We have heard it probably too many times by now, but yes, we are facing a new normal. Like it or not, we won’t be going back to “business as usual” anytime soon – if ever. So how can we adapt and stay productive, when it feels like we have nothing to hold onto?
Whether you are now working from home, or in the office but supporting remote workers, or dealing with children remote-learning or hybrid-learning, it can feel like your life and schedule are constantly up in the air. Change and transitions are hard. It is in our nature to be frightened of the unknown. This fear leads to stress that leads us to feel unfocused and quickly leads to a drop in productivity. However, there are some tips you can follow to create more structure in your life and work, and help you get your focus back on what is important.
Meetings at 10am, lunch at noon and overseeing homework at 5pm may not work for you anymore. Time management is now even more important to keeping your day on track. If you need to block out time to focus on your kids, then do so. If you need to break up meetings into sections (because hour long meetings no longer work), then do so. Schedule time blocks with frequent breaks to give yourself a chance to recharge throughout the day.
The stress created by change can quickly sap your focus and motivation to complete tasks. So deciding on a few “must-dos” each day will ensure that you continue to move forward toward your goals. Use “the Power of Three.” Each day create a list of three activities to be completed that day – to the exclusion of other non-essential work. Having only three items on your list will make your day seem more manageable, and keep you from choosing busywork over more important activities.
If certain projects are not moving forward due to factors outside your control, or business is slow in general, look for opportunities to work on something new or tackle a project that you haven’t found the time for. Instead of just slowing down and losing motivation, this might be a great time to learn a new skill, try out a new computer program or reach out to customers you haven’t spoken with in a while.
Don’t let stress make you forget to take care of yourself. It is during these times that you need to eat healthy, exercise and get plenty of sleep. In addition, you may want to consider ways of reducing stress – perhaps through yoga, meditation or other stress relieving activities. When you take care of yourself, you help fight off depression, fatigue and all of the other emotions that sap your energy and drive to be productive.
Finally, stay connected daily with co-workers, family, and friends. We are social beings and need to connect with others. Not only will it lift your spirits, but informal discussions with work colleagues can spark new ideas, often move decisions along faster and encourage collaborative efforts on bigger projects. It may be harder to reach out vs. being able to just walk down the hall to someone, but the extra effort will be worth it.
We are constantly being asked to adapt to new situations, whether they are due to self-made decisions (a new job, a move, a new child) or outside forces (like the pandemic, changes at a corporate level, etc.). But working through and overcoming these challenges will make us stronger and better able to handle changes in the future.
Gopal, Priya, 5 Ways to Stay Positive and Productive During Times of Crisis and Change, March 18, 2020, Women Working
Thomas, Andrew, 8 Way to Stay Productive During Coronavirus, March 30, 2020, Inc.
Michael Hartland, 8 Management Tools For High Business Productivity in Times of Change, April 3, 2020, SnapComms
by Ann Condon, Marketing Manager
Ann Condon has been with Dion for 16 years, working in Dion’s Marketing and Business Development Department. Although this was her first position with a jewelry manufacturer, she has learned a lot over the years. Ann enjoys getting involved in “All Things Dion” from volunteering at the Dion Golf Tournament to being a part of the Dion Diamonds Relay for Life Team. She has quite a number of Dion event t-shirts to show for it!