I am over a year into a highly socially isolated reality. I rarely leave my house, except for taking my dogs on walks and maybe a monthly grocery run. Otherwise, my credit card line items show a weekly hit for a vegan meal service and Amazon deliveries for mostly anything else. Visits to my parents farm include warm clothing, hats, chopper gloves and masks. We sit outside on their deck, whether it is snowing or not.
A year ago, I basked in the luxury of sitting on the couch, legs crossed, meditating. I slept in because I didn’t have a commute. I embraced wearing comfortable pants and tennis shoes during the day. Not something I did pre-pandemic. Life was good.
Yesterday afternoon, I had a flash of feeling I was “back in the grind”. My grandma passed away last week, so I was emotionally brittle. Roofers were ripping off shingles and pounding above my living room. The noise set my dogs off. My German Shepard pup was howling. My Boxer was going nuts, and split open her undocked tail when the end of her two foot long tail smacked against a hallway wall. My white kitchen cabinets, appliances, walls and floor were covered in blood streaks and blood spatter. Note: chasing a dog around the house screaming “SIT” just makes a dog run faster and the blood spray further.
I was on a work Zoom call at the time. I hope I was on mute.
Working remotely has obliterated my 15 minute commute. Now, task switching from between work and home is a half second swivel of my chair. This is not a good thing. This sets the stage for being overworked, overwhelmed and overscheduled. Plus, I fell into the trap of filling up my 30 minutes of daily commute time with about 60 minutes of additional duties. Why not? I thought. I have time now.
Well, it turns out I don’t have time for all of the additional volunteer duties and side projects. It will be impossible to keep up this new pace of interaction when I go back to that split space of sometimes being “at work” physically and being “at home” physically. Put another way, this new norm, my work from home pandemic norm, sucks. It is not sustainable, and I want to make sure that I stop this norm in its tracks.
So here is my Agile Best Self question of the day: “How do you want to use the Agile Best Self framework and mindset to keep the from getting sucked back into the grind? How do you want to keep from being frazzled?” As people are getting vaccinated, restaurants are opening up and workplaces are announcing return to office dates, how will you intentionally focus on being your best self to enable others to be their best selves?
Copyright © 2021 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson