(Huyen Tran Tran/Daily Titan)

When California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide stay-at-home order on March 19 due to COVID-19, thousands of Californians were left without work and without any place to go beside their living room, which begs the question: how do you stay productive while being stuck at home?

The answer to this is not as easy as cleaning your room or doing your homework. For many, the nature of being productive does not come from doing work, but from being happy and healthy. Although there is no particular way to achieve this, there are practical methods that can guide a person to productivity.

Focusing on activities that are enjoyable outside of work can lead to a productive lifestyle. While everyone has activities that make them feel busy, like laundry, homework or cleaning, those are not inherently things that lead to happiness. The end product may make a person feel fulfilled, and the feeling of accomplishment that accompanies finishing such tasks is not to be ignored, but those tasks are oftentimes monotonous and unsustainable.

Although laying on the couch or watching TV may not seem like productive activities, they often lead to happiness.

It is OK if a person’s idea of happiness is not the same as others’.

Some people require lots of company, while others prefer to be alone. Something that is strange to some is perfectly normal to others.

One way to stay productive is to try new activities. A person could look up new recipes and cook new foods, take a virtual dance course or catch up on TV shows. Even starting a blog, meditating, taking a long bath or even just sitting on the porch and looking at the sky are options.

The beauty of life in quarantine is that time is nothing but a social construct unless work is making it mandatory for a person to clock in and out at a certain time. Anyone can do what they want, when they want. If a person wants to do a home workout at 3 a.m., they can. If they want to write a screenplay at midnight, that is perfectly fine. There are no limits to the things that can keep a person occupied, as long as it brings happiness.

The hustle and bustle of regular life can be exhausting, so it is fine to use this time to take a break. While at home, a person can lay on their couch without feeling the stress of having somewhere to be, because they are already where they need to be. Something that seemed negative can become positive with one simple mindset switch.

While times may seem bleak and being stuck in the house may be depressing, there are endless opportunities for a person to keep their mind occupied and find productivity in places they never may have looked before. If there was ever a time to try something new or do nothing, it is now. The world may have stopped but that doesn’t have to be entirely a bad thing..

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