Updated: Apr 10, 2020
After speaking to more than 10 women who are working from home in the past week I realized most of us fall into one of the 2 categories during the lockdown.
1. First - the lockdown is working wonders for you/ there is minimal to no change in your routine. You can get things done, be productive, happy and stay balanced just as always.
2. Second - the lockdown is a curse; all things are stuck. Days are not moving fast enough. You are doing mundane tasks like household chores that hold no value to you, and you see the lockdown as 21 days wasted in your calendar.
If you fall in the 2nd category – this article is for you!
In Jan 2020, when I sat to write down my goals for the year, I filled 3 pages under the heading ‘What I need to do before my due date - Mid May’. Three full pages! I had huge plans. So, I prepared a schedule.
I planned to work for 2.5 - 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. I planned what I would be doing for 50-80 hours each month until May. I was super thrilled about it.
However, as the time passed, my pregnancy was getting unpredictable. As I moved from what is considered the honeymoon phase of pregnancy (second trimester) to the third trimester, my energy levels started to fluctuate without warning.
One day I would wake up with a lot of energy – ready to rock and another day I would be exhausted by noon. But I wasn’t ready to take NO for an answer. So, I pushed harder – and as expected, that didn’t end well. I kept zoning out, staring at the computer at times. The to-do list had barely progressed.
Worried that I was only wasting my time, I ran to my business coach. After hearing my rant, she simply smiled and said “HYJ, that’s the answer to your problem!”
This happened exactly 45 days ago. More than a month later, even during the lockdown and much closer to my due date, I’m able to apply her strategy and get things done and march towards my goals like a boss!
What did my coach say that changed the way I looked at my to-do list?
“HYJ - Honour your Journey!”
She knows that I’ve strategically cut down on my clientele and set up a waitlist as I’m getting closer to my due date and as a result my to-do list has 60% of tasks that don’t depend on external factors. She said, “Sticking to a daily routine isn’t a priority as long as you are moving forward. If you are pregnant and you need a couple of days rest to get a day’s work done - Accept it! It’s your body giving you feedback on how best to take advantage of it. Now, make a new schedule as what worked for you in January (second trimester) won’t work now.”
These words were magic to my ears. It felt like someone gave me permission to ‘let go’ of the pressure to be perfect and just focus on what matters. In just two weeks, I ended up doing much more than what I had planned. Moreover, I didn’t feel any strain and was looking forward to each day.
How I interpreted her words and moulded it to my life:
When we have little or no control over the situation, it is better to go with the flow and not against it.
There is no point beating ourselves for something we can’t do due to factors beyond our control.
Focus on your energy levels and not on a fixed time schedule during this phase. With this lesson in hand, I began to rest for two days, but on the third day, I had time & energy to get things done at a much faster rate.
Lockdown period can be very tricky with limited/ no staff support, no schools open and no social interactions. This must be putting a lot of pressure on you and your family members. And if you are a mom/ pregnant it can be even more taxing. Please relax when you need to and work when you can. Don’t push yourself when you are supposed to rest.