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How to Make This Covid-19 Movement Restriction Order an Opportunity for Growth

by Emily Goh Yi En. |

One of the biggest fears aside the actual health concerns when it comes to the severity of the pandemic Covid-19, is the uncertainty of what is to come with the Movement Restriction Order implemented.

For many of us, we spend more than 10 hours a day being out and about, so this self-quarantine can seem daunting. After all, what are we to do when we are stuck at home for the next 14 days?

Besides all the advice on keeping yourself healthy and avoiding crowds, let’s not allow the situation to temper with our high spirits.

This quarantine could actually be a good opportunity for us to reset, shift our focus, and even be the best chance for us to carve out an intentional productive period in 2020.

Here is why this time could just be a great opportunity for personal growth.

1. You will have less distractions.

We often complain that we do not have enough time to do everything we always wanted. Now that there is an actual “rule” to stay home, this greatly minimizes your distractions and gives you more time to work on the things that are important to you.

The time that you often spend shopping, walking around in malls, going to the cinemas, engaging in long “lepak” sessions with your friends are now all cleared up. With this extra time and limited environment of being indoors, you are able to have a clearer headspace to hyper focus on your priorities.

Take this opportunity to work on the tasks or creative hobbies you have been putting off all this while. Be it a creative hobby that you always wanted to get into, a habit you have been trying to cultivate, or even a slightly annoying but needed task like cleaning out your shelf; this is the best time to get right into it.

2. You will have more freedom than you think.

When we think of a quarantine, it feels as if our freedom is being robbed away. However, what we don’t realize is that we now have so much more freedom and flexibility on how you utilize our time.

When you are working at an office job, or when you are required to head out for errands and fulfill appointments at a certain time, you are forced to work around these hours, even if you don’t feel productive.

But with this Movement Restriction Order, you can create systems that are entirely suited to you (of course, this does not mean you are uncontactable by your colleagues or you are missing deadlines!). If you are more productive in the mornings, then you should work on tasks that require more of your attention; if you feel sluggish in the afternoons, use that time for correspondence tasks like replying to emails.

Oh, and the most liberating part of a quarantine – you no longer have to waste time on commuting, or waiting to get on a train or being stuck in a bad traffic jam. You now have the freedom to transition from tasks to tasks in the matter of minutes. Now all the hours you have in a day belongs entirely to you. Use this benefit wisely!

3. You get a chance to create a new routine.

If you are someone who loves creating routines, you would also know that after a certain period of the same ol’ routine, you would start feeling stagnant and uninspired.

Now that you are working from home, you can create a fresh new routine that could shift your perspective and increase your productivity. This could be as simple as waking up to a slow stretching exercise (now that you no longer need to rush out the door), or taking a short 20 minutes nap in the afternoon to recharge. Another thing you can do is to create an inspiring physical workspace for yourself, which is a great change of scene from your usual office cubicle.

What is important is to find an opportunity to create little things that bring you joy as you hustle hard through your work. That way, you will stay motivated, and may even bring you fresh ideas as to how you get things done.

Now that you are convinced that this crucial period of staying home could be seen as an opportunity for growth, I would also like to share some suggestions on how you can intentionally make the most out of this quarantine – cultivating skills and habits that can propel you in your professional and personal development journey.


1. Work on neglected housekeeping tasks.

During normal working days, we are often too caught up with the day-to-day demands and overwhelming deadlines to bother with housekeeping tasks like filing, keeping track of progress, or revamping existing presentation decks, etc. Basically, any task that is considerably tedious but necessary in the long run.

Now that you have more time on your hands, and your stakeholder requests might be reduced, you can finally carve out time to get these “important but less urgent” work done. This will help you build the foundation for an efficient workflow when work is back in full force. That way, you can just focus on handling the surge or requests or deadlines without having these tasks linger at the back of your mind.

2. Brainstorm creative ideas that will contribute to your company.

Now that you are working remotely, the usual procedures for your work processes might have to change. Take this as an opportunity to adapt and put your creativity to test. Brainstorm helpful ideas that can contribute to your team in making workflows more efficient. Demonstrate your leadership skills by keeping your teammates morale high through various online communications tools. Come up with ideas to add value to your clients and stakeholders during this down time.

If your company is in the creative industry, you can also take this opportunity to ideate new strategies to products and services that can be executed digitally. This might just be a turning point for your company to strengthen their presence online.

Remember that no one is too small to create a positive impact on the company. If you are able to look at changes as opportunities, you will definitely have the creativity to contribute new ideas that can benefit your team.


1. Learn new skills or sharpen a skill you have been working on.

Now that your distractions are limited, take this time to dive deeper into something you always wanted to learn.

A good way to do that is by tuning in to online courses on the subject matter. You can find classes online on almost any topic through various course platforms such as Masterclass, Skillshare etc. In order to stick through with it, it is helpful to carve out specific time you would tune in to those classes, such as 2 hours before you go to bed each night – just so you can build a structure that keeps yourself accountable.

Other than listening in to online courses, you will need to practice these skills. For example, if you love to write or paint, being quarantined to stay home should give you a productive environment to work on your craft more consistently.

You should view this time as an opportunity to stop making excuses and commit to learning the skills you always wanted to.

2. Build consistent healthy habits.

Now that you are contained within the four walls of staying home, it is a golden opportunity for you to build healthy habits that you know will benefit you.

Take this extra time to work on productive habits such as working out consistently, committing to reading more or watching documentaries that are educational.

Now that you have full control of your schedule, don’t let it go to waste by doing mindless activities. This is a good time to kickstart these positives, and set yourself up to stick to it even when the quarantine is over.

When there is an unexpected change, what differentiates people who grow from it and people who are beaten down is the ability to shift your mindset and adapt. When you are able to view this situation as an opportunity for growth, you are able to make the best out of it.

Who knows, this might just be your chance to reset and create the most productive and inspiring period of 2020.

P/S: Amidst the hustling, remember to stay healthy, load up on water and vitamin C, and stay home as much as possible. Let’s do our part to flatten the curve.

You may find out more about Emily on her Instagram too!

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