What were you doing this week one year ago?
This is the week in 2020 that so much changed, so quickly, so significantly, so unbelievably. It seemed as if things were both moving in warp speed and at the same time at a snail’s pace in some regards as we worried, faced so much unknown, heard unsettling news about the new highly contagious pandemic, the potential for overwhelmed hospitals, stay-at-home orders, group gatherings and travel ceased, workplaces shut down, schools closed, and we had the great TP shortage.
My Story – where I was at this time last year
My husband and I were in CA watching our son pitch for his collegiate baseball team on March 9th 2020. When we flew down on the 6th we dutifully used sanitizing wipes to clean the area around us on the airplane, washed our hands well and frequently, and greeted other parents of the team with elbow bumps (the new “handshake”). Little did we know that game on the 9th that we were lucky enough to attend would be the last we’d see (and that the team would play) for that and the subsequent baseball season.
By Tuesday the 10th the college put out a policy that no fans would be able to attend home games. “That’s ok”, we thought, as there would still be a couple of “away” games in the area that we’d attend during our visit. By the very next day, Wednesday the 11th, the decision had been made to shut the campus down, students were to pack up their rooms and vacate within the next few days. The team held a closed “for fun” last practice on the 12th – pitchers hit, those who had never pitched did so, there was a lot of laughter, levity they all needed, and, according to my son, not a dry eye as they thought of the Seniors and left the field to clean up and head to a quickly scheduled “End of Season Banquet” at a near-by restaurant.
Our son packed up his things, checked out of this dorm room and moved home within the next two days to resume school online, as he continues to do today.
It got eerily quiet in many ways.
Also that week work ground to a halt as clients cancelled conferences, speaking engagements, in-person productivity training, in-person consultations and organizing sessions. We personally cancelled a trip for later that month to celebrate my 50th Birthday and would later cancel a big trip for the fall to celebrate my husband’s.
It felt hard to be productive. We had to pivot.
I wrote a “Rock Your Work From Home” guide that I hoped would help our clients and community and offered that as a free resource. I offered a free “Organize to Optimize” webinar and then turned that into an affordable mini-course available on our website. I accepted the opportunity to co-Author a new book, 1 Habit for a Thriving Home Office. This was a collaborative project that kept me connected and in communication with others at a time that I needed that type of interaction.
I turned training sessions into webinars, complete with enhanced hand-outs, manager’s guides, exercises, break-out rooms and activities that could be conducted virtually to keep participants engaged. I added two new webinars to help with common challenges our clients were facing. Work Productively From Home and Maximize Your Energy to Optimize Your Productivity remain a couple of our most requested workshops.
Our team offered virtual organizing and productivity consulting sessions to help people even when we couldn’t be together in person. I created and launched our 6-Month Productivity Transformation Coaching Package. This is our most customized and totally virtual offering for those really ready to stop spinning their wheels, who are tired of feeling disorganized and overwhelmed and want to consistently focus on their priorities.
I faced other productivity challenges and had to make some changes
To deal with the stress of the pandemic and other happenings beyond my control, I also had to increase my level of self-care. I adjusted my expectations of what I could get done, and scheduled more time off to not “produce”. This was a lesson learned after almost nine months of working harder than ever before, not taking time off, and reaching a state of stress and burn-out that negatively impacted my physical and mental well-being. The changes I have made have been so helpful. I’ve noticed a difference in my productivity and my happiness. I know these changes have positively impacted those I serve and those around me.
While productivity for me and the Simply Placed team looked different in the last year, we never lost sight of our definition of productivity – “Achieving Desired Results”. I never questioned whether Simply Placed would survive. I wanted it, our clients, and our community, to thrive, even if that was in a new way.
What’s been your story? What productivity challenges have you faced while working remotely over the past year? In what ways did you have to pivot?
Last March, people left their workplaces for what they thought might be a month or maybe two. We shifted into a “temporary” work from home mode. But in reality, most are still working fully remotely 12 months later and many will be for the foreseeable future.
While many have adapted to a virtual work environment, for others the transition has been stressful, overwhelming and, in some cases, less productive. Every day, we are managing disruptions to schedules, our environment, and how we connect with others. We’re managing a lot all under one roof. All of that impacts our productivity.
Perhaps you or someone you know is also experiencing Zoom Fatigue from being “always on”, via video. If so, you’re not alone in that, either. How we adapt to it, however, is paramount to our productivity and our energy, as teleconferencing is here to stay.
What has challenged you the most?
Everyone has felt the stress of the pandemic. And we want to stay productive at work while managing the other priorities of life at the same time. How productive have you been working from home?
- Are you working longer hours than you had been at your workplace, previously?
- Do you struggle with separating your home life from your work life because they are blended in the same environment?
- Is there a quiet, organized and uncluttered workspace where you can be productive and focus on priority work?
- Are you remembering to take breaks and take time “off the clock” throughout the day?
- Do you have a way to transition from personal time and responsibilities to work time and responsibilities? And then back again at the end of the work day?
- Have you found ways to harmonize work and life?
Weigh in on your productivity challenges
We recently polled our “Organize to Optimize” Facebook group and asked participants their biggest productivity challenge:
- Not enough time
- Lack of focus
How many of those resonate with you? What’s been your experience? What has been your biggest productivity challenge? We’d really like to know! Are you practicing self-care and keeping up with the priorities in your life and work? Could your daily routines use a tune-up to help you work more productively and with focus and intention?
We see your productivity challenges and we can help!
Sometimes, we just need to hit the “reset” button. We can reboot our habits to be productive and get time back for what matters the most. We need to take time to take care of our self. Once we’ve done that, it is possible to be productive during times of stress.
It’s been a year!
Whether you are planning to return to your workplace in a full-time or hybrid mode, or will be continuing to work from home longer term, we can help. We can teach you strategies to take away the overwhelm, fatigue, and be more productive in your day. Schedule a free discovery call today!