Ideas for Staying Productive (and Calm) During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The World Health Organization has officially announced the coronavirus (COVID-19) is a pandemic. The stress is definitely being felt across all industries of the business sector. Many offices are going completely remote-work, conferences are being cancelled, the stock market is volatile, grocery stores are being raided and travel is being restricted for many companies.
However, for most of us, we still have jobs to do – and those jobs are likely made harder with everything going on. Below we share some thoughts on navigating the current situation.
Find time to stay informed and find time to focus
Reading or listening to the news all day isn’t going to help your cause as far as concentration goes. Set aside short, dedicated amounts of time in the morning and evening to catch up on news and stay informed on the latest developments.
If you’re having a hard time focusing or concentrating at work – below are some ideas:
- Make to do lists – for the day, for the week, for the month
- Use tools to help you stay organized and focused
- If you’re working independently – listen to music
- If you’re working in teams, make time to be prepared and set objectives (outline meeting agendas and goals, set clear expectations for yourself and others)
Embrace the awkward (but not people)
The recommendation to stay 3-6 feet away from others is kind of awkward in business environments. We’re used to shaking hands and sitting in closer proximity with clients and co-workers. It might be awkward at first to keep your distance, but almost anyone you come in to contact with will appreciate the space.
It can also be a little awkward to communicate about the coronavirus because we’re in uncharted territory. But as with any problem, it’s helpful to communicate – especially if you’re in a leadership position.
Tips for working remotely
Many companies, especially those with large offices with hundreds or thousands of employees, are having employees work remotely – at least for the next few weeks. If you’re new to remote work, below are some ideas:
- Create some structure for yourself. Get up and get ready as you normally would, take a lunch as you normally would. Create a plan for what you will accomplish for the day, and the week.
- Use tools to stay focused. There are a lot of apps that you can install on your computer or mobile device to help you set dedicated time to get work done without distraction.
- Make a dedicated space for work. Get a workspace setup for yourself where you can be productive and comfortable.
- Leverage communication tools. Use tools like Skype, Google Hangouts or Microsoft teams to chat and collaborate with colleagues. Video conferencing and project management apps are also helpful, so you can stay connected with people you need to work with and also keep projects moving forward.
The most important thing during this time is that everyone stay safe and healthy. Review the latest CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19, and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and those around you.