As of now, when I write this article we have already surpassed 26 weeks in quarantine and on/off lock down. At the core, however different we might be from each other, we are creature of habit. Someone can go and say, “No man, I do random stuff everyday, no timetable to follow”, well, randomness is your habit. Don't know whether Bad or good, I am no one to decide, whatever works for him/her to maintain a happy, healthy life is the truth to them. Why I bring this up?
Because Corona came like a wrecking ball, and smashed everything, our routines, our habits and almost everything in general. We are no longer creature of habit, but just creature, in which embodies the madness of chaos. I still think we were much in denial when the pandemic established its roots in Wuhan. I remember telling to myself, it will surely not happen in India. No, it won’t. And gradually this notion of denial, became more and more, pessimistic each passing day. I am sure it won’t reach our state. I am sure it won’t reach our city. I am sure it won’t reach our area. You get it, where I am going with this. But yes, we had to end our denial. And it hit us hard. We were unprepared, and unwilling to accept the changes around us. Biggest problem with denial, the impending doom never stops its motion, irrespective of whether we choose to ignore it. And soon, we were all on our respective laptops, with above average video quality, and working from home.
Working from home has its advantages, and disadvantages. I would not go and list them here, but there are plenty ones experienced by everyone, which are so evident that if I list, I will not even need et cetera for the same.
Going and working in an office was a super good routine, compared to login from home. Let me paint you a picture. You spend 1.5 hours on average on commute. So, that can be subtracted from your day. Because you already know about this piece of information, you start planning the rest of the day around this. Why this is important, is the fact the you are aware that there is already less time in the day and you will have to do the rest of the activities in the remaining time. Another thing is to avoid traffic, I used to wake up early like alot of other people. How much ever I cussed it, it had an tremendous impact on my sleep pattern, I used to sleep early, wake up early, had a good morning routine, and finally had a neat breakfast once in office. I would have lunch at a proper time, and finally, would leave office to reach home. As, being in office made me focus on one thing, my work, after reaching home I was free to do whatever I wanted, without the guilt or implication that I might not have done enough work for the day.
Work from home, provides flexibility, but with its share of cons. Research suggests that, when we have less time, we are more vigilant about the hours spent and hence, more productive at a particular task. Just take the example of countries, which have made 4 day work week, and have seen increased productivity and decrease in stress levels. Going to office, made office and family, mutually exclusive, when we came home, we had the liberty to switch off our office brain, and maintain our full energy towards the family time. Now, work life balance has taken a hit. We think we can login when we need, and logout for sometime when we want to do something else, in turn doing nothing 100%. We have the whole day's time with us, yet somehow left feeling that we could have done more. Because the truth is we could have.
My conclusion to all this ranting is, in this chaotic world, where each day we are seeing new stranger developments in the world, its time, we get our life in order, and make a time table, not exactly, but stating our purpose to the hours of the day and how you will spend it. We login at a specific time, and logout at a specific time. We treat working from home as same as office, in the commute time, if you listened to audio book, go ahead, set a time for that, do only that. Power of doing one thing at a time is multi fold to doing multitasking. This work from home is not going anywhere, its here to stay, and doing half things here and half things there, is not doing any good to our work/life balance. Have a timetable, follow it diligently, make changes by trying it out for few days, and try to bring order into things you feel are in your control. This will in turn result in better levels of happiness and morale.
Amount of streaming of content has also increased, as well as, consumption of junk. We can all attribute this to being confined to our home, which again is here to stay. This I don't care attitude is natural to develop, when staring the four walls, constantly for 4 months and more. But have a specific time to watch your favorite shows. Irregular eating habits and excessive watching have increased unrealistic levels of dopamine in us, Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter. Your body makes it, and your nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells. Dopamine plays a role in how we feel pleasure. It’s a big part of our unique human ability to think and plan. And also a big part of our happiness. Natural activities and things which gave us happiness will no longer be able to do that, because we are addicted to activities which produce high levels of the hormone, without much effort. Its again like living in denial, like we did for Corona, except we can stop this now, and turn to more organized and awareness filled living, where we are the cartographers, and we decide how the map of our life looks.
So what is Arms day of care? Arm have given us additional days off (one extra day a quarter) during the whole of this pandemic to look after ourselves, we can at the least take a complete day off from Laptops, work, mobiles, and spend a day at home with family, talking, building Lego blocks with your kids, exercising or just taking your car, hopefully, Ferrari GT 250, and roam around the city or go to endless highway to reclaim your hopes of a better tomorrow, and new levels of optimism, and return to work completely as a renewed individual and give your 100%. So, use your vacation days, and make yourself realize the power of work/life balance, build a timetable and set equal time to everything. And as the films say:
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.