It’s 8 a.m., but it already feels much later.
You’re about to join your first of five (or more!) video conference calls today.
You’ve been up since 4 a.m., but haven’t had the chance to eat breakfast yet.
You thought you had time for breakfast but that urgent email you received at 6:30 a.m. has taken over your life.
Your kids need your attention.
You’re about to start the 8 a.m. call, when you realize, “I’m still in my sweatpants!”
It’s OK. Judge the sweat, not the sweatpants.
This is not the time for me to tell you how to set up lighting for video conference calls, what clothes to wear or what my favorite standing desks are.
This is about acknowledging you and what you are doing. You’re creating messages that are helping your audience feel informed, calm and heard. You’re using well-developed crisis plans. You’re rewriting those plans on the go as necessary. You’re showing compassion for your colleagues, teams, bosses and direct reports, who are all managing difficult situations at home.
And you’re doing all of this from home while helping care for your family, navigating tight quarters and trying to manage yourself.
It may be the greatest work challenge that you’ll ever face.
Here are three things to do every day during this ongoing global health crisis.
1. Plan your alone time. The Slack notifications, the IM messages, the constant pings… You need time during the day to think! Allocate whatever time you can, even if it’s 15 minutes, for your personal “No Contact Zone.” Block this time in your calendar.
2. Plan your outside time. Find moments during the workday that you can dedicate to leaving your home, practicing proper social distancing, and getting fresh air and exercise. Take time to not read the latest scary breaking news alert.
3. Plan your work time. It’s easy to start logging on when you wake up and constantly work until you go to bed. Create boundaries! And add a reminder to block off that time on your calendar or set an alarm on your phone.
Thank you to everyone who is pulling those long days, nights and weekends to ensure that you, your organization, your clients and your teams are set up for success. We are in this together.
Mark Mohammadpour, APR is a strategic communications executive, certified personal trainer and health coach. His company, Chasing the Sun, offers health coaching tailored for those who work from home and want to lose weight on their terms. He spent most of his PR career at Weber Shandwick and Edelman. He also served president of PRSA’s Oregon Chapter in 2016.
Photo credit: prostock