakfast, and starting my day by 9.30 am.
I started by resetting the time I woke up every morning. It didn’t happen in one day, but a determined effort every day, I slipped a few times, but that was okay. A month on, I am glad I am back to my typical day, though making more time for personal phone calls, family time, and even some art and craft projects with my sister.
Once you feel ready, here are some strategies that may be helpful.
- Create your morning routine and stick to it like your life depends on it!
- For the rest of the day, create a schedule closest to your typical routine.
- Set aside time every day for fun, learning, family time, phone calls, fun, entertainment.
- Create dedicated place in your house for the important tasks and activities. For example, workouts can be in a balcony, while planning/ analysing can be a desk. In my experience I have found that trying to work from the dining table isn’t a great idea – there are too many distractions there.
- Connect with your peer group, if you have one and probably learn how they are managing their schedules. Who knows, you may end up learning something or better teach others something!
- Take regular break and power naps if you like.
- Try to get some fresh air if it’s possible.
- In training related to time management and prioritization, we refer to Stephen Covey’s theory on Putting the Big rocks in first. This theory essentially looks at assigning tasks to 4 quadrants as shown below.
We always always focus on being more productive, and so ask participants to do more of Q1 tasks, manage Q2, avoid Q3 and do some Q4.
If you think about it, the lock down period is a perfect time to do more of Q4 and also spend time analysing, rethinking ideas, and planning – Q2 – for the future. Do you agree?
A note of caution: please let athletes enjoy themselves with their family and ‘their’ time, like you can also enjoy your ‘me’ time. It is not necessary to jump into any of these in a hurry!