Efficiency and productivity have officially changed definitions in the time of COVID-19. We are no longer conducting “business as usual” with companies going completely remote. To say that we are would ignore the numerous external factors affecting each of our day-to-day lives that greatly impact our ability to focus on our work. And not just focus, but to excel.
In this new reality, we are reinventing how we exist and blending the borders between work and personal life. The boundary no longer exists — and it’s clearer than ever that separation of work and life is, and always was, a facade.
While some may be experiencing a tremendous surge of energy or creativity, others may feel the harrowing anxiety that accompanies dramatic changes to their environment. Each and every one of us is on this journey together. And each of us is likely experiencing it differently.
Personally, I swing from moderate anxiety to overwhelming worry to exhilarated creativity. There is no rhyme or reason for these sudden changes in mood — though I have a sneaking suspicion that the less I read the news, the brighter my days feel. On the days when I feel low and worried about our collective future, it seems there is no end to this tragedy. On the days when I feel energized and grateful for the reflective time at home, I feel inspired to create and offer support to others.
Now add in to the mix the emotional mindset of the people you are currently surrounded by (family, friends, partner, children, roommates, etc) who are most likely not your coworkers. Your kids simply don’t understand that 9–5 is “work time” and only after that can they ask you for help with schoolwork or story time. Your partner may not understand that while he/she thinks your workday should end at 6PM, you still have another few hours left of work to do.
We are surrounded by emotions and expectations everywhere we turn — and not just our own. In this new “work-life” we must also account for the emotional well-being of those we hold most dear — for it is they who are most present in our lives at the moment (or perhaps they always were).
Whatever you are feeling, and whoever you may be surrounded by, know that it’s perfectly reasonable that your work efficiency would be altered at this time.
This is not business-as-usual. This looks more accurately like a game of survival. Get done what you can, when you can, and celebrate the small victories.
If you are suffering from anxiety, congratulate yourself for getting dressed in the morning and attending your team’s weekly meeting. If you are feeling overwhelmed at all the uncertainty, celebrate each meal you prepare for yourself and your family.
The small things matter — now more than ever.
And, as always, be gentle and kind with yourself. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented compassion. Just as you would respond to a friend calling you for support during a tough time, show up for yourself lovingly and remind yourself that whatever it is you feel is okay.
Amanda Parker, Life & Leadership Coach and Founder of The Courage Factory, works with leaders, like you, who want to find more fulfillment and purpose in their life and work.
Through coaching with Amanda, you will connect to your inner purpose, and start taking courageous action.
Schedule a 20-min discovery call to see how coaching with Amanda can help you become a more purposeful and brilliant leader today.