The Productivity Pandemic

Published June 25, 2020

National Review - July 6, 2020 issue

For those of us lucky enough to have kept our job and our health during the Great Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020, working from home — and, in fact, spending nearly all of our waking hours inside our home — has nevertheless presented challenges of its own.

Not least of these has been finding something to do with all the time we suddenly seem to have on our hands. Within a week, we went from telling our friends, “I’m doing really well, but I’m so busy,” to rolling our eyes and muttering, “Doing okay, I guess, just trying to stay busy.”

As most of us heaved a sigh and resigned ourselves to an indeterminate period spent indoors, the social-media machine of productivity gurus whirred into motion and the self-improvement listicles began pouring in, all revolving around the theme of finding countless, personalized ways to make the most of these unusual times.

“Look on the bright side!” they chirped. “Quarantine is a time for Progress and Growth.” Trapped inside, we now would have no choice but to finally get to all those projects we’d been putting off for ages, to detoxify our odd assortment of cleaning supplies, to start drafting that long-awaited novel, to repaint the spare bedroom once or twice or seven times, to declutter our closets and garages, to learn how to garden without killing half the plants, to finally get in shape and start that diet we swore we’d try in the new year.

Websites big and small, eager for a share of the increased Internet traffic of the homebound masses, immediately got busy capitalizing on our unending boredom and churned out articles on staying entertained and being productive.

Click here to read the rest of this article at National Review’s website.

Alexandra DeSanctis is a staff writer for National Review and a visiting fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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