COVID Fatigue is a real “thing.” In my conversations with friends and colleagues via phone and Zoom, this always comes up for discussion. One year into this pandemic / quarantine, many of us are realizing that we feel: tired, exhausted, lazy, like we are losing steam, unproductive, restless, lonely, disconnected, and stressed. We even notice that coffee doesn't help anymore! We find ourselves longing for a change of scenery, time to decompress, and a way to turn off work when work is "always there."
An article I read in TODAY states, "It's not you, it's work." According to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, the average workday is 48.5 minutes longer than it was before the pandemic, and meetings have gone up by 12.9 percent. And guess what? Zoom meetings require deeper concentration and more work for your brain so we may be experiencing Zoom Fatigue as well.
I think a big part of what's going on for many of us, is that we thought working from home was a temporary solution to a short-term crisis that would end. Yet the crisis continues and so our work from home continues. If this is our "new normal", then we are at the point where we need to choose to accept and embrace working from home as the way we work now. It. Is. What. It. Is. Looking back to work as it “was” uses up time and energy and quickly becomes unproductive because the how and the why don't matter as much as our need to succeed now.
So let’s adjust our mindset to be present in the moment we are in. Let's commit to a "refresh" and move beyond this point in the journey. Let's take steps to push ourselves through the fatigue to get to a better place at work. Let's adapt and move ourselves into the Future of Work.
When I feel fatigued, I walk. There are days when I am unmotivated to put one foot in front of the other, yet I am determined to walk because I know if I do, I'll have more energy to get through my day. That said, you don't have to walk. Just move. Move a little more. Every step matters. Even the steps we take away from our desk during the day matter. Give yourself a change of scenery by walking outside and getting some fresh air. See the sunshine. Get a look at nature.
Maybe even work outside. Or take your laptop and move your work to a different place inside with a fresh view. To make time for exercise / walking / movement, I've heard great suggestions like: block time on your calendar, change your status to "away" or "be right back", or set an alarm to step away and GO.
So let's get moving and fight off our COVID and Zoom fatigue, make the most of the present, and walk ourselves right into the future of work. We’ve. Got. This.
Lisa Assetta, Founder and Owner, Office Assistance Plus. Lisa Assetta is a career executive administrative professional turned online blogger and business owner during the 2020 pandemic when she launched her online company Office Assistance Plus. Lisa has worked in a variety of executive assistant, administrative support and customer service roles with chief executive officers, senior executives, and business owners in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, publishing, restaurants, and aviation. Her life-long passion for peace and her desire to support, mentor, and inspire others led her to launch a blog during the COVID-19 pandemic with the mission to share her expertise and help professionals adapt and thrive at working from home.