One Thing at a Time
So far, quarantine is going great.
It’s weird, having to stay inside all day with minimal things that need to be done. Because on paper, you have all the time in the world. As much as this pandemic is a bummer, it should theoretically give us all time to catch up on a bunch of stuff. We all have to-do lists that would beneﬁt from two weeks at home. None of us want to be in this situation, but you’d think a writer like me would be able to make the best of it. I appreciate the beneﬁt of the doubt, but it’s not quite so.
As I try to retain some semblance of productivity, the hardest thing has been learning to do one thing at a time. Under normal circumstances, no matter how busy or idle a day is, you’re always multitasking. You’re always watching the clock waiting for your shift to end or your next appointment to start. You’re checking your phone for texts and tweets while you drink coffee and work and plan on how to get to the next thing. When life is moving fast, it’s perfectly manageable. But under the dry monotony of working or studying from home, you can only multitask so much. Checking your phone for texts and coronavirus news all day will drive you insane. You can’t really prepare for the next thing, because the next thing is also going to be “staying at home.”
This pandemic is forcing me to calm down, to be present in every moment. The best mental health advice I can give anyone is to do one thing at a time, and one thing only. But when you’re doing something, truly do it. Embrace simplicity for just a moment. It’s the only way to stay sane.