For many of us stage 4 lockdown seems like a prison sentence as we have been stripped from our freedom. During these difficult times, it’s important to maintain perspective and understand that the only parts you truly have control over are your attitude, your mindset, and your actions – as the rest is out of your control. In order to get through this unprecedented event and come out of it with more focus and direction, I have come up with a list of 7 things you can do during the 6 week lockdown period. I hope it helps you in some way.

Right now the wind is blowing us all in the same direction, but for those that take control of their sail and point it in their desired direction, they will be better for it when we get to the other side.

Here are 7 things you can work on to achieve more focus and direction – as the next 6 weeks could be the perfect time to reset.

7 things to do during lockdown…

1: Set your 2021 goals now as this will give you focus and something to look forward to

Many years ago I developed a four-quadrant goals list to help me achieve greater clarity and commitment to achieving my goals each year – these include:

  • Personal
  • Business/Career
  • Wealth Creation
  • Personal growth and development

I recommend you jot down 2 to 3 specific goals under each quadrant, with specific timing, as this will help you focus and start working on what’s required to achieve each goal.

For many people, travel will be included in the personal quadrant – I know it is for me – and this is a great way to have something motivating to look forward to.

2: Get a financial grip

Looking back can help you design your financial future. We all have money habits – some good, some bad, and some ugly.

A great way to change the direction of your financial future, is to look in the rear vision mirror of your money habits, and make the necessary changes moving forward.

A good way to achieve this is to audit your last 12 months bank statements – and credit card statements – and make a list of all your expenses. Then group each expense into ‘fixed’ and ‘variable’, and into ‘necessary’ and ‘unnecessary’. Cull what you believe is wasteful and commit to changes you will make going forward.

As part of the process, you should work out how much cash you can free up by culling the unnecessary, which can then be diverted into growth assets that will move you towards your longer-term financial goals.

3: Challenge your biggest household expense and take the necessary action

For most people, their home loan is by far the biggest household expense – unless you’re renting in which case the rent you pay is your biggest expense (generally speaking).

Right now banks and lenders are screaming for your business. Jump onto your internet banking and check your home loan rate(s) relating to your home and/or investment property.

If your home loan rate(s) don’t have a 2 in front of it, then you’re most likely throwing a lot of hard earned cash in unnecessary interest.

Take advantage of the fierce competition among lenders right now, which includes thousands in refinance cash rebates with some lenders.

Refinancing may benefit you in several ways; less interest paid, reduced repayments, reduced home loan term, and leveraging your borrowing equity to bounce on opportunities once we come out of the current coma.

If we can help you with a home loan review and possibly refinance, please contact us as we have depth of experience and know how to ensure your home loan(s) are financially fit.

4: Read books of interest and refocus your mind

If you were trailing up a mountain in the dark with a torch light around your head, wherever your head turns is where your torch (light) will point.

Life is similar – “where your focus goes is where your energy flows” (Tony Robbins – renowned motivational speaker and coach).

There is so much negative news right now. Give your mind a break from it all by getting lost in another story – a great way to refocus and reset your mindset.

5: Listen to podcasts and get inspired

Weeds don’t need weeding as they just grow through anything and everything, including concrete.

Your mind is exactly the same. Remove the negativity from your mind – and from your life – else negativity will just grow on auto-pilot and compound daily.

There are many fantastic podcasts to motivate you and keep you focused on your life purpose and on the path you have chosen. Make this a daily habit and watch your life take a turn for the better.

6: Get into a daily routine and commit

When times are tough – like now – self-discipline is key. The best way to exercise self-discipline is to create a daily ritual – a daily routine. But you must commit and stick to it.

For me, my daily ritual is an hour exercise every morning before my day even starts. Another (crazy) thing I do is to finish off my shower by turning the tap on fully cold for at least 30 seconds before I towel dry. Both these activities gets my blood circulating and makes me more alert (especially the cold shower finish during winter..!!).

Daily exercise doesn’t need to be rigorous. It can even be a daily walk. The point is, commit to a daily ritual and stick to it.

Whatever it is that you commit to, and stick to, you’ll find that this becomes your new ritual even after lockdown – and the benefits you’ll experience will speak for themselves.

Try it, what have you got to lose?

7: Limit your browsing time on social media and refocus

As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t know. A good way to know how much time you’re spending on socials is to check the usage time through settings on your smartphone.

Social media has it’s place, but research suggests that many people are getting sucked into spending a large percentage of their time – day and/or night – on their socials. This is having an adverse effect on people’s moods and productivity. During stage 4 lockdown, this problem is likely to worsen.

Late in 2019, both Facebook and Instagram removed the ‘likes’ count from their app to take away the popularity aspect of posts, as it was believed that ‘likes’ was associated with mental-health implications – particularly for teens.

There is no right or wrong with this other than you being honest with yourself of how you feel it has – or is – impacting your mood, attitude, productivity, and your life.

In closing…

The above 7 steps are just some of the things you can do right now during stage 4 lockdown to achieve focus and direction, as opposed to getting sucked into negativity and unproductive use of your time.

Of course accountability is key here, therefore if you feel that you won’t hold yourself to account, then perhaps it’s time to reach out to someone you trust that won’t judge you but will play a role in holding you to account.

Good luck over the coming 6 weeks and have faith knowing that this horror show will soon pass. Life will return to normal and our wonderful city – Melbourne – will once again be vibrant and buzzing as it always has been.

The Information is general in nature and does not take into account your particular investment objectives or financial situation. It does not constitute, and should not be relied on as, financial or investment advice or recommendations (expressed or implied) and is not an invitation to take up securities or other financial products or services. No decision should be made on the basis of the information without first seeking expert financial advice. Your full financial needs and requirements would need to be assessed prior to any offer or acceptance of a loan product. Subject to lenders terms and conditions, fees and charges and eligibility criteria apply.