One of my most commonly used questions when I’m talking action with clients is ‘So what could get in the way of you taking this action?’. None of us would have expected over the past few months the answer would be social distancing, self-isolation and forced to work from home. But this is where we find ourselves today and for the foreseeable future. So how do we manage wellbeing and productivity during the Covid-19 stay at home phase?
Finding yourself working from home for many is a new concept and even for those who are used to this way of working, many of us are finding the lines have changed. It’s unsettling and can be frustrating. Wellbeing and productivity at this time are going to be hard but need to be a priority as we fight the invisible virus threat to our health and the visible threat to careers and businesses.
Here are some of the ways you can help yourself during this period.
Keep a routine
Transferring as much of your daily routine into your new work from home scenario will help you maintain some level of normality. Over time the routine may naturally change but having a routine is what is important. Routine creates a sense of normality and structure giving you a sense of presence and performance potential. Three simple things to start with – get up at your usual time despite no need to commute, plan your day, use a to-do list, have diarised weekly or daily catch-ups and take breaks when you would at work. Productivity and flow thrive in routine.
Positive self-leadership systems
Personal operating systems are fundamentally how you achieve your best every day as they drive your self-leadership in a positive manner. How the new forced way of working is affecting your attention management is a key thing to consider. Get organised and create a working space which gives you access to everything you need when you need it. Zone your space, think about distractions in advance. Cull notifications on all devices. Keep a clear desktop (file and save as you go along). Set yourself daily goals so you know where you’re heading and can celebrate successes at the end. Don’t get stuck in the old ways of working think out of the box and take the initiative to lead yourself effectively right now.
Be clear about your working hours. It is so easy to keep on going when you are working from home and never switch completely off. Limit your social media and news intake as negative news can be exhausting. Create a work and home space divide as much as you can to ensure your headspace can focus at the right time in the right place.
Manage your expectations
Focus on what you can influence and not what you can’t. This goes for the bigger world picture right now but also within your daily work. With new working conditions, things may and will naturally slide, be kind to yourself and remind yourself that you are doing your best alongside everyone else in unusual circumstances.
Keep meaningful connections
Take time to spend time with people even in lockdown and isolation. Those you live with and those afar. Check-in with your colleagues and your friends for virtual cuppas and meetings with face to face media rather than just a text and WhatsApp. Chances are they too are finding this time stressful and unsettling. Make the most of the time at home with those you love, this may be one of the greatest gifts you can look back on when this is all over.
Be habit aware
It’s easy to fall into new habits if we are not mindful. Some of these will perhaps be good habits which will help you maintain health and productivity right now. Many may even be things you reflect on and realise you need to keep up when things return to normal. However, the bad habits will, without doubt, creep in such as poor time management, over-indulging in media notifications and poor self-talk. Be conscious of the way you are working and how you are thinking. Ask yourself, is this habit serving me well right now and will it serve me well in the future?
Sleep and eat well
Good sleep hygiene right now is so important. Avoid a last check of twitter or news before you go to sleep, keep the mobile downstairs and be careful of poor eating habits. The closeness of the fridge and anxiety will be a temptation for comfort eating and drinking so plan your breaks and your meals so you are more mindful of what and when you eat.
It manages stress and is a great distraction. There are so many independent fitness professionals taking their classes online and many for free so keep an eye on your local social media.
Read & Learn
Use this time to finally get around to all those books which have been on your list which will help your personal and professional growth in some way. Don’t know what to read here’s a potential reading list for you.
Dealing with career and business setbacks
If you find yourself facing a tough time in your career and business do reach out for support. Get in touch for a free discovery consultation which can at this time be used simply to gain some support, clarity and focus or to find out about coaching programmes.
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