In these unprecedented and unforeseen times, it is easy to get distracted from our work and weighed down by what is happening around us. Following the news daily can be all consuming. It is hard to not think of anything else particularly when you are isolated in your home away from the hum of an office. It is important that we stay informed and connected particularly as daily events unfold such as this week’s announcement that schools in England are closing, which impacts drastically working parents’ ability to work, but being selective with which and how much news feeds and social medial you follow (much of it is repetitive) prevents you from drowning in a sea of information and allows you to continue with your work and even fit in some hobbies that are so beneficial for mental well-being.
I think the best thing we can do now is to embrace this new way of working and life, remind ourselves it is temporary, and carry on with work and life as much as possible with positivity and even some humour. Why? Because adapting, carrying on and staying positive are things all within our power to do individually that will help to keep the economy going and protect our own personal well-being.
Whilst it may feel all doom and gloom, and yes, these are undoubtedly uncertain and worrying times, there are silver linings to be found. The past few days, I have been touched by the comradery amongst my colleagues and my various friend groups on WhatsApp; despite being physically apart, in a way we are closer and more connected than ever. This situation has also been a welcomed burst to the bubble I confess I probably found myself in, a reminder to not take anything for granted and a reminder of how interconnected we all are and how much we all depend on each other to exist.
The immediate challenge that many of us face right now is adapting to the new working from home arrangements, and there is the additional challenge for those working parents amongst us to juggle working from home with caring for children and home-schooling for an ‘indefinite period of time’. It will be tough, especially for those parents who cannot get any help with childcare, and it will inevitably mean further adaptations needed within the workplace. Some silver lining in this is that we are fortunate to live in an age of technology that enables us to work from home. It may not be perfect and no law firm is prepared for all its staff to be working remotely at the same time. There will be some adjusting; alterations to timings, deliveries and systems; activities may take longer; and mistakes may be made though you would hope they would be met with understanding as we all navigate the new modus operandi together. Yet, some positives will come from this; for example, we will likely see further innovations in technologies and ways of working.
Avoid getting overly distracted by negativity or beaten down by things you cannot control at this time. Rather, focus on the positive things you can do, whether that be in work, self-improvement, bonding with kids and family and friends, helping your community, etc. Because we will get through this and the world will return to normal, and when it does you will want to look back and say, I did something valuable with my time.