Answers to your lockdown questions: How and why to be productive
It has been nearly a month since I have been confined home because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I am sick and tired of being confined and very irritable to boot. What do you suggest I do to stay sane during this time? There does not seem to be an end in sight to the lockdown.
How we wish to use our time during these uncertain times is, of course, an individual choice made by all adults. The question you need to ask yourself is whether you want to be an accomplished and a fulfilled person. If the answer is yes, you will find many ways to be productive in the various phases of your life, including this one.
While maladaptive use of technology -- what we popularly call Internet addiction -- is a malaise of our times, staying connected electronically is the need of the hour for our emotional well-being during times of social isolation. Skype, Messenger and WhatsApp are proving to be good tools to connect with family and friends. Online board games are a great way to reconnect emotionally and create memories with our family as well as with friends who are hundreds of kilometres away. Binge-watching and endless hours of gaming can also be chosen as a way to pass the time.
But as we use social media to keep in touch, we should be very careful about spreading fake news. Even a senior citizen like my father, who is in his mid 80s, is hooked into what we sarcastically call WhatsApp University. As we all know, it is important to be responsible during these times and not forward things without cross-checking first.
Irrespective of age, it is very important to limit one's consumption of crisis news at a time like this as it feeds stress and anxiety. You can encourage those around you, young and old, to not fall prey to spreading communal news, rumours and so forth. We pray that we all interact with the world responsibly in grave times like these and not become pawns in the hands of puppet mas- ters with iffy morals. This is a good time to learn. There are two ways of looking at learning. One is to see it in a monochromatic way where we only do what we are required to do by the institutions we belong to and seek big brand names to plump our resumes. The other approach is to view learning in more diverse and eclectic ways. When resumes are submitted and job interviews conducted, what will matter most is whether you were able to think innovatively in the time of crisis. Did you make attempts to use this time constructively? Instead of thinking like a victim of circumstances, it may be worthwhile to notice the various learning opportunities around you and pursue them to the best of your capability. I would suggest that you look at your strengths and weaknesses and identify areas you would like to work on. For example, you may choose to use this time to learn a new language or even improve your grasp of a language you are learning. Or you could choose to take an online course and acquire a new skill. After a time like this, the small and medium enterprises sector is most likely to be wounded and you could approach companies to volunteer your time electroni- cally. Or you could join hands with a local NGO and see how best you could be of use to those around you.
Each one of us has a multitude of talents and it is up to us to put them to use in society at large and I am sure you will rise to the occasion and do some outof-the-box thinking. A gentle reminder: time is precious. Surely you will choose to use it to improve yourself in one domain or the other instead of wasting it..