One of my patients once said, “I love my job because it gives me a focus of my discontents.”

I agree with so much of what you’ve written. For me, the lockdown came at the same time as my retirement, and I worried about what I would do with myself.

Whether we’re not working or working from home for the first time, we’ve lost the structure that was imposed upon us from the outside. Now we have to create that for ourselves. Five points are critical: getting up, going to bed, and 3 meals a day.

I absolutely agree that structure is imperative! I recommend dividing the day into two-hour blocks of time. Have one major activity in each block. Some things are added because they are necessary; some are added just for pleasure. Add some exercise, even if it’s a short walk.

Don’t measure successful completion of the activity by how much you’ve accomplished, but simply that you’ve dedicated yourself to that particular activity.

When I tackle an activity I don’t like (taxes, cleaning the garage) I do it by setting a timer for 45 minutes, then I take a 15-minute break. Then, another 45 minutes and a break and you’ve met your goal. It doesn’t matter how much you got finished.

My goal is to write for four hours each day. I’ve found that the day flies by when I do this. Then things unrelated to writing are forced into the undedicated time, and that time flies by quickly, too.

Without this, I’d be on Facebook and Twitter and at the end of the day feeling, “I’ve wasted this whole day.”

Written by

Gay father; Psychiatrist; Award-winning author FINALLY OUT. Chapter excerpt here: Top writer on Medium. Not medical advice.

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