It is safe to say a lot of us were not prepared for the unexpected. A global pandemic thrust us all into a world of uncertainty and forced us to rethink the way we work, communicate, and ultimately live our lives. While we are still unsure when, or even if things will return to what we knew as “normal,” we are sure that this experience will forever change us.
Being homebound for the last few months has given us a chance to take a step back from the noise and slow down. We’ve had the opportunity to learn and grow—both as people in our everyday lives, and in the workplace. While treading in uncharted waters has certainly not been easy, here are three things being in quarantine has taught us about ourselves that can help boost workplace productivity:
Personal time is necessary
Not long ago, the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives consumed us. Our calendars were filled with early morning wake-up calls, daunting commutes, busy work schedules, social events, errands, and a list of other things that kept the phrase, “There’s not enough time in a day,” alive.
With this “go, go, go” lifestyle that many of us were living, experiencing burnout was inevitable. We were trying to meet unrealistic expectations of ourselves, and the effects were taking their toll on us at home and in the workplace.
By the world essentially hitting “pause,” it gave us a chance to stop and reflect on our busy schedules. While a lot of the things that took up space in our calendar are essential to living, we had the opportunity to reevaluate what’s most important and refocus. For many of us that meant learning the importance of prioritizing time for ourselves to unwind, helping us be more productive in other aspects of our lives. Read Also: How To Avoid Burnout While Working From Home
Your mindset is crucial
As a result of being mandated to work from home, we’ve had to utilize the resources we’ve always had at our disposal to create an environment where we can be productive on our own. In addition to having a dedicated place to work, here are things we’ve learned that have put us in a more productive mindset:
- Taking microbreaks: While in the office, it may have been easy for us to get caught up in our responsibilities and forget to take a lunch break, let alone frequent mini breaks. In a past life, stepping away from our desks to clear our minds may have felt odd, or irresponsible—especially if no one else was doing it. But, being in complete charge of our day-to-day schedules has given us the opportunity and comfort to explore new ways to stay focused.
Over the last few months, we’ve realized the importance of small, but frequent breaks in order to recharge. Whether a 15-minute walk, or a few minutes on the couch to breath—breaks, while taking time away from work, can reduce stress and actually help us be more efficient and productive.
- Mapping out goals: Having a home office has given self-discipline a new meaning—especially when household chores and the fridge are calling our names at all hours of the day. We’ve learned that mapping out specific goals (whether daily or weekly) and a schedule for achieving them, can help us stay organized, and focused.
- Disconnecting: Being in quarantine has left some of us ditching our smartphones at the end of the day. We’ve realized that the more time we devote to our screens, the less we devote to other things in life that are crucial to our health. These include things like spending more time outdoors, catching up with friends or family, or just giving our eyes a break so that we can relax and unwind before the new day ahead. Read Also: 5 Ways To Boost Your Productivity When Working From Home
We are resourceful and adaptable
In life, change in inevitable. While some of us handle it better than others, this experience has taught us that we can be flexible and adaptable when curve balls are thrown our way. For a lot of us, this situation has helped put things into perspective. We’ve learned to avoid sweating the small stuff, and to feel more comfortable taking on new challenges when given the opportunity.