These past weeks have turned our world upside down and inside out. Finding equilibrium has been a challenge to say the least. What did Churchill say about being in hell? Keep going! And I would ask—What did we learn along the way? I lived through the 2008 crisis hoping for life and business to get back to the way it was before—to no avail! I finally realized that I had to reinvent my business and create a new normal.
I asked several of my clients to share what they learned that could be taken into the post Covid-19 world as we all create our new normal.
What did you learn about working at home, being productive and juggling schedules?
1.“To stay productive working at home requires discipline and routines. Because home is often associated with leisure activities, to transform home into an office requires that a dedicated place within the home becomes the work place. Also, finding ways to eliminate distractions is critical. You need to try and create expectations that you are no more accessible to friends and family when working from home than you would be during the workday when you worked in the office. Easier said than done.” —Jeffrey Lapin, Commercial Litigator
2. “KEEP THE STRUCTURE! I still live by my calendar and I plan my next day down to the hour the night before.” —Marianne Curtis, Commercial Litigator
3. “The goal has been to find and adapt to a new rhythm. We learned that everyone in the home needed their own headphones, computer and workspace. No sharing. We learned that we needed to make sure our Internet had enough bandwidth to support everyone on their devices at once. No scheduling phone calls, conference calls, or Zoom calls at the same time as a home-school Zoom call. In other words, no double booking. Getting the home school out of the way opens up the afternoons and evenings for work. There is more peace of mind knowing I will have time available to work later in the day then trying to cram in work between home-school hours. Staying productive has posed its challenges. It helps to have scheduled blocks of time for work. That “forces” productivity during those set times because otherwise the opportunity expires.” —Clarissa Rodriguez, International Law
“Chaos is a ladder! At least that’s what Littlefinger says in Game of Thrones. While I haven’t found a breakout way of revenue growth due to Covid-19 yet, I do believe every new situation is a new opportunity for growth in business. And while I keep my eyes open for that, the hard work I’m doing maintaining the course is keeping the cases and cash flow coming. I’m grateful for that.”—James Peterson, Employment Law
4. “Avoid trying to multi-task. It just results if frustration. If I’m home teaching the kids, I focus on that- no checking e-mails or trying to take calls. Then when home school time is over, I focus on work and try to limit distractions.” —Stefanie Deters, Trust and Estate Law
5. “I cannot work and do childcare at the same time. It’s hard enough to focus on work at a time like this. To think I can take care of the kids AND work is not only unrealistic, it’s insane. So, I have “cheated” the quarantine and continued to have my nanny care for my baby. Courts haven’t slowed down their trial schedules and work goes on. I had to do this for my clients and my sanity.” —Karen Lapekas, Tax Law
6. “I learned that having a dedicated workspace is crucial and minimizing distractions is a must. Gone are the days I sit on the couch in front of the TV with my laptop open lying to myself that I’m being just as productive as I would be at a desk. While TV is a bad distraction for me, some distractions are good. If my fiancé wants to give me a kiss or make me lunch, I’ve learned those are good distractions and to allow myself to just be in the moment. Otherwise what’s the benefit of working from home?” —James Peterson, Employment Law
Manage the technology, your time and avoid distractions. But don’t forget to focus on the benefits of working at home. Like a kiss in the middle of your day!
P.S. You might be wondering about the photo I used. Well, I’m a passionate amateur photographer. And have found an outlet for my passion. I hope you like the photo I took in Miami, Florida.