About Time: The Ultimate Guide To Going Back To Work Part IIBy amelia richards
Lockdown is coming to an end and we’re returning to work post-coronavirus. New norms have been established, and for those of us that have been working from home or have been furloughed, the prospect of going back to work can feel daunting.
Once we’ve had a taste of a different life, it can feel hard to ‘go back’. But it’s not impossible. Just as the idea of working remotely seemed hugely daunting at the beginning of lockdown, we’ve adapted and navigated lots of challenges thrown at us.
Fortunately, there are a host of techniques to help us become a bit more adaptable. Mindset is crucial in this. Take some time to think about how you wish to go forward into this new chapter in your life; instead of focusing on the things you can’t do focus on the things you can do.
Mentally Prepare For The Day
Don’t schedule important calls and meetings first thing in the morning. Having a high-valued, high-demanding event causes us to suffer from performance anxiety which contributes to tossing and turning throughout the night. By scheduling in that presentation later in your day, if you are a little tired in the morning you have a little time to lie in and gently mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for the task at hand.
Ritualise – take some time to settle into your workday: organise your desk, write up your to-do list, and plan/structure the tasks ahead.
Easy Does It
Gear up your performance demand by kicking off with simpler easy tasks: start with the straightforward emails and the projects that are less mentally demanding. Then work for an hour – if you have a Mac ask Siri to turn on Do Not Disturb or go into your notification settings and turn it on. You also install Chrome Plugins like Freedom or Hocus Focus to block access to apps and websites to help you focus.
Once this is up, take a 15-minute break but move your body – whether it’s a stretch, or a short walk.
After four cycles of the 60-on-15-off, take a one-hour break. Give your mind a period of active rest – or go for a walk/exercise etc – go for a walk to clear the head, clarify the mind, and wring out any residual cortisol coursing through your veins.
Burn Off Stress
If you are particularly activated in the morning, starting the day with a short workout you can burn off just enough stress cortisol to get you in the optimal zone of performance.
Find Your Sweet Spot
When you’re in the zone and you’ve found your focus set up a ‘in the zone’ signaller to let your colleagues know you’ve found the sweet spot. Use a post-it or flag system and equally, let people know if and when you’re available to talk.
Block off time in your calendar when it’s your best productivity time and when you’re better suited for meetings and calls. Working with your unique chronotype will make you feel more satisfied with our life overall. You can find out what your unique chronotype is you can take the Chronotype Sleep Quiz on the Simba Sleep App.
Visit our archives for more lifestyle and wellbeing tips and keep your eyes peeled for the final instalment of our back to work guide.