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8 ways productivity and quarantine can go hand in hand

So we’re all stuck in another quarantine phase,  just waiting for laziness and misery to take over us as we’ve forgoed all human interaction with the outside world. Instead, we’re forced to bear the brunt of WhatsApp calls every 10 minutes from our desi family members, who somehow always need a light to be turned off or a glass of water at their disposal.

Worry not though since the former quarantine experience has taught me well about how to value the time I’ve been given whilst avoiding endless naps when devoid of occupations…So without further ado, here’s 8 ways you can avoid becoming a couch potato during this bleak period (although I recommend most of these after mid term exams are concluded): 

Reading Books

Now before you close this article figuring I’m starting with the most generic of ideas, hear me out here. Many of us decide to binge a variety of shows for obvious reasons at this time and while sure, that serves as an entertaining occupation, it always coincides with a persistent feeling of procrastination and, once it ends, emptiness, both of which we all obviously want to avoid. The best solution is to instead choose books which always accompany a sense of productivity along with entertainment, often serving as an effective excuse to parents’ constant nagging as well and luckily, they range from the most diverse of genres; from sci fi best sellers such as Marie Lu’s ‘Warcross’ to dystopian novels such as ‘1984’ by George Orwell, as well as other classic literature comprising of works by Fyodor Dosteovsky, Oscar Wilde and Jane Austen. All of these promise endless hours of pondering about morality and societal prejudices, while also keeping you engaged in captivating storylines (honestly I feel like one of these days I’ll just write an article on classic literature recommendations).

Watching Documentaries

Alternatively, if you’re just not into book reading (as many are), another effective way to utilise your time and acquire the most compelling insight is to indulge in the world of documentaries. Fortunately, many are in movie form and even available as a series on YouTube. If you’re not sure of where to start I have a few very interesting recommendations:

Icarus, a geopolitical thriller exposing scandals in sports history.

13th, which explores racial inequality in the US and serves as a relevant debate in much of our society as it is even now.

Buzzfeed Unsolved on Youtube for my fellow crime and supernatural mystery lovers (and if you’re cringing on hearing ‘Buzzfeed’ let me assure you this one’s absolutely worth it).

Puppet history on YouTube which features various events in history in fun and entertaining ways.

Exploring interests and refining skills 

Starting off with the obvious inclination, that is, learning how to cook, and not just in the sense of baking fancy cakes and posting them on Instagram, but rather making it as simple as how to brew a good cup of coffee or even learning how to cook rice could really serve as a productive way to utilise your time and even nurture independence. Other than that, taking up activities such as sketching, painting, gardening or even downloading duolingo to learn a new language (and then attempting to spend the rest of your time avoiding the wrath of the duolingo owl because you end up procrastinating on it), can serve as healthy habits even if you’re only indulging in them for a short while. It can even go as far as exploring new song genres and recent trends that you may have previously hated on for no definitive reason-

(*cough* kpop *cough*). 

Exercise 

Honestly the biggest thing quarantine offers us is the time to create an effective workout routine and often the motivation to stick to it. It is the perfect time to tone your muscles and get in shape which is especially important in this time since most outside activity is severely limited. I would recommend going to YouTube for all kinds of workout rituals that focus on different areas of the body as well as a range of intensities (though I wouldn’t exactly recommend going for a two week Chloe Ting abs workout right off the bat). There are many apps that monitor your progress as well such as the Nike training club app. Often, many of these don’t require anything more than a yoga mat either so it’s a simple and productive way to stay fit and active in this largely indolent time.

Studying 

I can already hear the groaning and disinterest but bear with me as I lay it out for you: there is absolutely no better time to catch up on your assignments and syllabus than this exact period. I know I may sound like a nagging parent here but making a consistent study schedule with effective time management and being able to stick to that can give the greatest feeling of accomplishment and productivity out of all the activities listed. Additionally, if you’d like to make it less monotonous, listening to lo fi study beats and relaxing ambiences (like library ones) are clever ways to do so.

Bonding

Quarantine essentially means being stuck with most of your family members and while sibling rivalry may reach its epitome during this time, it could absolutely serve as a great opportunity to bond with them as well (a necessity our population has strangely forgotten).  This can be done through family movie nights, playing classic board games and even just conversing with them about daily occurrences. It is also important to stay connected to friends during this time which can be done through video chat apps like houseparty and even skribble or Among Us gameplays (speaking of which, binging Among Us videos on YouTube is a fun way to bond as well since the clever gameplays accompanied with charismatic gamers are refreshingly entertaining).

Exploring (in a more literal sense)

A really unique activity is taking virtual tours of places such as art galleries and museums such as the Van Gogh Museum (trust me it’ll make you enough of a fan to name a painting other than the Starry Night), the Louvre and even the national museum of natural history where you’re able to move by your own pace through a 360° room by room tour. Other than that you could try exploring your own house for a change and end up discovering some pretty nice backgrounds for great shots to keep up your social media accounts since there won’t be many other places to go during this time.

Getting a pet 

One of the best decisions I made last quarantine was getting a kitten which I have loved and adored every day since (and who just so happens to be sleeping next to me as I write this). They always keep you busy in a fruitful manner and even teach important values of responsibility in the consistent attention and care they require. Statistics show that they are a proven antidote to anxiety and loneliness as they provide you with the companionship you so lack during this period (in any case, the endless cuddling is reason enough to keep one!)

With that said, I wish you all a happy quarantine and more importantly to stay safe, healthy, and indoors if you can.

Mahnoor Umair
TLC Writer

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