The importance of a schedule when staying home due to a pandemic.

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Everyday life has changed. The declaration of the 21 days’ lockdown in India was a critical step that has altered the way in which people live and organisations function. Staying at home was no more an option but a citizen’s duty to safeguard the nation against the spread to COVID-19.

Such a shift in the environment and the style of work has made time management, focus and even planning a lot more crucial. It is very easy for household chores, family concerns and even urgent tasks to seek one’s attention at the same time. Imagine, if you have a call with your senior manager, but have to help your significant other with a household chore while supervising your kids on a school project, and also have to assist a friend on a personal project, all at the same time. Things can fall apart quite easily on many levels. Therefore, creating a schedule can help. This may seem obvious, but trust us, the rising concern of a global pandemic can be a great time to make scheduling a part of your everyday life as it can provide:

1. The motivation to stay grounded amidst all the uncertainty:
The number one reason to schedule, especially now, is the glaring amount of uncertainty that stares us in the face every day. It’s everywhere, on the news, on the TV, on client emails and now, even on social media. Every piece of content is tainted with some information or opinion about the Coronavirus. So what can you do to make sense of everyday life while trying to remain in control? You guessed right. Start making a schedule. This will not only help you curb feelings of being lost in the chaos but will also help you track daily tasks and cause mental reassurance when you see the progress you’ve made on paper.

2. The reasons to stay positive:
A major plus point of scheduling is that it helps you see all your tasks and goals for the day, the week, and even the month. This is a good way to get a fair sense of all the work that can be accomplished within a given time frame. And every time you check off a task from your schedule, you’ll have a sense of achievement while being aware of your progress. Having your tasks down before starting the day will also continue to give you direction throughout the day. This will help you avoid feelings of being lost and up against an unquantified amount of work, which can cause unnecessary stress.

3. The ability to maintain work-life balance:
Work-life balance is a crucial aspect of leading a satisfying life. This is an important factor and can have a direct impact on your personal and professional life. Scheduling can help you lead a balanced life, where you have the time and space to accommodate and fulfil your professional and personal priorities to a greater extent. With increased time spent at home it can be easy to not have any boundaries between life and work. The result? Burnout from feeling like you’re constantly at work. A lack of work-life balance is as bad for physical health as it is for your mental well-being. It can further lead to nervousness and anxiety that can potentially damage other aspects of your life too.

4. The confidence to perform under pressure:
Every person has to face a situation at work that demands high levels of involvement and attention throughout the day. Given the immense pressure under which businesses are now functioning, the ability to perform under pressure is a highly valued skill across industries. But how can one keep their calm even when nothing seems to be going according to plan? The secret lies in scheduling all tasks. Knowing exactly what requires to be done and within what time-frame keeps you mentally prepared to tackle the day with confidence. A well-prepared schedule will keep you functioning at a healthy pace in spite of external pressure by empowering you with internal focus. 

5. The clarity to make realistic goals and expectations:
A pandemic can cause undue stress for individuals, families and even business teams. Coronavirus has become a global issue. Given the high amounts of risk, individuals that have not yet tested positive can overestimate their ability to fight off the virus or the uncertain situations it can cause at work. Such a miscalculation can lead them to set unrealistic goals and expectations not just for themselves, but even those that are living or working with them. But having a schedule can help you avoid such mistakes in approximation. With a clear idea of what lies ahead, you’ll be able to set realistic expectations, without getting easily discouraged when the situations seem bleak.

6. The calmness to sleep peacefully:
Schedules can make a world of difference to how well you sleep. Here’s how. A well-planned schedule not only brings clarity to what lies ahead before the day starts but also gives you a sense of relief and control. The process of making a list of tasks and important assignments is a subconscious signal to the brain that there are very little variables which are out of control. Later during the day when you see a list of all the tasks that are completed on the schedule, you can see clearly where your time and efforts were spent. This allows you to plan the next day by making special provisions for tactics that might’ve not worked earlier. Hence, when you hit the sack, you are not anxious but looking forward to the next day and as a result can enjoy great sleep. Scheduling the day will also ensure that you sleep at the same time daily, while getting adequate amounts of rest.  

7. The efficiency to lead a healthy life:
High-performing individuals in sports, entertainment, business or even in the government are able to achieve high levels of excellence because of their ability to organise their lives. Your life is not different. Yes, the circumstances might change, but we can at least learn from the highly effective individuals’ approach to life. One thing that’s common in the lives of people who live successful and fulfilling lives without sacrificing their wellbeing is that they allot specific blocks of time to different aspects of their life. Creating a schedule can help you do the same for yourself.

So we encourage you to use these testing times as an opportunity to bring increased clarity, focus and efficiency into your life. If you have ever wanted to pick up a new hobby, learn a new skill, call a childhood friend, read more, write a book, get back on your fitness journey or even improve the overall quality of your life, now is the time to do it. Begin right away. Create a schedule for yourself!

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