The past year dragged on in so many ways. Instead of time being the measuring, the first and last meetings of the day seem to be the clock. We couldn’t help but start observing the total people attending along with the total clicks our content received. Each moment seemed to compared to the amount of time until a weekend was here again. The expectations of schooling, working, and no peace were simply overwhelming. In perspective, everyone has been trying to rush through the slowest and most boring time any of us have experienced.
The mental decline that came with the pandemic was well covered. For many, the cognitive decline happened right before most people’s eyes as they watched their co-workers through the camera. In a recent check-up with my Doctor, I had asked if the pandemic had made her office busier? She said, “no, fewer people are coming in, but those that come in are sicker.” At the time, I only consider those that come in with the COVID virus. After some recent problems with my health, I have a whole new perspective on last year’s time and the impact on overall health. After considering some of my own choices, here are some areas to consider.
Be careful habits started easier than we see ourselves starting them. It was easy to observe how efficiently my days were, starting with better planning or taking time to go for a walk each day. I missed how much time I had spent sitting in the evening doing nothing. Another miss was the amount of take-out ordered. Almost all activities outside the home are scheduled and come with the risk of infecting yourself or others. I had seen an increase in my time for running each day but had missed the weight gain from the poor eating. Not only was the poor eating affecting my energy, but I also failed to consider the long-term impact.
As a leader, do not think that the message is not for you as well. We talked about fatigue and signs to watch out for the changes we were experiencing brought the pandemic. In several mediums and meetings, resources are provided in several ways, and every employee was encouraged to use them. Maybe early on, the symptoms did not appear consistent. I may have felt I was making the changes that were needed to move forward. Having a journal that reflects on the emotions of the day can help. Maybe the swing was not drastic, or one symptom was not consistent. IF you added all of them up, something was not right.
Be mindful of the routine you set versus the one you are following. Early on in the pandemic, I had started to plan differently for each day. The result of improved planning was all meetings and facilitation was going smoothly. I had failed to observe how often my days we starting earlier and ending later. With my office being so accessible, I had increased my pace of output. I was using my free time to focus more on work. If I added up all the symptoms and how often I was experiencing them, it might have made the diagnosis quicker.
Remote work is new, and it is easy to get out of sync with how each day connects with the previous one. It is essential to purposeful in how each day is approached and reviewed for closure. The measurements that often in the office should be re-evaluated and pointed into the home office as well. The remote worker must be compliant and adhere to their schedule as well. It is crucial to have the right boundaries. Take time to consider all the changes being experienced and the impact that is coming with them. Health is essential, and one symptom may only be part of the story.