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  • Writer's pictureDr. CK Bray

Pandemic Productivity

We all had thoughts and fantasies about working from home and what that would mean when the stay at home order went into effect.

Think of all that we can accomplish and get done!  Nate, who works in finance, went out and bought paint to finish the downstairs walls.  He bought plants and rocks to complete his yard project and had plans to put up shelves and organize his garage.  He decided to increase his workout routine.  Nate figured with the time he saved from commuting and visiting customers; he could finish it all.  Three weeks later, he has barely finished painting one wall, and his workout routine consists of eating ice cream every night.  

Amid the global pandemic we are all experiencing, it is tough to accomplish everything we want to.  I realize it may be difficult to remember what life was like a few months ago, but it was tough being productive then, let alone when the world is experiencing a health crisis.  We are going through a traumatic experience.  We are daily experiencing emotional hurdles such as sleeplessness, anger, fear, and worry.  The time and energy it is taking to adjust to our new normal is stealing the energy to focus, create, and make decisions.

  So what do you do?

First, you need to reset your expectations of productivity and self-optimization.  Let go of the expectations of productivity that you held two months ago.  You are living a different life for a time, and how you work will change. Be okay with working differently.  It doesn't mean you can't do an excellent job for your company; it means that you may do it differently.

Second, make a goal to hit third base.  Choose three simple tasks that you need to finish by the end of the day to create a feeling of accomplishment.  Be reasonable in setting your three goals.  Start small if you need to and remember to take short breaks after completing each one.  

Third, schedule time for nothing.  There is power in stillness and doing nothing.  Take a moment to breathe, to open the window and look outside, or if possible, take a walk outside.  Take a moment to play your favorite song and relax, or even better learn how to play it on the ukulele or guitar.  Society values doing, but it is important to remember that broth has to boil for a time to taste good.  We are living in the eye of the storm.  We are running a marathon, not a sprint, and performing at our best during a time like this may take extra time.

Stay healthy and stay well.




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