Hello Tribe / Work from Home Warriors! We're going to get back to tidying, I promise! In fact, I believe that when tidy together, we'll add something new and different to our workdays that will help get us moving in a positive direction, be more productive and give us more Joy at Work - which we desperately need right now! So. That. Is. Coming.
First, I feel compelled to talk about something that is now a real "thing." COVID Fatigue. In my conversations with friends and colleagues via phone and Zoom, this always comes up for discussion. Six months into this pandemic / quarantine, many of us are realizing that we feel: tired, exhausted, lazy, like we are losing steam, unproductive, restless, lonely, disconnected, and stressed. We even notice that coffee doesn't help anymore! We find ourselves longing for a change of scenery, time to decompress, and a way to turn off work when work is "always there."
An article I read in TODAY states, "It's not you, it's work." According to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, the average workday is 48.5 minutes longer than it was before the pandemic, and meetings have gone up by 12.9 percent. And guess what? Zoom meetings require deeper concentration and more work for your brain so we may be experiencing Zoom Fatigue as well.
So let's talk about this so we can work together to fight it. You know I'm kind of a "pro" at fighting, right? I'm currently doing my very best to combat fatigue from my cancer treatment. I've been at it since March when COVID emerged. A dual battle I plan to win.
I think a big part of what's going on for many of us, is that we thought working from home was a temporary solution to a short-term crisis that would end. Yet the crisis continues and so our work from home continues. If this is our "new normal", then we are at the point where we need to choose to accept and embrace working from home as the way we work now. It. Is. What. It. Is.
When you're a cancer patient, there is a lot of talk about a "new normal." When you are diagnosed with cancer, you find yourself thinking about your life before cancer - but life for us never really goes back to what it was. Once we go "all in" and commit to a treatment plan, we take the steps forward that we have to take and move into the unknown to get to a cure. Looking back uses up time and energy and quickly becomes unproductive because the how and the why don't matter as much as the need to fight the battle we are currently in. This is what I call adapting to my "fighter's mentality." I. Am. In. It. To. Win. It.
So what if we would all take on a fighter's mentality and adjust our mindset to be present in the moment we are in? Let's commit to a "refresh" and move beyond this point in the journey. Let's take steps to push ourselves through the fatigue to get to a better place at work. Let's adapt and move ourselves into the Future of Work.
To fight my fatigue, I walk. I'm following a walking program from a book titled Healing Walks for Hard Times. It combines walking and meditation. There are days when I can barely put one foot in front of the other, yet I am determined to walk because I know if I do, I'll have more energy to get through my day. It isn't surprising to hear that many of you say you are walking too!
That said, you don't have to walk. Just move. Move a little more. Every step matters. Even the steps we take away from our desk during the day matter. Give yourself a change of scenery by walking outside and getting some fresh air. See the sunshine. Get a look at nature. Maybe even work outside. Or take your laptop and move your work to a different place inside with a fresh view. To make time for exercise / walking / movement, I've heard these great suggestions from you: block time on your calendar, change your status to "away" or "be right back", or set an alarm to step away and GO.
So let's get moving and fight off our COVID, Zoom, and Cancer Fatigue. Let me know what you try and how it works for you.* Then share with us in a post! We've. Got This.
*Please keep in mind that if you have physical limitations due to injury or medication, please check with your medical advisors before beginning an exercise or walking program.