This is part three of our ongoing series Notes from Home; you can read parts one and two here. In this edition, we talk with Shipra Gupta, one of our senior consultants, about staying productive and healthy during lockdown.
Taking Care of Business – and Health
How does it feel to work from home on an extended basis?
Considering the COVID-19 situation, working from home is a blessing; we can work in the safe environments of our separate homes. But in general, I don’t much like working from home. I like the routine of going to the office; it’s more systematic. Also, the office is a home away from home. I miss my colleagues. I miss sharing random knowledge and facts and laughing at random jokes. But now everyone has found ways to deal with this new normal. We’re learning to make it exciting.
What do you do to stay productive when working from home?
Working from home has always come with its own set of challenges – juggling work with chores, cooking, and laundry. We have to manage all these things, set a time for everything and balance our schedules accordingly.
I have created a workspace in my room. I’ve decorated my home desk just like my office desk. I like to start my work and finish it in this space. Rarely do I work from the sofa or bed. This way, I finish my office work on time.
Also, I get some personal time when work is done. I reserve time for running, working out, and meditation, which keeps me healthy and focused. I have read many books and started writing as well. I’m getting the chance to work on my hobbies while working from home.
How do you strike a balance between work and family?
I live alone, but sometimes it’s tough to manage household chores. To fit work and chores into my day, I timed how long my chores take. Then I made a routine so that there was time for both. Following the same routine helps me balance my personal and professional life.
How do you de-stress yourself while working?
I take care of my physical and mental health by involving myself in physical fitness and meditation. I run or cycle almost daily and try to be regular at meditation as well. It helps me be peaceful and calm.By God’s grace, I’ve never felt badly stressed during the lockdown. There are days when I feel a little low, so I try to relax myself by reading some light novel or meditating. I’m training for more running endurance with the goal of beating my own past records. These two things help me stay happy and positive.
Have you pursued new hobbies or learned any new skills during the lockdown?
Yes, I’ve improved quite a lot! In a few months, I ran two half-marathons, which was my dream. I felt so happy to fulfill it! I also cycled nearly 80 km – I’m chasing 100km. I’ve also recorded and published some of my poems on YouTube and Instagram. This was thanks to my friends – they kept pushing me to do it.
Any tips that you’d like to give to make this WFH period go smoothly?
The most important tip I have is to create an office-type environment at home and stick to your routine. You can’t really work from a bed or sofa – you’ll get drowsy.
Making a daily routine is the next important thing. This way, you can plan your day and finish your work on time. This will make you feel much more productive and help balance your personal and professional lives.