“making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16

We are in a time of pandemic, and we should stay at home. As the days go by, various attitudes may arise, one of them is becoming “institutionalized.” This is a secular term that describes what can happen when employees spend a lot of time working in the same place. Some begin to do the bare minimum just to survive. They are not proactive and complain about work and difficulties. They are slow and apathetic, barely performing their work. They procrastinate and watch the clock until leaving time.  These do not excel in what they do and like to waste time on personal or family matters. In general, they are employees with an immature attitude towards work.

This negative attitude may be reaching homes today. For example, during this seclusion you may begin to feel that household chores are boring. You do not feel like doing them, and you begin to do the minimum. You pass the time resting, watching television or listening to music. You feel sleepy during the day. The days feel shorter and yield less. This is what I mean by becoming institutionalized after spending so many days at home.

The biggest problem is that this attitude is hard to shake after we have learned it, so we must do our best to resist. One of the tools to use in order to avoid becoming institutionalized is learning to use time wisely. A few ways we can do this are:

  1. Prioritize tasks within the home. Do the most important things first in order to keep the home active and healthy.
  2. Set goals, not just for each day, but for when the quarantine ends. You can make a change in your family. The change could be: being more united, arguing less, being more understanding, knowing the children better, having more knowledge of the Word of God, the children gaining more knowledge and faith in the Lord, listening more intentionally to the children, listening to the rest of the family, or something else. Set one or more goals for yourself at this time, and work towards those goals every day.
  3. Write a list of daily chores for each family member and offer small prizes to those who accomplish them.
  4. Hold cleaning contests, such as keeping rooms, bathrooms, or the kitchen in order. This keeps the whole family active.

5.Enjoy the leisure time, but do not make it too long. Help them be happy times for the whole family.

6.Do not allow the assigned tasks to be incomplete. They must be completed before leisure time.

  1. Analyze which are the most productive hours for each member of the family.

8.Do not allow wastes of time, such as laziness or distractions, to prevent tasks from being accomplished.

9.Teach your children to view time as a precious gift from God, and teach them to use it wisely.

This will a time of blessing and learning for the whole family.

May God help you in everything you undertake today.

Doctor Miguel and Irene Garita. Family Care Ministry, Church of the Nazarene, Mesoamerica Region.