5 Lessons From Lockdown
Updated: Jun 5, 2020
These are strange, uncertain and worrying times, but there are lessons to be taken from our time shut up indoors. Things that we can take forward and look to change in our lives post-lockdown. Things that will help us live more balanced, creative and productive lives.
Many of us are scared at the thought of living our lives to a timetable – I used to really balk at the idea of giving myself a fixed routine. The last few weeks have taught me that we actually thrive off structure and that our productivity can increase massively as a result of spending a bit of time planning out our ideal week.
We began this lockdown period by putting together our ‘Daily Creative Retreat Routine’. We worked through everything: from what time we want to get up, through when we go for our daily stint of outdoor exercise, through our working day and our evening entertainment.
The massive advantage of a routine is that you save huge amounts of time and brain-space thinking ‘what shall we do now?’ Just check the routine and it’s decided for you! This actually gives you so much more freedom. Sometimes you decided to break the schedule – and that’s fine! The schedule is there for when you need it and when you don’t know what to do next. Plus you can adapt and change it as you go.
Exercise has become a part of peoples’ lives in a way that it wasn’t just a couple of months ago. We can’t be out and about on our feet all day so we’re setting aside more time to look after our bodies. It’s energising, it’s positive and it’s good for us!
Whether it’s a 10-minute HIIT session or an hour of yoga, regular exercise has become part of our lives in a way we would never have imagined. And I for one am thankful for it!
Nature has fought back! My friends in London have commented on how much cleaner the air feels. Out here in Basingstoke, I’ve been struck by the little things: hearing the birds, seeing the leaves gradually coming out on the trees. Every morning we’ve been going for a walk round the nearby cricket and rugby club. We do it every day and it means we’ve noticed how nature changes subtly each day. We’ve noticed the blossom, and how some days our feet are wet-through with dew and others the grass is bone dry. This re-connection with nature grounds us and makes us more in-tune with our environment.
Not only that but the orders of fruit and veg boxes have rocketed. Out of necessity, we’re re-connecting with local, seasonal produce. Food that is grown in our local area and is ripe and fresh right now. It hasn’t been freeze-stored since last year or shipped over from half-way round the world. Bizarrely, we've moved back to a more local economy and I feel like we're eating much better as a result.
4. Amount of Work not Number of Hours
Our attitude to work has changed drastically over the last month. Generally, work is measured by the number of hours we do. Whether it’s the 9-5 in the office, 10-6 in the rehearsal room, or paid-by-the-hour shift work - our culture values time over output. This seems completely nonsensical. Now that many of us are freed from the commute, freed from meandering from meeting to meeting, we are able to get our work done in much more efficient bursts. Setting ourselves specific tasks and dedicating a short sharp burst of activity to it, is a much more efficient and productive working method. Why spend 8 hours in the office when you can get the same about of work done in 4?
We are getting more creative. This has taken all sorts of forms: from podcasts and youtube videos, to writing and painting, to cooking and baking. We are finding creative outlets and opportunities to experiment and try new things.
It is in our nature to explore, to experiment and to create. Shorter working days – or at least saving time by not having to commute – has freed up time in our days to unlock our imaginations. Why not give painting or drawing a go? Why not try writing that script, that novel you’ve had in your head? Why not learn a language? For many this is not just a case of feeling obliged to fill the time, but it's feeling a drive to re-connect with these creative impulses. And it is making us more rounded, more engaged and more contented as a result.
Undoubtedly, this is a difficult and scary time. And not everyone will be feeling the advantages of these 5 things. But for those of us who can. Think about how you use this period, not just for now, but for the future. How can you make changes in your life so that you can maintain what’s been working for you over the last month? Can you set your own routine more? Can you make regular exercise and opportunities to connect with nature part of this routine? How can you work more efficiently? And how can you embrace the creative outlets that are important to you?