This year taught me that from bad times, we can still have great progress (in some aspects of our lives) and with baby-steps we can go further than we imagine!
I am an app/site developer and I am always trying to improve my professional (Hard skills) and my Soft skills (emotional intelligence, communication, be a good team worker…). Due to COVID, I had to work only from home.
That opened my mind to new opportunities and ways of living, these thoughts are things I wish to explore in this article. My main hobbies are games, talk with friends, study about technology, finance, business and politics.
Well, this is probably one of the aspects of our lives that suffered the most. I won't say that in this new way of living (social distancing) I saw an improvement in this part of life.
But depending on the situation of the covid in your country, you can even go to parks to take some air. That is feels like leaving the "cage", one grasp of our near past that we had 100% freedom to go anywhere.
Some people (who can access the internet) adapted to avoid crowded places. One example (in my context) is that anniversaries in my family were celebrated through Google Meetings, using webcam.
It is not the same as being together with your family and friends, but it's a good way to keep in touch with people you like and to show for people that weren't used to making video calls that it is a good alternative.
There are some key factors that I saw with good eyes even before covid started this "chaos" for people who can work from their homes,
- No need to waste time going to working and getting stressed because the traffic is insane or the public transport (for me that was 3h/day wasted).
- More time to study or do some extra work that might be near the deadline.
- Learn to respect working and lunch hours.
There are two main points that outstands when we think about working from home. The first is one the extra time we have and the second one is that people need to be more disciplined to do what they need to do, at the time they are expected finish it.
One person may have a problem to focus in their house because they have kids or their environment don't estimulate their focus as much as an office does.
For the focus problem, we can adopt specific locations of our house to get ourselves into "working mindset" or use our working clothes.
In this way, when you get to that room, you can estimulate that feeling you get in your office (for the problem with kids, it is something harder to deal with…).
This is where we, as humans in the modern world usually, can get the most outcome when thinking about our current situation.
Who never said "I don't have time for …" (studying, sleep, exercise, time for yourself…).
Okay, now, more than ever we can all agree we have at least, a litte more time to do what we need or want in our lives.
From my personnal experience:
In this year I learned a lot of things in all areas of life. Since I had more time to study, my technical skills improved quite well. But the two most important thing for me in this year was the finance knowledge (I started to invest in stocks with good methodologies, and had good returns with it!), and the emotional intelligence.
The emotional intelligence is one thing that affects everyone one's lives the most, even though we are not taught in schools.
Key concepts learned about emotional intelligence:
- Stoicism: "Focus on what you can control, what is out of it you shouldn't blame yourself for it"
Picture a good professional working as a receptionist. This person is punctual, proactive to help the working place to thrive, even without asking a promotion. In our current context, this person could be fired because its working place didn't have more clients, and as a consequence couldn't afford to pay their employees.
Should this person blame itself for losing its job?
Of course not, but for some, there are situations like this one that are not that obvious.
Try to apply this concept in any area of your life and it will make things lighter.
- Ballance between Work and Personnal life
With the extra time I had, I started (in a natural way) adopting good habits for my daily life. I expliciltly wrote "in a natural way" because there are some of these habits I have already tried to incorporate in my routine, but I couldn't do it.
The main reason for me is that I discovered that I prefer to have objectives in a day and go through them than have "Time boxes" specifying what I have to do from time A to time B, I felt like a robot following this kind of routine, and it didn't adapt well to unforseen events.
At least with clear and real objectives (mentally set or using an app) we can see if there is too much in one day, and change their order easily as priorities change.
Good habits developed in this year:
- Reading books: 40–60 minutes a day. I could even read something like 8 books in these 4 previous months.
- Meditation: 40 minutes a day. 20 minutes when I wake up, 20 minutes before I go to sleep. This is one that takes time to see the results, but without too much searching you can find that meditation as a lot of benefits, boosting your health and even creativity.
- Studying: 2–3 hours a day. At least this one I already had before, but with my spare time I could get more motivated to find what I needed to study to master things I aim in the short and long run.
- Exercises: 1 hour a day. This habit I started not long ago, but I found out that even within our houses we can have very effective ways of training, some of them just as good as going to the gym.
- Saving some time to think about how things are going and what I want in the long term: Daily by the end of the night and weekly on sundays. This is a important one that usually passed by me without even thinking how important is to evaluate if what you have been doing is doing good for you and is aligned to something you want to be or to have in your future.
I know these are tough times, people lost loved ones, jobs, maybe everything they had. But we could and should do our best to keep going ahead our lives, even if our world is a chaos by now. It is not easy, but at least if we do things by baby-steps we can get further than we realize.
All theses habits I developed, were one by one, if you try to do something without focusing, you are probably not going to get the result as fast or with the quality you are expecting; It may even back fire on yourself, making you give up before you can even get the benefits out of something.
Thanks for taking your time with me, hope you can share some of your thoughts in the comments : )