• Pankaj Upadhyay

4 Lifestyle Changes to be Productive While You're Shut-in

These are challenging times. The world is at a standstill. Just recently, one of my colleagues was mentioning how being shut-in is taking a toll on their productivity and lifestyle. While it's true that we can sit back and just relax, but for people like me who haven't taken a single day off since college or many entrepreneurs who had a work-oriented lifestyle, it can become one of the most challenging things. I know we can't just sit still. And nor do we have to, this is one of the times where the whole world has stopped, but we can keep going, learn that skill which didn't give the most priority too as it was too hard or time-consuming, but we know that it will be good for business.

So what makes me qualified to write this article? I have been doing work from home right through college and then full time freelancing after college, where I didn't go out for a record month and was stuck in a rut. I did get out of it and found a way to balance the work and "being sane" at the same time. I have been doing work from home for more than seven years. I didn't have much money growing up. So right through college, either it was the classes in college or coming back home and spending all the time on the laptop either working or watching a TV show. I still work 12,14 or 16 hours a day, but I also focus on health, talking to friends, family and being productive. So here the five rules which work for me and hopefully you too-

Rule 1: Dress Up

It's kind of weird to think that we should dress up when we are at home and have no plans to go out, but trust me dressing up gives you energy and makes you feel fresh while when you're in your shorts or t-shirt which you have been wearing for days. Dress up as you will go to work, it means if you're a 9-5 employee and does the job in formals- dress in formals. If you're an entrepreneur and go to your company in informal- wear that. In short, wear whatever you would wear to work. There's a study using doctor's lab coats, half of the participants were given their lab coats while the other half remained in their usual street clothes, and it was seen people who wore lab coats made fewer mistakes than people who didn't. You can read the study here.

Rule 2: Make Daily Goals

We do it in our life daily, so why leave it when we have so much time on our hands. Make a list of the daily tasks that you will achieve in a day- write them down and tick that list daily. Start slow. Don't write too many tasks in a single day as we are not sure how long this will last. We don't want to lose our momentum in the first week. Start with three major tasks. Three major tasks which are of immediate priority and needs to be done. Be it to spend more time with family, kids or responsibilities related to taking your business to the next level. You can do it as a team as well; I use CommitTo3 app. It's a simple app, in which you can add your team members and go on to achieve all your goals together.

Rule 3: Learn Something New or Hard

In 2017, after I passed my college, it had been a year of working hard to get that financial security, and after months and months of hard work, I had some money in the bank, and as I have been doing the same job daily and got better at it. It took me just 10-20% of the usual time to complete the projects, and I will only resort to youtube or a novel. As I didn't have many expenses then and this was the time I got myself stuck in a rut and didn't go out for almost a month. I was eating unhealthy, eating whatever was cheap through online delivery and just spent my time on laptop thinking I was productive. But a month of this lifestyle, I had an enlightening conversation with one of my friends.

She wanted to learn online marketing for one of her projects. It wasn't easy as you realize they are not putting the kind of effort you have put in even when you're giving them everything on their plate, but that also made me research things which I probably wouldn't have done on my own. It gave me an extra activity to do, and in just a month, I learnt a lot more than the last two or three months, and that made me realize how big of a hole I have dug myself. I was just thinking that I was being productive while I wasn't and that was a wake-up call for me. From then on, I like to mentor people or just send business ideas. For the lockdown this time, I'm learning violin, which has been my dream since school. So find someone to mentor, or send businesses some ideas or learn a new language or something which will give you an activity outside of your own business.

Rule 4: Exercise & Eat Healthy

It's is the cliche rule, but you do have to exercise to keep your body fit and keep the body moving. I started gym recently, and I hated the pain at first, but I also hated how breathless I would become after a session of the gym. So I started running at a higher intensity than usual, and it got better after a workout, I would always feel fresh. Right now in lockdown, I go to my roof in the morning and jog on the spot and do a few exercises which can be done from home. Several apps provide customized activities based on your weight and the intensity of the workout you want to do.

I don't have to tell you the benefits of eating healthy, but in the environment, we are right now, the importance has increased several-fold. As we are not going out, we must eat healthier, so we are getting the right nutrition we need for the body. Take multivitamins along with your food to keep the diet in check. We become what we eat is the truth; being home will make you lazy and not eating right will add to that. When we have to be productive to get ahead of the world, which has stopped, I think this sacrifice is needed. I'm not a nutritionist, so I can't help you with the right kind of diet, which is customized to you, but you can again look for apps, and you will help our dieticians who are stuck at home too.

In addition to these four rules, I would advise working from a desk or if you don't have a desk and work from your bed than do a short period of work standing so your body remains active.

Do let me know if these rules were helpful or if you have additional comments or if I missed something. Let's crush this lockdown and keep moving ahead even when the world has stopped.

#athome #stayhom

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