Self-Quarantine (For Creatives)
You may never in your life see a government imposed lock-down like this again.
One where you can freely explore your creativity?
And double-down on making the art you love with no-one bugging you?
Not a chance.
So take advantage of it.
But act fast. There are forces working against you.
Forces like your own laziness. And depressing habits waiting to form.
As Elliot Hulse puts it: depressing habits like "porn, eating artificial foods stuffed with chemicals, cramming their heads with fake news and media hype, watching shows embedded with hidden agendas, letting their bodies degrade because "they don’t have a home gym" etc...
Instead, be like Laura (mystery student) who is leaving social media for the next few weeks to FOCUS!
You have to remind people that right now is YOUR time. You're about to create the art that everyone will be consuming during the next "outbreak".
Make them understand that for people like you, this current situation isn't just a crisis. It's also an opportunity. You get to catch up on work. Or learn a new skill. Or get an edge on your competition. You've been waiting for this moment.
But you have to start now. Whatever habits you establish in these first days of self-quarantine will be the patterns you will keep for the rest of this precious time.
What time will you wake up every day? What time will you go to sleep? How will you take care of yourself (eating and exercise-wise). What goals will you accomplish every day? How will you reward yourself for a job well done at the end of the day (that's important too)?
Figure out your game-plan before other people squeeze-in their less empowering activities into your open schedule.
Learn how to draw.
Or Write a song a day. Perform an acoustic version of it for Instagram Story. Get feedback.
Get into Tiktok. Learn the app. Create a new skit for Tiktok every day. Try to go viral.
Or write 3,000 words for your book or your script every morning. Share a few excerpts with your fans in the afternoon.
Or take a bunch of photos. Concepts you haven't tried before. Try new camera settings. Share the results it with your followers. Add a thoughtful caption to accompany the visuals.
PROMOTE YOURSELF GOALS
Finally build that website to showcase your work. Get feedback from friends (in between their Netflix binges).
Reach out to potential clients now that everyone is forced into downtime. Start formulating a client acquisition strategy for 'Rona' runs it's course.
Research and find music directors (or Tiktok dancers) to send your music to.
Start your email list. Set up a "welcome email" sequence for it too.
Figure out which part of your brand experience can be recreated online, and start designing it.
Use this time to connect with the people who love your brand in more meaningful ways than you could afford to when time was scarce.
MAKE A DENT
Whatever your goal is for the next few weeks. Try to make a dent every single day. Enjoy the intensity. You can make incredible inroads in any project you start today.
I remember when I practiced saxophone for 8 hours a day over a long Christmas break (3 weeks) and learned KoKo by Charlie Parker. I had only been playing for 3 months:
KEEP YOUR EYE ON AUGUST
Come August (when the worst of this will have died down hopefully) you’re gonna wish you had run this marathon.
These are the sacrifices Superstars make before they become Superstars. Work when others are sleeping.
In August, you'll start hearing the stories of people who turned this quarantine into their launching pad.
Every community will have brand new music stars, skit-makers, writers, photographers, filmmakers and cool new brands that will emerge out of 'Rona 2020'.
What you do NOW, will determine if one of those few people... ARE YOU!
Write your game plan down.
But don't just write it down and put it out of view...
YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT YOUR PLAN EVERY SINGLE DAY YOU WAKE UP. OTHERWISE YOU WILL FORGET IT. AND BELIEVE ME, 'THEY' WANT YOU TO FORGET IT. 'THEY' DON'T WANT YOU TO SHAME THEM WITH YOUR WORK ETHIC.
You need to write down your goals and look at them every morning. And before you go to bed at night, write your todo list for the following day based on your goals. Don't wait until the morning to figure it out. You need to plant it in your subconscious. So that when you start the day with 100% energy-- You immediately use that energy to work.
PRACTICE "SOCIAL MEDIA DISTANCING"
- Don't allow yourself to go on Instagram or any other social media until you've created something meaningful for the day. A new piece of writing, a new song, edited some video, sorted or taken photos, worked on your website, or done the 6 cold calls or emails you promised yourself you'd do to finally start promoting your art.
- Give yourself set social media times. Like noon and 8pm for example. Make all that time in between a "no-social media" haven. Bro. Babe. Watch. Just watch. Your productivity will go up by 67%. I made that number up. It's likely more. And the improvement to your mental health? Priceless.
It's incredible how much you will get accomplished when you finally decide to put a hoodie over your head, ignore the world, and just create.
WATER / TEA
Read your game-plan first thing in the morning as you drink a glass of water. Then switch to tea. Green tea and Rooibus tea will strengthen your immune system.
"Tea and high antioxidant hot drinks are a great safeguard to keep from getting sick."
And gargle with an antiseptic like warm water and salt every day.
If you learn anything from 'Rona 2020', let it be this:
Your body is a powerful engine, but... A microscopic virus can easily make it come to a complete halt.
If you want to be the creativity machine you've been dying to be during this time-- you have to take care of that engine.
Get your immune system solid.
Look, I was on tour with The Weeknd for 5 years. Visited tons of countries... Long flights... Long drives... Contact with millions of new people... And I never got sick.
How'd I do it?
Maybe a little bit.
But mostly because my family comes from a lineage of voodoo, so they taught me some tricks.
I'll share some of them below.
But the basic philosophy is this: If you want to increase your chances of never getting sick... TREAT YOUR BODY LIKE YOU'RE SICK ALREADY.
Make sure you sleep enough. But you make sure that you don't oversleep (that weakens your body).
Wake up at the same time every day.
Go to bed at the same time every night.
That rhythm will make slip into dreamland quickly and wake up feeling refreshed.
"Deep breathing" means from your diaphragm.
When you breath in make your stomach expand like a balloon and you're doing it right.
Use a 2-2-4 sequence. Inhale for a ccount of 2.
Hold it for a count of 2.
And exhale for a count of 4.
Every time you go around the cycle you'll feel like you're getting access to a little more lung bit by bit.
This type of breathing activates the lymphatic system.
You know what the lymphatic system does?
It carries your white blood cells.
Do you know what white blood cells are for?
You guessed it.
INTERVAL TRAINING FOR CREATIVES (33 MINUTES)
This one is for the really intense creatives out there.
What you do is you set a timer for 33 minutes. You work non-stop for those 33 minutes. And during that time you're not allowed to touch your phone. You have to be LOCKED-IN. You can only work on the task at hand. When the timer goes off you get to take a break for 10 mintues. But, you HAVE to stop right away. You do 10 push ups or 30 sit-ups. Drink water. Check your phone. Do this interval training all morning and see if you don't feel amazing at the end of it!
Mild exercise is good.
But stay away from hard training right now because it lowers your immune system.
Do it at the beginning of the day because this "stupidly easy" activity is for some reason the hardest thing for us all to do.
But ahhhhh.... THE BENEFITS!
The only thing you're allowed to think about for the 20 minutes you're meditating is how it's going to feel when you accomplish everything you wrote on your list to do last night.
Visualize. Feel it in all your bones. Imagine every situation that could lead to your success.
GINGER / GARLIC CLEANSES
Eat garlic. Eat ginger. You're in isolation. It's ok to have garlic breath now.
You know I love tequila.
But alcohol is the worse thing right now if you're trying to keep your immune system in top shape, Not to mention the fuzziness and lack of motivation you'll feel the next day.
That's just too high a price to pay when you're in 'Mamba Mode'.
Listen. We’re going to get out of these dark times no matter what. That's why I’m encouraging you to focus right now on who you can become.
Ask yourself "What 'new me' can emerge after all this is done?"
Make this crazy time in history, a part of your amazing story.
Use the next few weeks to create a momentum that you'll be able to benefit from long after this your "self-quarantine" and "social distancing" is done.
When people will ask you one day "What did you do during 'Rona 2020'", you'll proudly be able to say "That's when everything changed for me."
HERE IS AN EXTENDED HELPFUL ARTICLE ABOUT FOCUS WRITEN BY PSYCHOKILLERBLOG: