This Week’s Tip: Set and Achieve a Personal Best

Table Tennis PictureImage from

By Daniel Braverman

Spring is upon us. That means travel, time with friends, and–for many of us–staying in shape for spring sports. Unfortunately, none of those are possible this year. Merely trying to stay sane is a challenge. However, our seemingly endless amount of time at home doesn’t have to drive us crazy. It doesn’t have to be terribly boring. 

While going through Instagram stories a few days ago (which now takes way too long), someone shared a thought that I find interesting. He said that if you don’t come out of quarantine with a new skill or piece of knowledge, you “never lacked time, you lacked discipline.” I couldn’t stop thinking about what he said. What’s something I can accomplish with all my free time at home that I’d never be able to do without the pandemic? Here are two great ideas that–with proper discipline–anyone can accomplish. 

First off, set a new personal best. I’m talking about your weekly average screen time, of course. All iPhones, and I think most other phones too, give a weekly report at the end of the week that says how much time was spent on your phone each day. Without this situation, you’d spend so much time in class, with your friends, or practicing for a sports team that could otherwise be spent on your phone. None of those distractions are in your way anymore. Now is your opportunity to set a new personal best for screen time!

I know what you must be thinking: “Daniel, I’d never question the validity of any of your brilliant advice, but I want to stay active during this time too.” Don’t fret, I had a similar feeling. That’s why, to keep your mental and physical health in top shape, I’ve come up with this second idea: play ping pong against a wall. If you have a table that folds, putting up one-half works perfectly. If not, place your table next to a wall. In the likely event that you don’t have a ping pong table, don’t worry. Just hit a ball against the wall with your hand. Then, set a personal best and challenge yourself to achieve it. Hitting a ball against the wall in a room alone is sure to help your sanity and make you a better athlete. It’s a win-win. 

I’d say that I hope these ideas help you, but that wouldn’t be honest. I know they’ll help you. What I do hope is that whether you take my advice or not, you lean on your family and friends during this tough time. Even though people sometimes complain about school, we’ve all lost great and special parts of our lives with the move to social-distancing and online classes. We can spend the rest of our time in social-distancing sulking about the sad situation around the world, or we can take pride in doing our part to help ease the suffering of those most vulnerable in our communities. Please, take care of those you care for and take care of yourself. 

It’s been an honor to be a beacon of advice for you over the past three years. Although I’m sure that my advice has worked wonders for you, I’m confident that you’ll be fine moving forward without my two-cents.