Do these thoughts sound familiar. I bet they do.
· I am on virtual meetings all day and I am dying (maybe not literally, but figuratively).
· I cannot seem to break the monotony of endless back-to-back virtual meetings.
· My head hurts from the pinch of that headset forever glued to the side of my head.
· You say “we can’t hear you – you’re on mute” far too much these days.
If that sounds like you and you are ready for a departure from this torture (literally this time), then you are in luck. Because when you look at things creatively, you see a world that can be, not a world that is. When it comes to breaking the endless cycle of working from home and being on endless conference calls that seem to go nowhere, creativity turns out to be your best friend. Looking at things creatively instead of analytically will help open up new opportunities so you can excel at working from home, and you’ll stay sane and human along the way. Here is a short list of three tips for staying sane when workdays become one-long-drawn-out-eight-plus-hour conference call.
Maintain Regular Hours
There is no point in being over-available—which is our default mode when working from home. We often feel as if we are “cheating” or “getting away with something” while we work from home, but that is not true. Letting go of our trepidation and maintaining regular hours is critical to not diving into the doldrums of despair while working from home. It is also something that will awaken creativity because we don’t have to worry constantly about the pressure of having to be “on” all the time. Setting defined, regular hours and communicating that across the organization will yield fantastic results. You just need to establish these boundaries and stick to it. You are doing everything right—and you are certainly doing your best.
Turn Off Your Device
Consider taking a sort of Shabbat away from your device. In the Jewish religion, we’re supposed to shut off and disconnect from devices such as cell phones and computers once a week at sundown on Friday night to sundown on Saturday night, but you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy this digital detox. Try it and see if it works for you. There is amazing creative wealth that can be generated when you shut off all the noise and enjoy the calm.
Phone a Friend
Reaching out and having a non-work related call with a friend or colleague can be very beneficial. It seems that when we are able to disengage from the daily grind (and believe me, it is a grind) we are able to activate different parts of our mind that are not related to executing our day-to-day tasks. As it turns out, there is a process that physically happens in our brains called neuroplasticity, where we literally change the connections in our brain when we are stimulated and learning and enjoying something new. When we exercise our minds in this way, we are able to create new and different connections to awaken creative potential. Sometimes just talking to someone who is not in your regular rotation of co-workers—someone who you are actually friends with—can help you escape the monotony of a rinse-and-repeat environment filled with endless conference calls that go nowhere.
I hope these three tools enable you to break the headset/glued to the computer ritual we are all doing right now. Because departing from the endless cycle of doing for doing’s sake is both worthwhile and obtainable, you can and should help yourself with this simple and proven recipe. There’s also a wonderful side effect: the newfound generation of creativity—which is in such short supply these days, yet now needed more than ever.