Students are about to transition their time away from in-person classes, moving back into their respective homes. Recent graduates are still looking for jobs or are beginning new ones remotely. Working adults and parents are continuing to adapt their professions to different environments. The struggle to become accustomed to this new, ever-changing lifestyle has not ended—we are constantly rediscovering how best to maintain motivation and stay organized.
With each passing day, I myself am reinventing new ways to pique my focus and to stay interested in the tasks at hand. The problem is that a structured schedule doesn’t always work for me. At times, my brain finds comfort in chaos, and it finds a rhythm in change. This is the reason you will find me working in a different room in my house every morning. I even slightly change up the times that I eat. And I don’t always take breaks at the same time. You’ll find me doing a quick workout before I start my morning…or sometimes you may find me ending my afternoon with a walk.
But this kind of flexibility isn’t always available to everyone. The good news is that there are small ways to mix things up in order to stay motivated. Find new food to whip together and enjoy. Put it in the extra effort for breakfast today, lunch tomorrow, and then dinner the next day. What activities do you do in your free time? Try something new. Dress up for work-from-home today, and then let yourself wear sweats tomorrow. If you like to listen to music while you work, get an album recommendation from a friend, and allow it to become a fresh backdrop to your personal soundscape. Do you have one desk you work at? Switch up the pictures on and around it. Get new plants or objects to surround yourself with.
Continually questioning how I can restructure, or “unstructure,” my schedule and reorganize my environment keeps them interesting. It’s like adding a new spice each time I make the same basic recipe. It becomes a game with no end; I can surprise myself with a new routine and then scrap it the moment I get bored of it all.