Since the start of the pandemic, productivity has looked different for many of us. For me, it has been quite the adjustment and I am still grasping the reality that this is my new normal. Next month will make it a year since I have been working from home... Even the thought of that is W-I-L-D. I work full time as a therapist and since march 2020, I have been working from home doing virtual therapy. It has been a different reality for me and it has required being stretched in my skillsets, allowing myself to embrace the learning curves, adapting to change as well as being flexible with my time.
After about 11 plus months of working from home, there are a few things that I have practiced that have made the "new normal" more doable.
1. Establish A Specific Work Room or Work Spot
As simple as this might sound, you probably know how easy it is to snuggle up on the couch and catch up on some work phone calls or paperwork. The thing about dragging your work into every and any room in your house basically turns the whole house into a "work" environment. Since home was once a place of rest and comfort, we still want to make sure that it is being protected. Dedicate one spot in your home for working. If you work in every room, your brain will get the message that it’s always time to work and sis, the devil is a lie. We all need rest.
2. Changing The Narrative / Finding The Silver Lining
Some of my hardest days involve a high level of stress, emotional and physical exhaustion. Despite the validity of my feelings, I push myself to find the silver lining. For example, having a job is a blessing, living in a home that we own is a gift and being in good health is a miracle. Reframing or rather, changing the narrative might look like saying "Today I get to ________, ________, __________. Fill in the blank! Oftentimes, we begin this phrase with "Today I have to ___________" , which concludes that these are things that have to get done, instead of things we have the honor and privilege to do. It shifts the tone to gratitude, instead of being burdened or weighed down by the things we "have" to do.
3. Write It Down
I don't know about you, but at times, my mind moves a million miles per minute and if I do not write things down, it is long gone from my memory until i have a "Oh yea", moment. At which point, the damage has already been done *cues dramatics*. I also prefer to bite my weeks off in small pieces, hence the creation of a weekly schedule below. I can write important things down that NEED to be remembered as well as be encouraged by scripture when my day gets hard. I hope this tool will be helpful for you as well! Feel free to download and print it out. Feel free to tag me @CrystalOTv and let me know how schedule is going, if you decide to try it.
4. Show Yourself Grace
When the Pandemic first began, things went quickly for me job wise. We went from seeing clients in person to doing a training on how to provide tele-health services. At this point, I have worked longer as a tele therapist than I have as an in person therapist. Prior to the pandemic, I was never taught extensively about tele services and being a provider of it. Despite the massive curve ball and shift in normalcy of what I am used to, there are days where I just do not get it right. In these moments, I have to show myself some good ol grace, because beating myself up emotionally, is not going to fix anything. I say all this to say, show yourself some grace. You have never experienced this before — living through a pandemic, so on harder days, be gentle and kind to yourself.
5. Rediscover what your “new normal”looks like
My new normal looks a lot like making it through the day with my sanity in tact. But no really, I have come to learn that at any moment things could change or the world could shift into the unknown. Hence, my goal is to make it through the day the best way I know how. Oftentimes, this looks like rolling out of bed and snatching off my bonnet minutes before an important zoom meeting or call. I have embraced the new normal of things being different and I have and am still learning how to adapt accordingly.