You can burn the candle at both ends, but what happens when you run out of wax in the middle. Towards the end of lockdown (1.0) this happened to me. I let work become my morning, day, and night, because of this I can safely say lockdown flew by… but not without its repercussions. I was becoming anxious and unable to switch off. I felt guilty when I wasn’t working and unwilling to delegate as I didn’t want to add more stress to individuals who were in an already stressful situation. I was one of the 30%+ who was waking up and immediately checking my emails before even getting out of bed and the 78% who were checking emails well after normal working hours.
Why am I writing this? I know that I am lucky to have recognised the early signs and have a partner, family, management, and co-workers who all stepped in to support me when it all became too much. I wanted to share some of my learnings on how to change your digital and home working habits especially with lockdown (2.0) taking place in so many countries.
Pre-social distancing and WFH, I’m going to take a stab in dark and guess you never sat 2ft away from your colleagues during meetings, stuck in an uncomfortable staring contest, all the while being distracted by a mirror in the corner of your view reflecting your every reaction to what is said. It is exhausting, looking at floating disembodied heads all day, there’s nothing natural about it. Your arousal response kicks in and you are immediately put into a fight-or-flight state. On top of that those minuscule delays and lack of body language means your brain is in overdrive searching for small non-verbal cues.