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Fundamentals of planning your day effectively during Lockdown phase

We all are experimenting new routines during the Lockdown period in order to use our time effectively.  Some of these experiments lead to success, pleasure and some don’t.  What do we do to make the day effective and purposeful.
|| Dr. Tanu Kukreja Bhayana

Well, at the onset, we need to accept the fact that Covid-19 is a highly unexpected event and we were never prepared for it mentally or physically. So, our body and mind will take little time to adapt to this environment like any other change. Therefore there are some points that we should consider while planning our day. These are as follows:

  • Bring Certainty in the routine: We should try to keep at least some part of routine which we used to follow before lockdown. This will help in two ways. Our body is already adapted to a routine and if we change it completely, it will need longer time to adapt. Secondly, it will provide certainty. Human beings are most comfortable when things are certain i.e. working as per plan.  When something goes in the uncertainty zone it starts giving anxiety. So, if we plan our day in familiar ways it would bring certainty and hence will reduce stress and productivity is increased.
  • Bring the thoughts to Concrete level: Abstract thoughts don’t work and especially during these uncertain times. So, when you want to plan something bring it to the concrete levels. Your instructions to yourself should be crisp and clear. For example I will work hard form now onwards, is a very abstract thought I am giving to my mind. The instruction should include time, context and intensity of effort required. Vague instructions don’t work for the brain. So, if there is no planning for course of action, either no action will be taken or it would be an aimless one.
  • Watch what you feed to your brain: Each and everything that surrounds us has an impact on us. Be it that it is able to register itself on your senses or not. There are many research proofs for the same. So, choose inputs for your brain very wisely. Limit your time to social media and also choose wisely what you want to see on social media. Believe me its making an impact at all levels from our thinking to our actions.
  • Psychoeducate yourself about yourself: It is most important to have a self understanding of how am I feeling during lockdown and then only you will be able to answer how can I help myself? Self understanding of what physical and mental changes have happened in me will probably help you in normalizing.
  • Balance: This is probably the most important phenomena. We studied homeostasis in class V or VI, which meant body’s primary function is to maintain normalcy as soon as possible. For example if my hand is hurt, more oxygen and more blood will be supplied so that it gains normalcy soon. Also, we cannot bathe with very hot water or cold water, we want normal, we want normal temperature, normal water to drink etc. Each and everything in this world works on the principal of balance. So, plan a balanced day where you are acquiring new learning, there is a space for entertainment, there is a space for family and for yourself etc. But, remember nothing would be possible without having a concrete plan. Need to have a solid concrete plan.

Planning your day is something that no one can do for you. You have to do it yourself by keeping your feelings, emotions, family, current state and goals in mind.  The above mentioned points can only help us in planning our day efficiently especially during the lockdown time.

Have a good day!

Dr. Tanu Kukreja Bhayana
(Dr. Tanu Kukreja Bhayana is the Assistant Professor at Amity Institute of Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Amity University Gurugram. Dr. Kukreja has a combined eight years of experience in research and as an assistant professor (psychology) at private Indian universities such as Amity University and GD Goenka.)

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