Best ways to stay busy without the burden of productivity

Hannah Michelle Lambert
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A lot of people, myself included, have succumbed to the pressure of all of this new free time on our hands. Suddenly, now that we can’t go out and socialize, we feel like we have to compensate for that time. We need to boost productivity. We have to better ourselves and constantly be working on something to show for it.

As you can see in my previous posts about my home projects and interior design content I’ve been consuming, I fell into the trap, too. I make in-depth checklists of everything I want to get done every day. And I hold myself to it. Which could be a great thing, if I allowed myself to get some rest and relaxation, too.

We don’t know when another time will come around where we’re forced to slow down the pace of our life. So we should take advantage of this time.

Clearly, though, we don’t want to just be watching movies and sleeping in all day every day. That sounds like an easy way to put your depression in overdrive. So I came up with some ways to stay entertained and stimulated without being weighed down by the pressure of high achievement and the supposed productivity competition going on right now.

learn for the sake of learning

This doesn’t mean sign up for online classes because you feel like you should get some sort of certification. I mean use the free 2-month Skillshare trial to learn about knitting or photography just because you’re curious. Like I said, you don’t know the next time when you’ll have this much ability to feed your curiosity, so do it now.

This is productivity, but if you go into it with the intention of lightness and fun, it will just be enrichment, not work.

read instead of watching tv

This one is a hard sell. I’ve been watching Veronica Mars nonstop, so I know. But I’m trying to take just a couple nights a week to read a book, I’m switching back and forth between The Social Organism: A Radical Understanding of Social Media to Transform Your Business and Life and Becoming by Michelle Obama. Once I’m done with these, I’ll probably move on to a fiction book.

There’s something so satisfying about reading versus watching tv like a vegetable. You engage your imagination, and you have to be more present than when you’re staring at a tv (and on your phone and painting your nails and on pinterest)

I know 90% of you have books that you’ve had for years that you want to read but haven’t had the time to yet. Now, you’ve got the time.

draw or color

This is one thing I’m working on.

Not drawing or coloring for perfection, to hang on my wall. I am forcing myself to realize that everything doesn’t have to be a home improvement project. I can create just for the sake of creativity. This could be in a coloring book or just freehand drawing. I recently downloaded the Procreate app and have been just fucking around seeing what came to mind. It’s pretty therapeutic.

Warning: it’s probably gonna be pretty ugly most of the time, but that’s okay.

fen shui your house

Whether you want to look into how the actual principles of feng shui or not, a simple furniture rearrangement, like rotating your bed or couch, make a whole space feel different.

And I know that a change is very welcome for most people, who are sick of looking at the same things all day every day.

connect with your pet

In the ~normal~ world, I feel like I don’t have enough time to just lay on the floor and play with my dog for 45 minutes. But when it’s corona time, there definitely is.

If you own a pet and you’re ever feeling sad or anxious, just take a quick 20-minute break from reality and indulge in the innocence of your lil furry family member.

(I wouldn’t be me if i didn’t sneak a Sugar picture in here somewhere)

my dog

spend more (virtual) time with your friends

I’ve found that I actually talk to my friends (especially long-distance friends) more now than I did before.

Facetime is a wonderful thing, and so is zoom. Use this opportunity to connect with your friends and do a game night, wine night, or a movie night with Netflix party.

Although we are social distancing physically, it’s more important than ever to still find ways to stay social.

get ready for the hell of it

Even if you don’t got shit to do, do your makeup, hair, and put on a real outfit. Try out a crazy makeup look that you would usually never try.

You can either just get dolled up to feel cute, or you could go all out and try doing a little photoshoot for yourself for a little confidence boost.

deep clean your house

Okay so this could be considered productive, but I personally think it can be fun. Grab a glass a wine, blast your music, and go in on the cleaning.

It’s cathartic and suddenly you’re not living in a dump anymore. Open up all the windows and let the fresh air in, too!

a physical activity that makes you feel good

Everyone says you’re supposed to get some physical activity in every day, but it’s hard when you’re stuck in a small apartment all day. But luckily, there are tons of options for getting active inside, and it’s not all just YouTube workout videos (although I’ve been loving those)

I think the key, though, is doing something that can give you some exercise and help you have fun at the same time. For me, that’s kickboxing YouTube video workouts and dancing. I’ve done some dancing workout videos, but sometimes, it’s fun to just put on some music and dance around. (Wine helps loosen you up, but it’s not necessary)

If you’re getting active doing something that makes you happy, you’re getting double endorphins and your brain will thank you.

journaling to check in with yourself

It’s easy for days and weeks to just blend right together, but journaling daily (or almost daily) can help add some differentiation. You could do a stream of consciousness journal, almost like a diary, or, like me, you could do a gratitude entry every couple of days.

Gratitude journaling both helps with self-reflection but also helps you to actively seek out moments of gratitude throughout your day and reframes your mindset. I’m still working on making it more of a habit, but it’s been pretty nice so far.

This is productivity, but it’s emotional/spiritual productivity, which can help you to weather this storm.

balance the productivity with relaxation

The key to everything here is your intention. If you go into it with the simple intention of enjoying yourself, you will find enjoyment. Anything that you go into thinking, “ugh i have all this time, so i should probably get this done,” is going to feel like the burden it is. Sure, get those projects done that you need to get done. But make sure they don’t suck up all of your time and rob you of this chance to just take a deep breath.

Be gentle with yourself, be forgiving, and accept the fact that we are in a fucking pandemic, not a productivity competition.

keep it chill, and
keep it homey, homies

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About me

Hey my name’s Hannah Michelle Lambert, the voice behind homey homies. I’m an Atlanta-based blogger and interior designer. I’m passionate about fun, colorful, adaptive, and affordable design. And I’m a huge believer in a good DIY. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you find the inspiration you’re looking for – and maybe a little extra 😉

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