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The Coronavirus, Social Distancing, and Work

Take these 3 steps to make your day more productive and balanced.

Source: Pexels

Consistent updates about COVID-19 are plastered across television, the internet, and social media. Communities across the globe are encouraged (and in some circumstances mandated) to practice social distancing in an effort to flatten the curve and slow the spread of coronavirus.

Many of us have kids or loved ones at home and are viciously working to strike a balance between being aware, socially responsible, and calm while still maintaining as much normalcy as possible. For those who are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work from home, the work-life balance struggle becomes all-the-more complicated.

Follow these rules to keep your cool while adjusting to this new normal.

1. Set a work schedule and stick to it. Determine when you will work and when you will watch the news, play with your kids, or hang out with loved ones. When we set a specific time to work and a specific time to do other things, then those boundaries give us a sense of security and direction. If you have a busy household, consider waking up early to knock-out any emails or deliverables while your environment is most calm. If you are more productive in the evening, consider saving the more complicated assignments for the end of the day, once everyone is settled in.

2. Schedule downtime. When you create your schedule, specifically designate daily breaks so that you may enjoy quality time with family and loved ones. If you are practicing social distancing solo, schedule a daily FaceTime call with a friend or loved one. Due to the advent of modern technology, we can stay even more connected with people than in the past. If possible, use the video feature when interacting virtually, as this will help you to feel less isolated and alone. If you are hunkered down with loved ones and still need to get work done, let them know when they can snuggle or play that game of Monopoly. Remember that those boundaries are just as important for your loved ones as they are for you.

3. Minimize your searches online. Honestly assess your curiosity (and need) to know the latest updates. Note that most people are much more productive when we focus on one task at a time instead of multiple tasks at once. Even on a lazy weekend, it’s easy to get lost in a slew of Facebook posts and wonder what happened to the last hour of your life. When you toss real-time unsettling and devastating news and updates into the mix, five minutes in front of the television can easily turn into an hour, and a quick internet search can fully derail work efforts. Designate specific times to watch the news or to read about the latest updates. Set a timer so that you know when your news break is over.

Most importantly, strive to be flexible with yourself and with others. During times of uncertainty, a positive mindset is incredibly powerful and sometimes even contagious. Stay safe and healthy!

Copyright© 2020 Amy Cooper Hakim