Magazine July 6, 2020, Issue

The Productivity Pandemic

A phone on a tripod livestreams a performance by National Symphony Orchestra’s Marissa Regni, May 31, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

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

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