BIMBeing: The Journey #40
#40 – Using time wisely…
Photograph by Skitterphoto from Pexels.
Isolation almost seems like old news at this point; 2 weeks in and it’s already feeling somewhat normal. I’ve started to forget what face-to-face meetings are really like, my slipper-clad commute from bedroom to lounge is really quite nice and I can’t remember the last time I saw anybody wearing anything other than a t-shirt on a video call. I’m still maintaining a daily routine and I hope that most of you are doing the same, I believe it’s absolutely key to staying sane whilst trapped at home (post #38). As the result of a normal routine and greatly reduced travel I seem to have additional time in my day, and therefore, my work output remains very high; if anything, I seem to be even busier than usual, which was certainly not the plan. This leads me to question, is everybody using their time wisely?
For the majority of you that are now working from home, how productive have you been? Are you using your additional ‘spare’ time to do something useful? Or are you simply spending additional hours in bed, more time making snacks and starting series after series on Netflix? It can be difficult to self-motivate whilst at home but, as the old saying goes, “make hay whilst the sun is shining” – the conditions for productivity right now are almost perfect, and I’m not talking about the oddly glorious weather we’ve experienced over the past 2 weeks.
Catch up on work
Within the confines of your own home, providing you have a suitable working environment (post #33), there should be less distractions than you would typically experience in the office or on site. Sure, you’re still going to receive emails and phone calls, but you can quite easily shut yourself away from it all if and when you need to. It’s the perfect opportunity to get stuck in to some of the tasks that have probably been building up in the background; finish off some documents and reports, catch up on admin, clear the back-log of emails etc. This is a unique opportunity in many ways to tick off the items on your list that have started to gather dust.
Get yourself ahead
What’s better than catching up on old tasks? Putting yourself ahead. Eventually the world will go back to normal and you’ll be back in the bustle of everyday life; why not get yourself ahead now and return to ‘normal’ life on the front foot? It all depends on how busy you are with current tasks, but if you have the opportunity to do so start planning work for the coming weeks and months. Try to prepare in advance of meetings and deadlines, maybe use the time to setup templates or improve clunky workflows. It may seem like a lot of work now, but it’s a far better use of your time than Netflix is. Work today to reap the benefits tomorrow (metaphorically speaking, we’ll still be in isolation tomorrow, but you get the point).
Invest in you
Whilst management will certainly applaud me for suggesting that you do more of the companies work than normal, I’ve actually saved the most important part of this post until last. With your new found ‘free time’, invest some of it in yourself. This can be anything from improving your physical or mental wellbeing to learning an entirely new skill. You could use this time to improve upon your current skillset, maybe something that could benefit your career? For those in BIM, why not use some online training courses and videos to improve your software capabilities? Perhaps research and test some new software packages or create a new workflow to drive some efficiency? It may not seem like an appropriate economical time, but why not investigate that new position you noticed a few weeks ago? You’ve got the time and the privacy to do some research, make some phone calls and tickle-up that CV. Whether you’re looking to move or not, being prepared with a plan B is never detrimental.
Work aside you could focus on something else altogether, be it speaking another language, learning to cook or mastering how to build furniture. You could also tick some DIY off of your list, or organise that one ‘messy drawer’ that every household in world has in their kitchen. You could focus more on your health, too. Why not set yourself a new physical challenge like ‘Couch to 5K’ or the ‘100 Press-up’ challenge? Maybe you want to start yoga or some form of meditation? For those isolating with family, friends or relatives, don’t miss the opportunity for some quality time with them either. Setting new challenges or goals together will help to motivate you all. Your options are truly endless right now, don’t push them all aside for TV and takeaways.
My point is this: if you start to consider this new found time in isolation as a small gift in disguise, you can really start putting it to good use. You’ve got the opportunity to maintain or improve your current skills and abilities, to put your mind to literally anything that you want to do (socialising excluded) and make yourself and those around you happier and healthier in the process; if you select the right goals you may even start to enjoy your time in isolation.
Everyone should do something, no matter how big or small it may be. Take a few moments to sit back and think about what you really want to do. Then, remove holidays, pubs and restaurants from that list as they’re currently out of bounds. Hopefully you’re left with something achievable, something that will give you a benefit now, and in the future; something that when you look back upon ‘The Great Isolation of 2020’ will make you feel at least partially accomplished .
Don’t forget that comments (scroll down) and emails are active. Share your isolation plans and goals with me and/or others, you might even inspire somebody else.
Use your time wisely. It’s a rare opportunity in the midst of this disaster, so don’t waste it.