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How I’m Staying Productive While in Quarantine

When Despair Becomes Motivation

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Our fall semester was quite successful in staying on campus and recording a minimal number of student and staff infections. My college maintained a sense of normalcy on campus with prospective student tours still occurring and classes offered in a “hyperflex environment” where we spent a day in class and the next online. A similar environment is expected to continue this spring, yet I was asked to quarantine for ten days by my college.

I consider myself to be a socially active and driven person. During our two month break, I spent most days working at Target and after clocking out, often continued my day working as an Uber Eats driver.

Understandably, when I received that email containing my fate of a required quarantine before moving in, I panicked. I found myself debating with my parents if continuing to drive for Uber Eats was allowed as I spent very little (if any) time interacting with others.

We concluded that it was best I stay at home and not leave unless going to my required test or for a quick run. Again, I found myself unhappy with the world and wanting to break quarantine for strange reasons such as enjoying a Wendy’s Baconator or sneaking out for a spontaneous shopping trip.

Day one rolled around, and the complaints faded, along with any motivation to be productive based on the pile of laundry taught me in the corner. I soon found myself on the brink of clocking in over five hours building a digital for no reason other than my entertainment. I enjoyed creating a metropolis, but something clicked in my head.

“You have ten days of no scheduled work, few duties, and simply maintaining self-care. You can be productive; make a plan.”

Like any responsible person, I made sure my citizens were safe before logging off for the day and creating a word document to visualize a to-do list for the next nine days. From this list, I found five major productive activities I wanted to accomplish before moving back for the second half of my junior year.

Learn Something New

I’ve always had a burning passion for electronics, yet never had any formal training other than repairing computers for others on the side. My brother shares this same interest and recently purchased a beginners coding kit for both of us based on an Arduino board. (If you are not familiar with this, it’s an open-source kit that allows people to learn and create unique electronics based on microcontrollers and breadboards.)

The kit has found a home on my desk and become a paperweight, so I wanted to change that. Enrolling in the free course was the first step, and learning more about python, the coding language used, was the next.

This prompted me to search for a Udemy course online for some foundational knowledge I could take when starting the Arduino course I have opted to save as a weekend project to indulge in during the semester.

Continue to Repair Computers

I began to take clients two years ago for my computer repair business. During breaks, I search for new opportunities to grow my clientele and maintain a strong relationship with my current clients.

Fortunately, two past clients reached out and needed more work to be done. One client required some advice while the other was looking for a screen replacement for a laptop I had previously repaired.

Due to quarantine restrictions, I could not meet face-to-face but took advantage of an old table on my porch as a medium to exchange the laptop before and after service.

Begin Another Udemy Course

During my semester break, I had published two more Udemy courses, and they began to gain traction. It seems that amid a pandemic, people seem to be interested in time management and personal finance. It makes sense as we have more free time and less cash flow.

Each time I have a new student, my phone greets me with a single vibrate and simple notification. This motivates me to continue producing more content for my students to enjoy.

Thanks to my students, I am now producing my fifth Udemy course, Leadership that Empowers You and Your Team. I plan to dedicate at least one hour each day to design and develop this class. In the long run, I’ll thank myself for creating a head start and frontloading work for when I become busier during the semester.

Continue Writing

I found myself become part of the Medium community last February and have enjoyed every moment of it. From meeting other students to networking with international business professionals, writing has been a gratifying experience.

While making my quarantine productivity plan, I vowed to create at least one story a day and reach this goal every day. Reading more has inspired me to write more and continue producing stories, such as writing for my Business A to Z series.

I find writing to be my primary creative outlet for many emotions as It helps to put mixed thoughts and feelings on paper to visualize and process these emotions. In the future, I plan to write at least two stories a week to keep my ideas fresh and community alive.

Promote Current Content

To date, I have written eighty stories on Medium, created four Udemy courses, and produced three YouTube videos. I love the production process, but I need to step back and appreciate my work and read the feedback others have provided.

Looking back allows me to improve my writing and connect with other writers and creators who might have similar interests. It’s critical to pause and take a step back in the past to see the improvements we’ve made.

I’ve watched a few Youtube videos where creators look back to their first videos, seven years ago, and watch as their content dramatically improves through the years by learning new tricks and becoming more passionate about their work.

In 2030 I want to look back at my stories from this year and see how my writing style has changed and improved over the years.

My story boils down to making the best out of a situation. In this case, I found myself angry and unmotivated to the point where I found myself glued to a computer for several hours.

After finding the motivation to strive for success and creating a plan for each of my days, I became more productive.

Many of you may find yourself in a similar position where you’re required to quarantine for a specified amount of time, despite not having symptoms. While it may be unfortunate for a brief amount of time, a change of mindset and several cups of coffee can change your attitude from couch potato to master of productivity.

This pandemic has been stressful for many of us; let’s take advantage of it and continue to grow.

Amardeep Parmar lists 20 incredible habits that you should learn to follow every day. Quarantining is a perfect time to begin a few of them.



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Zach Goreczny

Zach Goreczny

College Student. Coffee Lover. Writes about Leadership, Business, and Data Science.