In recent weeks, I have become increasingly obsessed about how I am managing my time and physical space at home. I am not sure how this need for hyper-organisation came to be but it is both satisfying and frustrating trying to set up structures and systems which I then later ignore…
To give an example of what is now in place – a template for each diary page to manage time, park ideas and document tasks. I also have a large handbag to carry my reading. diary, pens etc from my study to the lounge or dining if I want to work in other parts of the house…My home office is now the most organised it has ever been!
There have been some very useful learning from all this planning – here are some good takeaways:
- Never, never start your day checking emails. It should be the 3rd or 4th thing you do…
- Chunk activities into 30 minute blocks with no activity going longer than 90 minutes…
- Reference checking, editing, spell checking and formatting are NOT writing… This one is especially useful as I tend to jump around a lot when working with a text.
- I also got this piece of gold from one of my MSci supervisors – “Lose the personal pronoun” Something I am very guilty of at times. Too many years of blog writing and writing for the public in ‘concierge tone.’ This one I have actively railed against at times – perhaps a topic for a future post – my love/hate of academia. In any case a key reason why I am such a ‘reluctant scientist’ 🙂
- Start each day with gratitude and at the end of the day reflect – What was the lesson? What was the win? What am I grateful for?
All this organising and reorganising my workspace and my habits does has a purpose – to recalibrate and rebalance my life. As many of you know, I am very enthusiastic about natural therapies and in particularly connecting to nature as a path to wellbeing. This interest has been coming through my creative practice as tree meditations, videos and guided nature walks. It has also come through my love of Gaia and a focus on earth energies and the esoteric, which has manifested over the past year in my training in dowsing and Reiki (I am now qualified to take clients if I decide to). The process of culling, cleaning and honing is also about aligning my purpose going forward.
So much has changed in the past year, it has been a blessing to be home and to have the time to consider how to move forward into a post-COVID-19 life. The past 12 months have presented many lessons, some of which have been a bit of a challenge to accept. Managing stress was critical at times – probably one of the reasons why I am so passionate about getting out and walking in nature. A tough lesson after losing one of my back teeth last year due to ‘clamping’ my mouth when asleep.
As we have seen with the COVID-19, it does not take much for people to panic and to start to peddle doom. This is the vestige of being subjected to on-going, confusing and inconsistent information. Also, for my local community, we had no chance to recover from the 3 months of spending summer inside because of smoke and fires, joking about the the pestilence that must be coming… This post from Triple J Hack talks about how we are now experiencing reverse culture shock as we move back to ‘normal.’
There is a growing list of literature exploring the mental health impacts of COVID-19 and I am sure that there will be a lot more research in this area. There will also be a lot of reflection from Internet researchers too. Although my PhD is over 10 years old, I can see how topics such as surveillance, identity and community are all still relevant. Perhaps this is another project to park on the diary parking lot. As part of my routine, I have a bit of my diary page dedicated to ‘parking’ – do I can catch ideas but not feel like they are distracting from the focus of the day.
Anyway, I think that there is great potential for our lives to be improved by this experience – reconnecting with our families, smelling cleaner air and hearing the birdsong ❤ Brainpickings shared this wonderful post Yes to everything, in spite of everything about some of the writings of neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl. Maria Popova comments that:
Our collective memory always tends toward amnesia and erasure — especially of periods scarred by civilizational shame.
Sound familiar? What have been other peoples experiences? Do you like working remotely, are you more / less productive? I would love to hear from some of you about how things have been going.