Boost your productivity

Why you need to ditch perfectionism and embrace failure!

Everyone wants to be successful, but there’s a difference between working hard and striving for perfection. When we’re too focused on getting everything right, it can harm our productivity levels; and when we’re less productive, it’s easy to feel worn out or exhausted every day. We may also end up stuck in a career rut because we think that “doing more” is the answer when really what we need is just “to do something different.”

If this sounds like you, read on. Here is how ditching perfectionism and embracing failure can help you get back on track again!

Strive for ‘done,’ rather than perfect

While it may sound strange to say that you should be aiming for ‘good enough’ rather than perfect, there is a reason for it.

If you’re experiencing burnout or you’re feeling lost in your work, striving for ‘perfect’ is only going to put more unnecessary pressure on yourself. Studies have shown that perfectionism actually tends to result in less productive work too, so just focus on getting the work done for a while (at least until you’re more in control of your workload).

If you do this, you’ll soon see that your quality of work won’t drop as drastically as you first thought AND you’ll see continued growth and progress again. Why? Because when you ditch perfectionism, you make room for improvement and growth.

Only take on what you can manage

You may think that you have to do it all, but you don’t. At least not all at the same time. When we try to do everything, we end up doing a lot of things badly.

It’s hard to see when we’re overpromising, especially when we have our own ideas of what we should be able to handle, so try to be easier on yourself. If you see ‘not being able to juggle too many balls at once’ as a failure, then reframe it! Your strength maybe time management and prioritisation instead (which still means that you can juggle multiple things, just over a more reasonable period of time).

Start managing your own diary and let clients know when they can expect their work to be done. You’ll find that most clients can wait for their work and you’ll have more time and space to do a better job.

Delegate and learn to say ‘no’

Delegating low-value tasks isn’t a failure (remember, you don’t have to do everything yourself). The same goes for saying ‘no’ once in a while. In fact, it’s encouraged. If these are fears of yours, then it’s time to embrace them.

Knowing how much you can take on and letting go of control are two very difficult things to master. When you do, however, you will see significant changes in your productivity and quality of work.

Silence that inner voice

We all have that negative inner voice that criticises us, and it is this voice that forces us to seek perfection. As we mentioned previously, always striving for perfection decreases productivity, and when we are less productive, we feel like we are failing and our inner voice just keeps piling on. It’s a whole negative spiral.

So what can we do to rectify this?

First, accept that you don’t have to always be working at 110%. And if you’re not, it doesn’t mean that you’re not working hard enough. Everybody works differently and that’s okay, so stop being too hard on yourself.

Secondly, ignore that voice in your head and accept that it is okay to be human. Some days, you won’t be able to work as hard and that’s fine. Not pushing yourself too much on those days will ensure that you avoid burnout and will ensure your productivity in the long run.

And lastly, if you’re afraid of failure or limitations, embrace them anyway. Mistakes and obstacles are the keys to innovation, so these are the moments where you have the opportunity to learn and grow the most.

How to recover from career burnout

Career burnout is pretty self-explanatory. It’s when we burn ourselves out to the point where we have lost the love for our work, it all seems a bit pointless, and we don’t have the energy to even flick on the switch of the kettle, never mind ploughing through a full day of work.

What are the symptoms?

Common symptoms of burnout include:

  • Feeling constantly tired and drained.
  • lack of enthusiasm and motivation for anything.
  • Anxiety and worrying about everything.
  • Insomnia, loss of appetite, and depression
  • loss of confidence in yourself.
  • Getting sick more often and for longer.

Why does it happen?

Career burnout can happen for several reasons, and it’s usually due to a couple of reasons rather than a single cause. Here are a few reasons why you may be suffering from burnout:

  • You’re not doing something you really love
  • You’ve lost sense of your purpose and your ‘why’
  • Your life priorities have changed
  • Your surroundings have changed
  • You’ve changed – but your role hasn’t
  • You don’t fit in your company culture
  • You don’t get on with colleagues
  • You’re being held back or your own beliefs are holding you back.

For many, the pandemic made people realise that they weren’t doing what they love or what they were doing just didn’t fit with reality anymore. This can lead to a lack of motivation and drive, and in extreme cases, anxiety and depression.

How to recover from burnout

If you’re suffering from career burnout, use this opportunity to really understand the cause and make impactful changes. Here are a few steps you should start with:

  1. Identify the cause of your burnout – is it you, your job, your company or your lifestyle? For example, are your personal needs being met with your work? Is your current role fulfilling enough? Do you fit the company culture and get on with colleagues? Does your current job fit with your lifestyle and priorities?
  2. Start making changes – work out what you would rather do instead (either by making your own lists or using online tools). Consider changing careers or approaching your manager to make some role changes. If your lifestyle has changed (e.g. if you’ve recently had a baby), find ways to adapt your role, to work more flexibly, and balance your priorities.
  3. Always prioritise your self-care – you should be doing this consistently anyway, but especially if you’re suffering from burnout. Make sure to take a break (and actually switch off). Try to have at least a week where you sleep for 7-8 hours a night, you exercise for 30 minutes a day, and you eat and drink healthier things that give you the energy you need.  When you’ve done this, try to make this your normal routine.

3 magic steps

That really is it. Don’t suffer from burnout any longer; waiting will only make you ill.

To recover from burnout, identify what is causing it, don’t be afraid to make the necessary changes, and always look after yourself. Change is scary but in this case, it is good; it will ensure your happiness in what you do on a daily basis and for a very long time to come.

Help your employees prioritise self-care

Self-care is arguably more important now than ever before, with the pandemic & cost of living crisis causing stress levels to reach new heights. If you want your employees to be at their best, this means that you need to start encouraging employees to focus on their self-care. If you don’t, you will have a very stressed and burned out workforce who will turn to negative behaviours to cope.

Why the need for self-care?

People are suffering from stress and burnout and it doesn’t seem to be dissipating.

  • A survey by the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Harvard Medical School found that 55% of respondents said they were more stressed in May 2020 than they were in January.
  • According to mental health charity, Mind, the Office for National Statistics revealed that depression rates doubled during the pandemic (in June 2020, 2% of adults experienced depression in that month alone compared to 9.7% of adults who experienced it between the period of July 2019 to March 2020).
  • A Korn Ferry study revealed that 73% of American professionals were feeling burned-out and the top reasons cited were no separation between work and home and unmanageable workloads.
  • Older research also commissioned by Mind found that 57% of the people surveyed drank alcohol after work to cope with stress. In addition to this, 28% said they smoked cigarettes, 16% took prescribed sleeping aids, and 15% took antidepressants.

As you can see from these statistics, employees are not coping with the constant stress and strain that has been the past 2 years; such a situation is unsustainable. To prevent it from getting worse and to nurture the health of both your employees and your business, you need to promote self-care and proper stress management techniques as part of your culture.

8 ways to encourage self-care

  1. Understand your employees’ needs – discuss self-care with your employees and ask them what they want or need. How can you help them create a better work-life balance? Which elements of their work do they love and what to do more of? Are they struggling with something that you can help them with e.g. prioritising their work to reduce anxiety?
  2. Make the effort to meet physically – especially with staff members who are working from home or hybrid working, make sure you meet up with your employees for a physical one-to-one. A cup of coffee or a walking meeting can do wonders.
  3. Practice what you preach – whatever you are promoting as self-care, make sure you are leading by example! It could be properly switching off at the weekends, walking during your lunch break, meditating in the mornings, eating healthily or getting a good nights sleep for a few days in a row. Whatever you’re doing, schedule self-care into your calendar, share your efforts, encourage and motivate people to get involved and be their inspiration.
  4. Encourage them to write their to-do list the night before – writing lists helps reduce anxiety, so if this is done the night before, we can sleep better and wake up raring to go. Encourage your employees to do this. It not only helps with productivity but also facilitates better prioritisation and focus.
  5. Actively help individuals with time and stress management – a big source of stress for many workers is not having time to do everything they need to. As we all know, this is usually due to poor time management rather than not having the time in the first place! To help your employees work more effectively, give them the information and tools they need to succeed. (e.g. ever heard of The Pomodoro Technique?).
  6. Offer flexible hours and/or an outcome-based model – to facilitate a better work-life balance, give your employees the chance to create their own flexible schedules. If you do this and set clear goals and KPI’s for what they need to achieve, you will see an improvement in productivity and job satisfaction.
  7. Remind your employees to use their benefits – do you offer your team flexible working hours, discounted gym memberships, a study allowance or any health-related benefits? If there is something that could help them relax, develop and re-find their mojo, you need to motivate them to take advantage of these benefits. Even if it’s just taking the afternoon off to recharge!
  8. Always show your appreciation – acknowledging employees and their accomplishments and showing them how much you value what they do can seriously help with productivity and motivation. We all know how much of a difference it makes when someone gives us a job well done – it lifts our spirits and makes our week. Self-worth is a big factor when it comes to stress, anxiety and general mental health, so make sure to recognise your employees and their efforts as much as possible.

Your employees are your greatest asset!

Employees are the life force of your business. They are the foundation, the cogs in the machine, so you must take care of them. If you don’t, cracks will form! Start investing in self-care now and you’ll see that your team, and your business, will be far stronger and resilient in the long run.

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4 steps to coping with overwhelming anxiety due to the coronavirus

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of us to suffer from worry and anxiety over these past few months. Whether it’s been worry for our jobs, our families, our health or the uncertainty of the future, there has been a lot of negativity and panic and worry to be had. As the effects of the pandemic aren’t wearing off any time soon, we wanted to outline 4 steps that you can take to manage your anxiety as, if it’s left unchecked, it can build in the background and quickly overwhelm your everyday life and relationships.

Step 1 – Understand that anxiety is a normal reaction

With all the uncertainty and panic that is surrounding us right now, our brain’s natural response is to worry and to churn this worry around until we find a solution. The problem with that is that there is no real solution to the fears that plague us yet.

To deal with the anxiety that we feel, we first need to understand that this response is just a ‘protective mechanism’ in our brains. This is normal and we can change it.

Step 2 – Identify what is making you anxious

When we accept that this anxiety is normal, we then need to identify exactly what is making us anxious. Perhaps it is constantly hearing negative news? Perhaps it’s worrying about our finances or our children’s lack of education?

Whatever it is that is causing you to worry, identify it and write it down. After just a week, you should see a pattern emerging.

Step 3 – Take control of what you can

Some of these worries that you have will be practical worries and some of them will be hypothetical (the ‘what ifs’). Tackle the practical worries first.

Look at your list of things that are making you anxious and create an action plan for each one. Can you avoid any of your ‘anxiety triggers?’ Perhaps you can limit your exposure to them or you can outline steps that you can take to make them less of a worry.

When you’ve addressed all your practical worries, implement meditation and mindfulness into your every day routine to help with the hypothetical ‘what ifs.’

Step 4 – Put your self-care first

To help cope with stress and anxiety, you need to be sleeping well, eating healthy, drinking lots of water, exercising often, and taking time out to switch off and recharge.

If you take care of yourself then you will make better decisions and you will build positive habits.

Seperation between work and home life

How to keep a separation between work and home life

Working from home has its challenges. On its own, that shift in environment takes some getting used to, especially if you’re used to working in an office, never mind having your partner or children there full-time as well! While space and distractions are common issues, the biggest challenge is that family and office life are overlapping, sometimes a little too much. Here’s how to keep work and home life separate as you work remotely.

Create a dedicated workspace

Having a completely separate workspace from the rest of the house is essential. It’s essential when it comes to productivity and focus, but also when it comes to switching off. Having a spare room is the most ideal, as you can shut the door at the end of the day and not be distracted by household chores when you are working. Obviously, this might not be possible for everyone, so decide where the most separate part of the house is.

Set your ‘work hours’

When do you work best? The world is your oyster when you work from home, so pick your hours. If that’s 6 am until 2 pm, you have the whole evening to fit in some exercise and good food. If it’s later in the day, then you can spend the morning home-schooling the kids. Whatever works best for you, set your hours and stick to them.

Tip: Its a good idea to bookend your workday. What we mean by this is to find something that symbolises the start of your workday and the end. It could be starting your day with a coffee in your work mugand then ending the day with a walk. 

Take a proper lunch break 

Schedule your lunch break and actually take it. You need nourishment for your brain to work at its optimum and a proper break does wonders for your productivity.

Get changed for work

You may be surprised, but you won’t be at your most productive if you’re working in your pyjamas! While your ‘work clothes’ maybe tracksuit bottoms and a slouchy t-shirt, that is fine. The most important thing is that you get changed out of what you slept in and into some fresh clothes to signal the start of the day.

Actually take a day off when you take a day off

We all need a day off every once in a while, especially when we are stuck indoors and the kids need home-schooling and the weekends don’t feel any different from the week… If you have planned a day off or you just want the weekends for family time, actually take the time off to recharge. Get your partner to hide your laptop or lock the spare room door if you have to. Just don’t get sucked into the “I just need to do one quick thing” void because the day will be gone before you know it.

Use your ‘commute time’ for self-care

One of the biggest positives about working from home is that you gain the time that you normally spend commuting! While it may be tempting to sleep a little longer, how about filling that time with things that will set you up for the day or help you switch off for the day? This could be meditating or exercising or taking it easy and reading a book. Whatever recharges your energy levels and releases serotonin (the happy hormone) for you, try to incorporate it into your daily routine.

Practice saying ‘no’

While learning to say ‘no’ to requests from clients is sometimes necessary, we are talking about saying ‘no’ to family and friends. Just because you are working from home, doesn’t mean your work isn’t as important. Explain this to your family and/or friends if they are requesting too much of you. Yes, your work is flexible, but you are still working 8 hour days. You’ll be happy to help them after your work hours!

Lower your expectations and don’t over-promise

Our expectations can be our downfall, so don’t set yourself up for failure. You won’t be working at your peak from home, especially with your partner and potentially your children at home, so don’t set high expectations for yourself. You won’t be able to keep a ‘show-home’ tidy house when everyone is stuck inside. You won’t be as productive as you would like so don’t over-plan or over-promise. If someone needs something, give yourself more time than you think you need and don’t be too hard on yourself generally.

Alarm clock

How to be productive when you feel restless or run down

The changes and stresses caused by the pandemic are taking their toll on all of us. It’s been almost a year now of being stuck indoors, working from home, juggling priorities, and potentially having to home school the children at the same time. I don’t know about you, but is it any wonder that we feel tired and run down?

This ‘new normal’ has a lot of us feeling run down, but at the same time, restless. It’s a horrible combination and it’s affecting our productivity. To help you get back some control and normalcy in your life, here is a quick guide.

Identify if your body needs a reset

Yes, sometimes, we can all procrastinate; we can all feel a bit fed up and tired every now and then. This is normal. What isn’t normal, is if you’re feeling this way every day. If you’re feeling any or all of the following as soon as you wake up and throughout the day, every day of the week, these are signs that your body is run down and in need of a reset:

  • Your energy is low
  • You’re not eating very well or healthily
  • You’re having digestion issues
  • You’ve got cravings (typically for high-sugar snacks)
  • You’re moody, anxious or irritable (more than normal for you)
  • You’re not happy with your weight
  • You feel like you need to make a change

How to reset your body so that you can be productive again

Make time for self-care – this should be your absolute priority when you feel run down, exhausted or restless. It may be really difficult to prioritise yourself when you feel so overwhelmed, but be tough with yourself and do it anyway. Without properly managing your physical and mental health, you simply can’t perform at your best. Get more sleep, exercise more, eat healthier, and dedicate some time to activities that ground you (e.g. meditation, journaling, meal planning etc).

Shift your mindset – productivity should be any ‘task’ that requires your time, energy, and attention. This includes any ‘chores’ that need to be done in the house and even exercise. Schedule these into your day and you’ll find that you’ll feel much better and more accomplished when you come to the end of them.

Prioritise and time-manage – first, start a time diary to figure out where your time is actually being spent. Do this for a week and it will help you be more mindful about how you spend your time. Once you have done this, you can establish an ideal schedule for yourself. Maybe you work best early in the morning, so start early and finish early. Once you have a schedule, prioritise your tasks. What are the tasks that are urgent AND important? What tasks will give you the most bang for your buck? Do these first.

Focus and take regular breaks – sitting down and focusing for long periods of time are not good for us. After all, our concentration is limited! To stay productive, try to use focus periods. Try the Pomodoro Technique where you work for 25-minute blocks followed by a 5-minute break. This will help you maximise your focus time and will force you to take repeated breaks. This technique is a good one for when you feel run down or tired as 20-25 minute blocks are easier to tackle than thinking you have the whole day to get through!

Avoid distractions and things that deplete your energy – distractions kill our productivity. It’s true – every distraction (no matter how small), causes us to spend the next 20 minutes trying to get back into the task we were doing in the first place. Turn off your phone notifications while you work and create an office space at home that is away from family members so that you can focus. It’s also a good idea to identify what drains your energy. Maybe it’s scrolling on social media or listening to friends rant about their situation or all the negativity that’s on the news. Whatever it is, avoid it so that you can use what little energy you do have on what matters.

Engage with people and get help if you need it – even if your team is working virtually right now, engage with them. Tell them that you’re struggling and converse with them. Conversations can boost mood and productivity so try to socialise even if you don’t feel like it. Sometimes, just sharing your worries or hearing that others feel the same is enough for you to feel better, but if it’s not, consider seeking further help. Whether it’s a business coach or a therapist, they can help you develop a plan and take back control again.

Dont be too hard on yourself

We have all gone through or are going through this, as we speak. It’s a difficult time and a truly unique time, so don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re feeling restless and run down and worried about work and your productivity, the first thing you need to do is take care of yourself and talk to someone. This is the most important thing to do. The rest comes later. Only when you feel better can you start to work better, so prioritise you.

Alarm clock and eye mask

How to combat Zoom Fatigue!

Out of all the ‘new things’ that the Coronavirus pandemic has brought about (social distancing, lockdowns, and global remote working to name but a few), Zoom Fatigue has to be among one of the most frustrating effects. If you’re finding video calls exhausting and you’re barely managing to finish your day, you may be experiencing Zoom Fatigue. Here is what it is and how to overcome it.

What is Zoom Fatigue?

In short: ‘exhaustion caused by constant video calls.’ Although it’s not really an official diagnosis, psychologists have said that Zoom Fatigue is a real condition and that it is becoming increasingly prevalent in the era of remote working.

Why does it happen?

So what is it about video calls (whether on Zoom, Google or Skype etc) that makes us so tired?

Like most conditions, it comes down to a combination of factors:

  • Video calls require more mental processing than face-to-face interactions.
  • They force us to focus more intently on conversations in order to absorb information.
  • Our brains have to work harder to process many of the non-verbal cues that we rely on in-person (body language, tone etc).
  • Millisecond delays in audio can negatively affect our interpersonal perceptions.
  • Staring at a screen and trying to hold direct eye-contact for minutes at a time without any visual or mental break is tiring.
  • Seeing our own reflection makes us hyper-aware of our appearance and body language.
  • Many people use this time to multitask or they get distracted by other tabs on their screen.
  • Many of us are under additional stresses due to the pandemic (e.g. financial, health and/or family pressures) so we are already operating on our energy reserves.

How can I overcome it?

While you may be working from home and are having to participate in a lot of video calls (and there’s no avoiding this), there are a few things that you can do so that they aren’t as taxing. Here are a few things that you can try:

  1. Stop multitasking – trying to do something else at the same time as a video call (like checking your email) will only increase your fatigue, so avoid multitasking!
  2. Take breaks – you need screen-free time during the day so make sure to take breaks between meetings. If you can get outside, even better.
  3. Reduce on-screen stimuli – hide ‘self-view’ so that you’re not distracted by yourself on camera. Also close all other tabs, social media sites and your inbox.
  4. Make meetings shorter – if you really have to have a meeting, it doesn’t always have to be a long one. Try scheduling shorter time slots and make 30 minutes the default.
  5. Switch to phone calls or email – be honest with the person and say that you need a break from video calls, so would they mind a phone call instead. You might find they need the break too.
  6. Make virtual social events opt-in – while you may be organising virtual social events to bring your virtual team closer, always make them opt-in so that people who want to join can, but they are not obligated to.
  7. Set your own boundaries – start saying no to video calls that aren’t valuable. If someone wants a video call with you, give them other options to choose from.
  8. Schedule in ‘no meeting’ time blocks – your calendar can easily become overwhelmed with video calls, so block out some screen-free time to prevent this.
  9. Use technology to your advantage – we have so many ways to communicate, can you use What’s App or Loom to send a recorded/audio message instead of having a meeting?
  10. Practice mindfulness – breathing exercises, yoga or meditation can help you re-energise a little. Take a break throughout the day to find what works for you.

Don’t overexert yourself

Video calls can be really draining so don’t let them take over your day. Start by setting your own boundaries, prioritising yourself and how you wish to communicate, and schedule in screen-free time to recharge.

Everyone is trying to work at their best from home during such a difficult time, so if this means postponing a few video calls for your health, then do it!

goals + Habits = success

Goals + habits = SUCCESS

Two sports teams both have the goal to win the game at hand, but only one can. This shows that just having a goal doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to achieve it. To win or achieve your goal, you need to have the right positive habits day in and day out. In the case of the sports team, it’s the one that trains regularly, eats healthy every day, and has the right mindset to keep going when times are tough.

To help you understand why many of us don’t achieve the goals that we set out to, this article explains why daily habits are the key to getting us to where we want to be.

Goals are great for short term accountability…

Have you hit a weight loss goal but then gained that weight back on not long after? Have you resolved to quit something or to start something only to revert back after a few weeks? Have you ever trained to run a marathon but then never run much after that?

If you can relate to one of the questions above, it’s probably due to one of these 5 reasons:

  1. Goals are temporary – they are great for an initial push but people tend to revert to habits.
  2. Goals can negatively affect motivation – if you don’t reach them within a specific timeframe, they can make you feel bad.
  3. Goals limit you – not many people surpass their goal as they are satisfied once they’ve hit it.
  4. Goals demand discipline – discipline can be hard to maintain over a long period, so when people lose it, they tend to give up all together.
  5. Goals can be unrealistic – if the initial goal is unrealistic, this can lead to a loss of motivation and negatively affect performance.

While goals are great for short term accountability and for that initial push to improve performance, on their own, they don’t help you to sustain this performance.

…habits are what help us sustain performance in the long term

Just like the long-term success of a sports team, it’s having the right habits that is key; having the right habits to support their goals.

When it comes to business, if you want to grow sustainably, you need the right mindset and the right habits to sustain your performance over time. So how do you do this?

  1. You need to set your goals – when setting both personal and professional goals, don’t forget to use SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound).
  2. You need to shift your mindset – know your ‘why’ for setting this goal/s and think of this goal as a marathon and not a sprint. You won’t achieve it overnight so be okay with doing a little each day.
  3. You need to develop the right daily habits – split your one big goal into short term goals (e.g. monthly and weekly goals) and focus on hitting these. Plan these activities into your schedule and link them with existing habits already as this will make it much easier for you to get them done.

Start achieving what you set out to

If you set yourself goals AND put in place the necessary habits you will need to achieve them (just focusing on getting a little done each day), soon these will build and you’ll see your business moving forward.

Remember the sports team. You might win one game or hit your goal once, but the key to long-term success is having the right mindset and daily habits.

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How to prepare your virtual teams for the long haul

The pandemic may have forced hundreds of businesses to convert from co-located teams to 100% virtual teams in a matter of days, but that was just temporary, right? That’s what many of us thought. For a while there, it was just about getting through the next couple of weeks and then months, but now, another lockdown is here and it’s time to face reality. It looks like working as a virtual team is for the foreseeable future, and again, we are without a playbook for when things will return to normal.

So how do we do it? How do we accept the new reality and start preparing our virtual teams for the long haul?

Step 1: Identify the most critical team problems

At first many people were working remotely for the first time, and in a time of crisis. Most businesses focussed on “making do” until they could return to normal, but to prepare for the long haul, you need to review any issues you have and identify necessary changes.

What poses immediate, serious threats to team survival? Are the team’s objectives still relevant or at odds with reality? Is your team culture and cohesion as strong as it should be? Are team members struggling due to a lack of psychological safety?

Step 2: Address these issues

To ensure that your team members are working as productively as they do in the office and in line with the current reality, you need to immediately address the issues that you identify in step 1.

For example, if the biggest issue is that your team’s objectives or work are no longer relevant to the current reality, re-prioritise their work to something that matches the new overall goal of the business. If it’s cohesion that’s a problem, try mixing personal chat threads with business ones and run a quarterly non-work-related workshop where everyone can bond on a deeper level.

Step 3: Focus on long-term care

Step 3 is the most important step in preparing your virtual team for the long haul, as without it, issues will just arise again as people start to struggle. As we said previously, people are trying to work through this crisis so you need to focus on their long term care. You need to be thinking about how you can keep them healthy and avoid these relapses.

A few ways that you can switch on your long-term care mode is to:

  • Always give clear and concise goals and work briefs.
  • Help team members know their role within the team and how this relates to the overall business goal.
  • Foster psychological safety.
  • Hold regular one-on-ones with team members to make sure they are healthy and to prevent burning them out.
  • Communicate as much as possible and make sure that each individual knows what is expected of them.

Think ongoing attention and preventative care

To prepare your virtual teams for the long haul, you need to regularly check-in on the health of your team members. If you do this, then you can identify any issues or symptoms of a struggle early; both of which will help you to give them the attention and care that they need to prevent these from escalating into bigger issues down the line.

It really is that simple: identify issues, address these issues, and make a routine to provide the support needed to prevent these issues from arising again.

How to recharge your batteries

How to recharge your batteries

Whether a post-lunch slump or screen fatigue, we have all experienced an energy drop during our working day.  For a quick recharge, try some of these tips to increase your energy levels without that caffeine fix!

Tip 1 – Keep Hydrated

Dehydration is the most common cause of fatigue and when working on an all-engrossing piece of work, we can often forget to keep our fluid levels topped up.  When experiencing fatigue, drink a small glass of water and take a glass (or refillable bottle) back to your work area to keep you topped up for the rest of the day.

Tip 2 – Make a playlist

Whilst many have a playlist to help them with exercise, we don’t do the same for working.  Create a playlist that you find energising for those times you need a boast and consider a playlist as background to help maintain energy levels whilst you work.

Tip 3 – A breath of fresh air

Whether a short walk or more rigorous exercise, even 10 minutes outside and away from your desk will help restore energy levels.  If possible, being outside in a green space is even more beneficial.

Tip 4 – Change your focus

If you are finding a task draining then temporarily swap to a task that gives you energy.  Alternatively, rethink how you are tackling the task, is there another way that you would find less draining?

Tip 5 – Try a brainteaser

Sudoku, brainteasers, quick quizzes, crosswords, dingbats; the options are endless.  If you are someone who enjoys a puzzle then taking a short break to indulge in this hobby is likely to recharge your batteries and enable you to return to that task with renewed vigour.

Tip 6 – Talk to someone

Having a call or video call with someone who has a positive outlook can help boost your own energy levels as well as ensuring you keep in touch with those that matter.

Tip 7 – Give yourself a reward

If you have a task that does not allow you to try any of the above techniques (due to tight timelines) then give yourself a reward for completing it.  From taking the rest of the day to do a task you enjoy or even taking some time for yourself to that cupboard treat you have been resisting all week, a reward can renew energy through the added motivation it gives.

Additional Tip – Being mindful of your energy levels and the energy needed for particular tasks

Understanding your own body clock and those times of the day where your energy is at its highest and when it drops and tackling tasks that suit those energy levels will help reduce mild fatigue that is often experienced.