Early March, I heard about the coronavirus on the news for the first time. I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal since it was on the other side of the world. It wasn’t long until I heard the first cases in the US.
Around mid-March, my employer announced there would be schedule changes based on the rising COVID-19 cases in Georgia. Eventually, the cases came too close to home, and my workspace shut its doors until further notice.
Quarantine is No Vacation
You may be at home for enforced quarantine, still getting paid, but it doesn’t mean you slack off. Quarantine is no vacation.
Food and video games may be tempting since you’re at home more than usual. I was tempted to watch the entirety of Buzzfeed’s Unsolved Supernatural in one session at one point. I had to remind myself this wasn’t the time. This was the time to grow.
Quarantine for me was a great time to catch up with sleep. Sleeping for five hours per night is not great. You don’t feel great.
I’ve also caught up with my personal writing goals, and whatever I had leftover from my day job.
For the past couple of weeks since quarantine started, I’ve set up a strict bedtime schedule of 7 or 8 pm and wake up at 4 am. If I go to bed past nine, I wake up either at 5 or 6 am. It’s weird waking up at 6. It feels like I’ve committed a productivity sin, but I have gotten over it. My health comes first.
I was happy to have more time to exercise. During workdays, I would get around 30–45 minutes of exercise daily. During quarantine, it shot up to 45–60 minutes.
The isolation was also a great time to catch up on my self-education. You won’t go far without it if you plan on starting new chapters in your life. I had a big playlist of Lynda and educational Youtube videos to watch. I also completed my self-made goals of watching and learning from new webinars for my day job.
One thing I never thought I would start during quarantine is stock investing. Despite many companies suspending their dividends due to COVID-19, I always wanted to be a dividend investor. I purchased some stocks anyway.
Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad taught me assets are your best friends. They can be stock investments, real estate, or royalties. You can say Medium is an asset, but it’s always good to have more.
Sometimes, I wished I had butlers and maids to do my household chores so I can focus on my most important projects. In the meantime, you must get those grueling tasks done. You won’t gain a worker’s ethic if you don’t do anything for yourself first.
I did the dishes daily, battled the stubborn bathtub stains, and organized my writer’s desk. I even set up a weekly cleaning schedule so that I won’t forget.
Quarantine life made me realize how free I am. Video games have no control over me. Youtube videos can’t control my attention. I can write as many words per day as I want.
Successful people focus on long-term goals. I asked myself:
“What long term goals do I have?”
“How can I make more money than I did last year?”
“What writing goals I can smash before the end of this year?”
Short-term gratifications can be distracted and annoying if not controlled. It’s good to relax, play a little Overwatch for 30 minutes, but don’t overdo it. Discipline will help you focus on the tasks you must do your future self will thank you for.
Quarantine during COVID-19 has been teaching me to be a discipline master. It’s messed up a worldwide pandemic has to get me to this point, but I’m thankful. I have become a more strong-willed person than I was pre-coronavirus.
I’m looking forward to the goals to conquer later this year. First and foremost is staying alive and healthy.
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