Hiep Doan

Self-reflection during COVID-19 lockdown

April 18, 2020

  • productivity
  • covid19
  • reflection

It’s a strange time, isn’t it? All around the world millions of million people are being put in some forms of lockdown, all thanks to the COVID-19. Everywhere companies have started remote working and more and more employees are copped up at home, instead of rushing to the office in the morning.

It has been more than a month for me to work entirely from home, in my sleeping pants and sometimes from my comfortable sofa. Honestly, it felt comfortably weird at first, as it’s so much different from the rat race that I have the last two years (i has commuted daily for 200km). It is strange because suddenly I have so much time in the morning and I can even afford a morning workout, a short meditation and have a proper breakfast. No more rushing to the train…

But gradually, I embrace the situation. Sure I do miss my gym, I miss some shops that used to be available whenever I need them and I miss eating out with my wife every Friday. But there are definitely few perks of being under lockdown.

When you distance to others, you stay closer to yourself

Social distancing means literally that you should be away from others. And yet during that process, you’re a bit closer to yourself. I found the joy of doing yoga again. I feel so much closer to my own house than the last two years, as now I spend more time at home, I suddenly notice here and there I can clean this place or fix other small things which I was either too busy or tired to pay attention to before.

Now as I save time from commuting and mandatorily avoid spending time with others, I have more time for my other hobby. I spend more time reading and learning new things that I did not have time to do before. Re-building this blog again with Gatsby.js and Netlify is one of those things.

Yet I feel more connected to a lot more people

Thanks to the COVID-19, many peoples including me are forced to be worried. We worry about ourselves and our loved ones. I send many messages and call my family and friends, to make sure that they are ok. Many people I have not contacted for a long time. In some sense, as someone who is living abroad for a long time, I feel more connected more than ever.

Distraction avoidance is key to productivity

I noticed a considerable increase in my productivity. I manage to do more works per day and still have time for reading before going to bed. Social distancing forces me to avoid unnecessary distractions and help me to focus on what is important to put my effort on.

Looking forward I think it’s impossible for humanity to being constantly in this lockdown state. Human is a social animal, after all. But once in a while, it does not hurt to put yourself in your mini-lockdown to enjoy a boost of productivity.


Whatever happens, 2020 is gonna be a special year. COVID-19 has shattered the connected work that we have known. I am an optimistic person and I truly believe humans will learn a great deal from this and we will be much much better prepared for the next pandemic or whatever outbreak it will be.

Still, this kind of life-time event brings a lot of chances for us to reflect and better understand our own. Do not miss the chance and being a better version of yourself when the world is ready to connect with you again. 🤘

Hiep Doan

Written by Hiep Doan, a software engineer living in the beautiful Switzerland. I am passionate about building things which matters and sharing my experience along the journey. I also selectively post my articles in Medium. Check it out!