For most people, lockdown has meant a huge change to daily routines, and it can be hard to know how best to structure the day.
To help Brits get the most out of their days in self-isolation, watch and sunglasses specialist, Tic Watches, has revealed the best times to do different activities to get the most out of them:
1. Exercise: 8am
For exercising, the earlier you can do it, the better. Studies have shown that a morning workout carries the most benefits to lose weight and gives you a mental boost for the day.
If the early mornings aren’t helping you, afternoon workouts also come with benefits and may help you to avoid a dip in energy and productivity towards the end of the day.
Try putting aside 20 minutes in your lunch break to go for a run or do some yoga to help clear your mind before tackling any afternoon tasks.
2. Try something new: 12pm
Trying your hand at a new hobby or learning a new skill is something that can be done whenever you have free time, but there are certain periods of the day when the brain finds it easier to take in new information.
Between 10am and 2pm, and again between 4pm and 7pm, the brain is in acquisition mode, meaning this is the time when learning is at its most effective.
3. Snack: 4pm
Choosing when you eat your meals can have an impact on your performance and mood, and it’s easy to snack due to boredom when you’re stuck at home. To get off to the best start, eat breakfast roughly an hour after waking up, with a break of four to five hours before lunch.
Ideally you should follow the same pattern for your evening meal, but as this isn’t always an option, try having a healthy snack between 4pm and 5pm instead, to allow you to push the meal back by a couple of hours.
4. Rest and relaxation: 10pm
It’s important to draw a line between time you will be working and when you can switch off. Plan a time when you will finish and once you reach it, stop and resist the temptation to work.
With all this extra time, it’s easy to fall out of a bedtime routine, but doing so can confuse your body and make you feel more tired. Choose a time between 8pm and 12am to go to bed, but bear in mind it may take several attempts to find an hour that suits you so experiment with different times. Then, try and stick to the routine so your body can adapt.
5. Socialise: Throughout the day
While you may need to wait until the end of the day to schedule a long catch-up with friends or family, it’s important to try and socialise throughout the day, whether you’re working or not.
If you live with someone, have breaks for a chat and to get away from work for a few minutes, or plan to do things such as exercise, playing games or starting a new TV series together. If you are working from home, schedule regular catch-ups with colleagues and ask about things outside of work to stay connected and help with feelings of isolation.
If you live alone or not, it’s still important to stay connected with the people we’re missing during this time. So, plan virtual catch-ups with friends and family in the evenings or over the weekend, giving you human contact to look forward to.
Here, some others have shared some of their tips:
Mark McMeekin, 28, Newcastle Upon Tyne
“My tips would be to plan your day first thing and, most importantly, plan your breaks. Things can obviously change, but taking breaks is critical. I try to take mine outside in the garden mid-morning and mid-afternoon, to help break up the day and get some fresh air.”
Jessica Mowatt, 36, Bristol
“I was furloughed a couple of weeks ago, and to begin with the prospect of having nothing to do during the day was very daunting. But what I quickly discovered was that structuring your day is absolutely vital for staying positive and focused.
“I decided to train for a 10k run, and because I like to stay busy, I thought I’d also try my hand at learning Russian! I find that running in the morning gives me the focus and energy I need for the day ahead, and sitting down to learn after lunch is the best way for me to get the most from both tasks.”
Rebecca Lockwood, 29, Huddersfield
“Having worked from home with my young children in tow for the last four years I have been able to adapt pretty well considering the circumstances.
“Most importantly, you need to have a routine, for both you and your kids. My top tip is to plan their day around the things you know you need to get done, whether that be working from home or household jobs. For example, giving them school tasks while you’re working but a TV break while you have an important call to take, will optimise the chances of you not being disturbed.”
Danny Richmond, Managing Director of Tic Watches, said: “It’s easy to get into a habit of being unproductive when spending this extra time at home, whether you’re working or not, but this can have a negative impact on both our productivity and our mental health. A consistent routine can make all the difference, and we hope these tips will help you find the most effective schedule for you. Remember to get out of your PJs and tackle the day as you would have before!”
For more information on how you can spend your time, you can find five new skills to learn here:https://www.ticwatches.