May 27, 2020, marked the 66th day of me “staying at home.” Of course, I haven’t been in my home this entire time. I’ve tried to get out as much as possible to take a walk, sit in my yard, and pick up groceries (safely). I have been working from home this entire time too. Luckily, I haven’t found myself working weekends; so that’s just 53 days of working from home. This is an important marker in my time at home because scientists say it takes 66 days to make a new habit, and so I’ve begun wondering what new habits I have formed at this time.
I have tried many things in my time at home. I have tried various workout routines. I did a 21-day meditation challenge that took me about 35 days! I have literally sown many seeds to start my garden – and have been watering and tending to them daily. I watched an interview with Robin Sharma, author of the 5 am Club, which encourages people to get up at 5 am to spend 20 minutes moving, 20 minutes learning something new, and 20 minutes reflecting. I have been doing that most days – but not quite at 5 am – more like 6:30/7:00 am. I also have many new work routines and habits around how I organize my day, how I communicate, and how I get things done, all while watching the comings & goings of my Chicago neighborhood street. I find myself wondering which routines that I’ve tried will stick as I move into 70+ days at home. And, which ones will stick once life begins to return to look more like pre-COVID-19 life, to the extent that it does?
As a market researcher, all of this also has me wondering about everyone else. What routines have they abandoned and instituted over these last 66 days or so? What will they take with them into this new world, and what will they leave behind? And, what does that mean for the products and services currently available as well as the unmet needs that may be emerging as consumers exit their homes and re-enter the world?
We can speculate all day, but only time will tell. Listening to consumers now and as this journey continues to understand how their routines have shifted, what they miss, what they can live without and how they’ll continue to evolve as this situation evolves is the best way to evolve and innovate around products and services to meet the new needs of consumers in this new world.
As for me, I hope I’ve created good habits that lead to better health, productivity, and work-life balance… and I hope that I can maintain the best of these habits as time marches on!