Pressure to prove production

Not everyone is designed to thrive under adverse circumstances, so be kind to yourself

By Author  |  Geenathan  |  Published: 29th Jul 2020  4:36 pm

We crossed 90 days of lockdown. So, has your productivity peaked during this period? Have you learnt to bake, cook even better, write a book, start a blog, speak a new language? Are you feeling guilty for not doing enough? Are you plagued by FOMO? Then, please read on…

For the salaried class, the WFH facility was initially thought to be a great idea as it was required to work in the comfort and convenience of one’s own home. All the non-IT employees who envied their IT counterparts of the ‘perk’ of WFH were finally going to experience it themselves. However, less than two months down the line, people were longing to go back to office.

With our homes not built to accommodate lavish and comfortable office spaces, with not-so-effective Wi-Fi connectivity, non-ergonomically designed chairs, jostling for space and some seclusion with a working spouse and two children in 2BHK flats (mostly), people were stressed and how. Visuals of couples working with laptops perched on the bed, women cooking while participating in a zoom meeting (with audio/video off), children popping up in official meetings on MS Teams, etc., went viral on social media.

For the salaried class, this was not a holiday. It was BAU in an utterly unknown WFH format which they grappled with. We lead a mundane life and need to show up in front of our laptops and meet deadlines, especially with the threat of job losses and paycuts looming large.

With no access to the maid – the lifeline of an Indian family, life became a never-ending cycle of cooking, cleaning, working, caring for kids and elderly. Further, in a bit to stay visible while WFH, people were becoming overzealous and trying innovative ways to showcase their productivity.

Between witnessing people uploading videos of exotic baked dishes and jaw-dropping workout sessions, and deciding to pick and choose from the never-ending supply of webinars (dubbed as ‘Death by Webinar’), picking up the motivation to do office work, while trying to remain safe and healthy, sanitising the veggies, groceries and hoping that you will not be given the pink slip has caused anxiety pangs among the employees.

The Covid-related WhatsApp forwards that keep inundating your phone and brain and the ‘gyan’ thrown at you by people on the best ways to keep yourself occupied and be productive has become mentally exhausting with no predictable end date in sight.

As we navigate this unprecedented once-in-a-lifetime experience, we are finding it difficult to focus. We didn’t sign up for this and we are at our wits’ end, just hoping that we will all sail through this without any mishaps. We are facing extreme emotions and sometimes even overlapping emotions. As per psychologists, feelings of inadequacy, listless stupor, uselessness and guilt for not doing enough are likely to impact people.

Press pause button

Different people process thingrently. People have different coping mechanisms. There is no right way. So, although your OTT friend or neighbour appears to be super-productive by attending back-to-back online activity classes, don’t get tempted to join the bandwagon.

For some, binge-watching movies is a way to unwind. For some, it is playing Ludo (why not?), for some it is crochet, gardening, music, gymming, etc. Find out what helps you calm down and indulge in it. There is no right or wrong formula. For some a timetable works, some prefer to go with the flow, depending on their mood.

Sometimes, doing nothing is so liberating. Try it! Life does not need to be an endless completion of to-do list. Take a break if you must. Clear the cobwebs of your mind. This could be the time for deep introspection and reflection.

Commit to health

You would have realised the benefits of home-cooked food. Exercise regularly. For those who have lost their jobs or about to lose one, don’t panic. It is difficult, no doubt. But it is not the end of life, maybe end of a lifestyle that you were used to.

Corporates have tied up with online counselling services which are available free of cost to the employees. Sign up for those if required.

Our self-worth and self-esteem are being dictated by the number of accomplishments and accolades we have received. Not everyone is designed to thrive under adverse circumstances. Be kind to yourself.

Learn to unwind

The unplanned downtime can be used in several ways, to bring a smile to your face. There are several ways to unwind, which are not necessarily ‘Facebook or Instagram’ worthy.

When you look back, do not look at this time with regret. Use this for some course correction not only in your professional lives but also personal lives.

As long as you come out unscathed from this pandemic, having done even a wee bit to enhance your life, it would be a time worth spent. Remember, it’s more important to be positive than productive.

Stay safe, Stay positive!


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