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Columnist Evan Melendez shares four ways to stay motivated during quarantine

After staying at home for a couple months, everything seems to have become sluggish. Life has slowed down, energy has dipped and the inclination to do work is starting to slip away. A lot of this feels out of our hands, but there are some things we can do to energize and get things done in spite of the nature of isolation. I'd like to offer some methods to organize, connect and revitalize ourselves in order to make the most of our quarantine.COURTESY PHOTO: EVAN MELENDEZ - Evan Melendez

Keep a schedule: With daily routine all but disrupted, our normal planner set-ups and calendar dates are uprooted. However, just as they were essential to managing tasks pre-quarantine, now, we need them just the same. With all of our newfound neutral time, we give in to the draw of doing nothing. In the words of John Mulaney, "percentage-wise, it is 100 percent easier not to do things than to do them." It just seems too difficult to figure out a daily schedule with nothing to base it off of. But we have to start somewhere before the creeping quarantine-induced inefficiency becomes too much to bear. Getting a plan for work together is the best first step to ramping back up into the world of productivity.

Share plans with others: While we're cooped up inside the house, we shouldn't keep our thoughts cooped up as well. Though making plans and commitments in your head might be a good place to start keeping up activity during quarantine, talking to others about them is key. We depend on others to hold ourselves accountable for our commitments. Talk to others about what you're up to, and what you want to accomplish, and chances are, you'll end up doing it. You're even more likely to commit to plans and stay mentally active if you make plans with your friends, from online movie parties to social-distancing hangouts. Take a moment to reach out and check in, and see how your activity improves.

Get up early: Unless you're a natural morning person, the temptation to sleep in can be the sweetest relief of quarantine. In moderate amounts like on weekends, the rest that sleeping in provides can aid productivity. Waking up early puts us in the mindset to make the most of the day, and lasts throughout the whole day. As we consistently wake up late, this mindset fades and we sink to a lull in productivity. Humans are naturally diurnal, waking as the sun rises. Put in the effort to wake up early, and the effort will pay off in the work you do, the energy you radiate, and your emotional health.

Get outside: With the free time that has arrived in these days of quarantine, it's the perfect time to take notice of things we wouldn't otherwise normally. In the case of the outdoors, the pandemic couldn't have hit at a better time. Following the social distancing guidelines, the beautiful Oregon spring is upon us and just waiting to be explored. Go for a run, take a walk and try exploring a new part of your neighborhood. Take out the bike that's been gathering dust. Practice roller-skating and scootering, fly a kite or try out a remote control plane. The most important thing is to get outside, because staying at home for months is precisely the way to get sick of it. Get out and get energized.

We're all in this together, and the sooner we get back on our rhythm the better. If we all make the most of this time we'll come out of this stronger than we were before.

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