Here’s a quick thought experiment: Pretend you’re an employee who started a new job six months ago. On your first day, your new boss led you to a weird, uncomfortable room, handed you a laptop computer, and set you up with an awkward schedule filled with stops and starts throughout the day. You’ve been trying to make the best of it, but your setup has made it hard to get any real work done.
These are fixable problems with a big payoff: the ability to do your job. Surely you would bring them up with your boss, right?
Right now, many of us are that new employee. We’ve been making do with an awkward work situation since March, living triage-style until things got “back to normal.” But it’s clear now that that isn’t going to happen anytime soon: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and other employers have extended work-from-home arrangements until well into 2021, while a mid-August study found that 52% of students in the U.S. would be going to school virtually (at least at first).
So if you’d like to be productive long-term, survival mode needs to be over. Instead of hanging on and waiting for things to change “back to normal,” it’s time to make this new life work. Here are three ways to stop making do, and start making daily life doable.
Let’s Stop Romanticizing Post-Pandemic Life
Even on the other side, we will not have transcended the mess of who we are
Spend what you need to
Money is tight for many people right now, but if you’ve kept your job — or would like to — you may need to invest in tools to make daily life less challenging.
All spring, for instance, I handed over my computer and phone for an hour each day for my kids’ virtual school morning meetings.When we learned school would start virtually this fall, I realized how shortsighted it was to burn an hour of my own productive work time each day. I’m all for being frugal, but sharing my devices was costing me work time, and therefore getting pretty expensive. I sprang for an iPad, and a webcam and speakers so our old desktop computer can run Zoom.