During these trying times, it’s important to establish a daily routine. Structuring your hours will help stave off aimlessness and encourage productivity when exhaustion and boredom threaten. With the extra free time you all surely have without commutes, travel, or anything at all to worry about, just think of all that you can accomplish! To help everyone become their best selves during quarantine, I drafted a sample daily routine based on how I’ve been living and working from home these past few weeks. Yours might look a little different, but it’s a good starting point to ensure we all seize the day no matter the circumstances.
- When your alarm buzzes in the morning, get out of bed. This is essential—snoozing starts a pattern of laziness for the day!
- Get up and switch the alarm from buzzer to radio mode.
- Lay back down in bed and listen, half-awake, to NPR news for thirty to forty minutes to ensure you are starting your day informed.
- When you realize you have only ten minutes left to get ready, scramble to get up, get dressed, and let your dog Rainy out.
- Eat a healthy, natural breakfast, such as oatmeal, granola, or Toaster Strudel.
- Sit down at your makeshift workstation at the dining room table where Monica is already working and Susan will soon join.
It’s tough to focus on working from home sometimes, but a few steps I follow make it easier to stay on task.
- Open Outlook first thing to read your work email and make a plan for your daily tasks.
- Check Twitter.
- Hear a rumble outside and watch the streetsweeper drive by.
- Say hello to Rainy when she pokes you in the side because she wants to be petted.
- Remember that you shouldn’t reward attention-seeking behavior.
- Pet Rainy anyway.
- Watch your elderly neighbor walk down his driveway to pick up the newspaper. Announce to your roommates that this is happening so all can observe.
- Check Twitter.
- Try to chew your gum more quietly per Monica’s polite request.
- Observe out loud how cute Rainy looks right now.
- Grow increasingly frustrated at the miniscule size of the CTRL key on your work-issued laptop.
- Watch the tree-removal company feed your neighbor’s tree into a wood-chipper.
- Turn back to your computer to discover the screensaver has come on.
- Check Twitter.
Now that we’ve set a good precedent for productive work, let’s go over how to maintain good health and nutrition during your stay-at-home time.
- Decide that now is a great time to give up caffeine and be freed from your addiction to coffee.
- After twenty minutes of inability to focus, make coffee.
- Carefully ration a small bowl of Hot N’ Spicy Cheez-Its to eat as you work.
- Finish the bowl and bring the whole box over to your laptop, where it will become empty and you will have no memory of how that happened.
- Make the same peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch that you’ve been eating every day for the past sixteen months.
- Get some exercise by walking to the end of the hallway and back.
- After work, wonder why you have a headache and then remember you went straight from drinking coffee this morning to drinking beer this evening with no water in between.
Another aspect of health is maintaining good social relationships in the midst of isolation. Here are a few of my best tips.
- Call your mom and remind her that to stay healthy, she shouldn’t leave the house unless absolutely necessary.
- Debate with Susan about whether the milk in the fridge is bad or not.
- Text long-distance fiancé about how much you miss him.
- Email your landlord about the ants in your bathroom.
- Talk to your neighbor about her new dog without letting on that you and your roommates have been watching through the windows all week as she trains him.
- Ask your mom if she can go to the post office to mail you your old GameCube.
- Let Susan borrow your oat milk even though the regular milk in the fridge is fine.
- Snapchat long-distance fiancé about how much you miss him.
- Reply to famous people’s tweets.
In the evenings, be sure to allow yourself some recreation and leisure time to make up for the hard work you’ve been doing all day.
- After work, enjoy your daily five-minute roommate dance party to transition to evening.
- Wonder where Rainy went and discover she’s in the bathroom eating trash again.
- Five minutes later, completely forget Rainy’s transgressions and whisper “who’s a good girl” while spooning her on the floor.
- Set app limits on your phone so you don’t waste your life on Twitter.
- Walk Rainy while avoiding other walkers and feeling paranoid that sidewalks are far too small to facilitate social distancing.
- Discuss with roommates whether to start a new jigsaw puzzle together. Promise them Rainy won’t eat any puzzle pieces this time.
- Check Twitter and ignore your phone’s app limit warning every time it pops up.
- Make cocktails with roommates and start putting together the 1000-piece greyhound puzzle.
- Delete your Twitter app.
- Decide together that you hate the puzzle.
- Call long-distance fiancé to talk about how much you miss him.
- Wonder why your muscles feel so disused and remember that you’ve turned down Monica the past seven times she’s invited you to do living room yoga.
- Catch Rainy eating a puzzle piece.
- Go to bed out of boredom.
Now, if you’re not able to achieve all of these tasks in one day, don’t feel too bad. Tomorrow is another day to accomplish everything you ever dreamed. Good luck!
Laura graduated from Calvin in 2015 with a degree in art and writing. She currently lives in Madison, WI, sharing a house with two other Calvin grads. She works as a software support analyst for the State of Wisconsin court system and enjoys painting, rock climbing, biking downtown, and walking her dog.