The ultimate Price of Having More Free Time

The Pressure of Being Productive When the World is at a Halt

By: Imani Wilson

Balancing productivity and procrastination becomes a challenge during a global health crisis. Credit:

As a full-time student and employee, I have always looked forward to a time where I could have more free time to myself. One day recently in March, that day finally came. 

The novel Coronavirus (CoVid-19) had swept the nation, causing schools and businesses to close indefinitely, forcing humans into a mode of self-quarantine. This new and sudden wave of changes became a reality nobody would ever imagine. 

Government and state officials advised people to “act as if they have it”, along with stay-at-home orders to slow and reduce the spread of the virus.

Even though my ideal way of spending my new-found free time would be laying out on a beach in Jamaica,  I knew I would not be doing so anytime soon due to the stay-at-home orders. So, I decided I would use this window of free time to reflect- That is until I turned to social media in my time of boredom only to see my friends and family using their quarantine time in a different way. 

They were starting business and preparing to become the next YouTube sensation, leaving me to feel like I too needed to tap into something new. However, I didn’t know quite what that would be. 

My grandmother was learning new stitch patterns to crochet with. I called my best friend Tina, who said that she was using her time to practice drawing. 

My cousin took this free time to start her own fitness website. They were so productive and busy that they pushed me into trying something new. 

If I’m being honest, I didn’t really want to do anything. I just could not find the motivation. In times of distress we are often encouraged to take up hobbies and activities, since lifestyle changes can help many cope with the depressing nature of a situation, such as a pandemic. 

  In need of comfort, I asked my mother if there was ever a time during her existence similar to what we’re living in now, and she couldn’t recall. She did mention hearing about the  2003 SARs pandemic and the harm that it caused. 

SARs, while similar to SARs-CoVid-2, was nowhere near as large in numbers like the Coronavirus. Coronavirus is the first pandemic to attack the globe since the 2009 H1N1 Swine Flu outbreak. 

This new Coronavirus is a dangerous threat to everyone, and can harm anyone. This brought me to the realization that for most of this, it is all new and everyone adapts to change differently. My biggest fear is that a life of fear and isolation will become our new reality. 

I came to the realization that this time doesn’t have to be used to become the next Steve Jobs or Picasso if you choose not to- but instead, a time to realize what is really important and keeping the mind and body healthy during a pandemic. Keeping those two things in mind, we will be back to our hectic life in no time. The storm is only just passing by.


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