The constant internal battle between being productive because we’ve never had this kind of free time before, and doing absolutely fuck all because we’ve never had this kind of free time before, is one that has no doubt been affecting all of us right now. We’re living through an unprecedented period of having all the time in the world but not knowing how exactly to spend it.
All over my social feeds, friends have been showing off their recently redecorated houses, new workout routines, and their perfectly organised, aesthetically pleasing ~study zones~. But then there are also those who just feel lost and can’t seem to find the motivation or drive todo life at the moment. Are we putting too much pressure on ourselves to be productive during this isolation time?
So we spoke to a bunch of young Aussies about their thoughts on being productive in iso, and the results were fairly mixed. Let’s dive in.
You Should Be Productive Because You Have The Time Now
45% of people we spoke with reckon that these next however-many-months are the perfect time to learn a new skill, tackle a project you’ve been meaning to get around to, and stay busy mentally and physically. We know that finding that extra bit of energy is difficult, so for those of you who want to keep busy, try these ideas for ways to stay fit and healthy, or maybe even look into some free courses offered by TAFE NSW and Coursera to help fight the boredom. Which ever way you want to be productive, go for it! Who knows when we’ll have an opportunity with time like this again.
“Productivity is not an ‘essential’ but it is definitely a healthy lifestyle that develops our self growth and process, especially in iso as we now have so much time for ourselves and our loved ones.” –– Birdee, 20
“I think being relatively productive keeps me from getting bored and going insane, plus iso productivity is a good opportunity to do things you never had time for before.” – Kate, 20
“I’d say it’s pretty important, not only for the sake of your mental health but also because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity of free downtime to try out things you normally don’t have the time for.” – Tate, 20
“I think it’s very important to be productive … Setting small goals for yourself will make you feel accomplished and not left … thinking about the situation around us, that we have no control over.” – Camilo, 21
Be Productive If You Want To ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
There are many people, however, that say there probably is a bit too much pressure to be ‘switched on’ at the moment. It’s up to YOU how you want to spend your time – painting, eating, studying or sleeping – and you shouldn’t feel guilty if some days you just want to binge watch Brooklyn Nine Nine. Again.
“People should be using this time to thrive how they think is best. Whether someone feels best being productive and organised, or using this time to distance themselves from the perpetual stress of living.” – Lisa, 21
“Imo you need a healthy balance of productivity and taking time to yourself, now more than ever … whatever that means to you, whether it’s learning something new or just turning your brain off to watch Netflix” – Sarah, 22
“I actually see being productive during iso as a coping mechanism … which means that being productive is one thing people may choose to do but if people don’t care … then that just means they are coping another way. So, I think being productive is important to some people but not all.” – Stella, 21
It’s Okay If Getting Out Of Bed Is Your “Productive Activity” For The Day
And for those of you who are really struggling right now, we feel you and we hear you. It’s okay if you can’t quite see the light at the end of the tunnel right now while everything is so uncertain. Just know, the light is there, and we’ll come out the other side together. Now is the perfect time to lean on your support network.
“It’s hard to be productive when you have no motivation left, and it’s hard to have motivation during a time like this where it feels like isolation could last forever.” – Sicily, 22
“It’s very difficult to maintain [productivity] motivation-wise because of not knowing when this is going to end.” – Brad, 22