This week’s post is written by Christine Cox, one of our expert GCSE and A level English Language tutors.

Lockdown inertia

Time flies … spring has disappeared and it looks like perhaps June too will be another month of waiting and wondering when this pandemic will end.  Since 23rd March, time as we know it, measured by days, weeks and months, has stopped and we’re frozen in seemingly limitless freedom or restriction of lockdown.

Those who work in the health or public services or shops  and delivery services are rushed off their feet, dealing with the crisis hands-on and putting themselves at risk to serve and support all those who are either ill, need support or require just basic provisions. 

Some people still go to work but many of us are working at home, studying at home or just at home – a new kind of normal and it’s taking some getting used to. In theory my house should be amazing – tidy, clean and organised. This should be the golden opportunity to sort all those things that I had just stuffed away until I had spare time. Ditto my computer files, how I have wished I had time to go through, delete stuff, reorganise my files and finally once I had control – go paperless. Then there are the books to read – that is still a pleasing option. 

But time has become ‘stretchy’, it doesn’t seem to matter, there is no urgency.  I have entered lockdown inertia and it’s not boring. To be fair I have tidied up a lot of stuff, filled a green recycling bin with paper, receipts and memorabilia I do not need. I have deleted some files but not fully reorganised my computer files, I can do that another day. As for study resources, which I fully intended to revamp, I have done some but not as much as I could have, should have. I could make my life so easy by doing stuff now instead of leaving it until later – but that’s where the inertia creeps back, there seems to be so much time!

I lack the structure of being pressured to do things. I feel robbed! There are no examinations, so for me as an examiner, there are no meetings, no pressure to clear the desk and get ready for marking all those exam papers. Late April, May and June are normally ‘bum-numbing’ but hectic times and weirdly I admit that I enjoy all that pressure and intense work-load. But now I’m in limbo. Trouble is how are we actually going to fit everything in when ‘lockdown’ finishes and the world restarts? I think I am going to be out of practice … oh dear!

After 6 full weeks of not doing very much, I’ve decided to get my act together, prepare for the future and get myself back in the game. I’m going to make myself do more things. So tonight I’m on Zoom improving my French. My gym streams daily classes for 24 hours so you can opt in and out but they also do a zoom class at 11.30. Until now I have sometimes opted in but without a definite time, I haven’t always done the exercise. The inertia sloth has taken over! No more…I’m doing the class, get it done, and get the benefit. 

Wouldn’t it be a shame if the ‘lockdown’ were suddenly lifted and all those things I could have done, were still not done? This is a surreal moment in time but within the confines of safe distance encounters and isolation, it is still an opportunity to use our time wisely. To quote J. K. Rowling:

“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

So how can you stay productive and motivated during this time?

We have posted a few articles and blog posts that will help maintain motivation:

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