Image supplied

Five habits of highly effective quarantined people

Follow Stephen Covey’s habits of highly effective people to make the best of your quarantine time.


Image supplied

Here are five practices you can cultivate today to stay on track and improve your life during and after lockdown.

1. Be proactive

You need to be proactive first to be truly effective, says Covey.

Use this time spent in isolation to examine your current habits and attitude. Choose stimulating and engaging activities (on your own or with your family) over passive, reactionary behaviour. Develop a positive mindset and energy. Don’t play the victim — take responsibility for your actions.

2. Have an action plan

What do you want to accomplish post-lockdown? Think long-term about where you want to be and how you want your life to unfold after the lockdown ends.

According to Covey, if you start with a clear destination in mind, you can ensure that all the steps you take now along the journey will push you in the right direction. Start with the end goal and work your way backwards from there.

3. Prioritise daily tasks

Prioritise your day-to-day actions based on what is more important to do, not urgent. Most people spend time on what we perceive as urgent, doing things that are not important, says Covey.

Take this significant time spent in isolation to put first the things that matter the most — health, family, relationships. Start by identifying connections and hobbies that you have neglected in the past. Schedule time in your calendar for your loved ones and focus on meaningful work.

4. Improve yourself

Covey referred to the act of renewing ourselves — physically, mentally, socially and spiritually — as “sharpening the saw”. Now it’s the perfect time to sharpen your mind and indulge in wellbeing and personal development, cultivating a balanced life of gratitude and abundance.

Start exercising in the comfort of your home (fitness or yoga) and practice daily meditation to uplift your mood. Learn a new skill or a new language (try online courses), immerse yourself in great literature and music or watch a fascinating documentary to enrich your knowledge. Try journaling — regularly writing your thoughts and experiences in a journal — to keep track of your progress.

5. Build better relationships

Lastly, while we focus on ourselves, we ultimately become a good influence for other people and we can make a positive contribution to their lives, believes Covey. Therefore, cultivating healthy daily habits during these difficult times will go a long way in nurturing beneficial and happy relationships once we slowly return to our normal lives.

This content has been created as part of our freelancer relief programme. We are supporting journalists and freelance writers impacted by the economic slowdown caused by #lockdownlife.

If you are a freelancer looking to contribute to The South African, read more here.