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Productivity and Self-Improvement in a Pandemic

Productivity and Self-Improvement in a Pandemic

If you’re anything like me, your COVID lockdown experience has gone through a series of distinct phases, from the novelty of Tiger King binges and late night scavenger missions for sourdough starter and toilet paper in March, to the ennui inducing doldrums of May. There was retail therapy and glimmers of hope in June, that were quickly dashed to pieces in July by social unrest and a reluctant understanding that this is our new normal. Also, we got a deeply unsatisfying hour long Peacock commercial in the form of a 30 Rock reunion. These are truly troubled times. 


Yet perversely, as the months go by, the pressure to make something of an unprecedented circumstance mounts. When else will I have this much time? Can I be one of those people that comes out of this better than I went into it? This no longer feels like a blip. As Google and other tech companies start talking about office reopenings in Summer of 2021, I can’t help but feel that time is getting away from me. A year or more of my 30’s will be erased from the records if I don’t do something. 


Through each phase of the pandemic, I’ve made various attempts at productivity and self-improvement, but until recently, I’d failed to make meaningful progress. This really shouldn’t be surprising. The mental weight of a global public health emergency, the subsequent upending of social norms, the hours on end of Zoom calls, and the inability to leave the confines of a decidedly not huge apartment are all real and significant anxiety drivers and motivation killers. There are a million incredibly valid excuses for calcifying into old habits and trying to nap my way to a vaccine, but the clock still ticks onward, and I can’t help but feel like I’m running out of time. 


In this series, I’m going to outline my processes and journey toward productivity and self improvement in lockdown. I’ll cover health and diet (switching to a plant based diet and training for a long distance hike), entrepreneurship (launching Grüner), creative endeavors (selling a novel and launching a podcast), wellness routines (starting a mindfulness habit and skincare regimen), and money matters (saving, investing, and building wealth). I’ll also spend a fair bit of time reminiscing on travel, fancy hotels, and pop culture. Tick tock.

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