THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF INTERMITTENT TASKING
The first word that comes to mind that possibly describes, at best, what might be causing the current burnout effect of working from home is: “Intermittent Tasking”.
Intermittent conversations, intermittent parenting, intermittent work, coupled with lack of structure and boundaries, lack of priority identification, lack of attention management, lack of physical space to work, and so on.
As I typed these words I started to feel stressed. If this is difficult to write, now imagine feeling this way for an extended period of time?
All these challenges are so real that even Google announced an upcoming company holiday on May 22 to address work-from-home related burnout.
I hear you, we are not all on the same boat. Not everybody is experiencing the new normal in the same way. Everybody has their own personal challenges and are experiencing their own silver lining.
However, if you are experiencing these difficulties, sometimes the only available resource is to learn how to do things differently. I also know that this is the most challenging part of the “change to adapt” journey.
So, how can we be expected to change in this moment of crisis?
How can we be expected to change and adapt while we are still coping and not responding?
These questions are absolutely valid. But at some point, we are going to have to learn how to do things differently so that we can enter a new system that allows us to get familiar with the new normal.
So, let’s get practical and address each of these challenges so we can begin the process of change and adaptation to our new reality.
This one will continue to drive your day if you don’t design a daily structure. It does not have to be perfect. You need to get a simple daily structure going and then optimize according to what’s working and what’s not. This will allow you to become more productive and to experience a sense of accomplishment and progress.
Lack of personal and professional boundaries:
It doesn’t happen without embracing “difficult” conversations. You need to first get real on what’s achievable at home and at work given your personal conditions. Don’t compare yourself to others. You have your own personal challenges. Most importantly, don’t underestimate the power of authentic and well-intended communication. Engage in well-intended and well-thought conversations at work and at home that address your needs while keeping the goal in the relationship in mind.
Lack of priority identification:
This is a big one! Identify what is essential to accomplish each day.What is the positive impact of getting this done or what is the negative impact of not getting this done today? Identifying priorities will help you stay on track with actions that will reflect in progress. For now, keep the focus on progress not so much on accomplishment.
Lack of attention management:
Mastering your attention is a skill that has a massive impact on productivity and finding balance throughout your day. Mindfulness meditation is a wonderful mental practice to be in charge of your attention and thoughts and to achieve powerful and effective thinking. Establish a daily 15-minute mindfulness practice that can help you become aware of your distractions and stay on track with your priorities.
Lack of personal space:
I recognize that this is a different challenge for everyone because not everybody has the same living and space conditions but ultimately, it’s about playing for yourself by creating the conditions to give your work the best chance. What’s within your reach to make your designated workspace more pleasant and less stressful?
We are not trying to reach perfection and control. That is not the goal.
We are trying to make progress by doing things differently.
“THE ILITERATE OF THE 21st CENTURY WILL NOT BE THOSE WHO CANNOT READ AND WRITE, BUT THOSE WHO CANNOT LEARN, UNLEARN AND RELEARN.”
– Futurist, Alvin Toffler
In dedication to the wonderful working women from my Happiness at Work Executive Program who are showing up every day with vulnerability and willingness to play for their own selves by establishing the right mindset and systems to achieve sustainable success