Phew! It’s officially April.
What a crazy month of March!
It has been a strange transitioning period for many who are now working from home, for those unable to see family and friends, and for those unable to buy basic necessities.
After my previous post about my company lock down, my manager asked me to work from home – not a standard 7.5 hours a day, but to keep on top of things by checking and replying to emails. While at first I saw it as an inconvenience to still have to work from home, I realised that I am much luckier than some of those around me. There are people who cannot make a living because of the nature of their work. They cannot open their shops or restaurants as they rely on social interaction. Some of my colleagues have been furloughed because their work cannot be done from home. While I feel ‘trapped’ because I am limited to where I can go outside, I know that I am blessed to have my health and still able to go on daily walks for exercise.
Getting into a routine – albeit not a strict one – has helped to keep myself in check. I still set a morning alarm to wake up and an evening alarm to remind myself to get ready for bed at a sensible time. Sometimes I get up and go at my alarm and sometimes I give myself some leeway. I make sure to get changed (if only into comfortable lounge clothing) so that I have some semblance of normal life, and to be more productive. I check my emails in the morning after I have breakfast and complete my work going into lunch time. I recently started going for my lunch time walks again (like I usually do on my office lunch breaks) and found I am more productive in the afternoon. For a couple of days my mornings and early afternoons would meld into one, as I quickly ate lunch then rushed back to my work in a bid to ‘finish early’. I realised that this was very unhealthy and was not the kind of working from home routine I wanted. Going for walks/runs helps me to clear my head, stretch my legs and stimulate my brain. It also gives me time to catch up with podcasts and zone out to music.
When I take a slightly longer lunch break I find I am more motivated to do my work in the afternoon, and am less distracted by other things. I try and finish up my work anywhere from 4pm to 6pm, sometimes opting for a longer day so I have a freer next day. Having less limitations is both a blessing and a curse. I find that I don’t clock watch because I know that everything is on my own schedule – if I focus, I can finish earlier. However I do find that I get distracted easily – phone, video calls, watching shows, snacks, reading the news.
It has been just over a week since I was in the office and my concept of time is lacking. The days flow into each other so easily! Without structure it is easy to lose control of yourself in a balance of work and leisure. Self discipline is key in times like these. I implore everyone to stay safe by staying at home, in a hope that things will return to normality soon!