Life in lockdown has left us all to navigate a series of new personal and professional challenges. Stay-at-home orders mean working from home, altering your daily routine, and adapting to a new reality. The transition to working remotely has been an uphill battle, but it is also an opportunity to enhance your creativity.
As the Founder, CEO, and Chairman of GUION PARTNERS INC., a management company that works with various high-profile clients from the media, technology, sports, and entertainment sectors. Lindsay Guion has had to adapt to a new way of working and has a few tips for staying healthy and sane during this difficult time. He discuss how he uses these extra hours to his advantage.
How has COVID-19 changed your daily routine?
It has turned my world completely upside down—as it has for billions of people. Working in a primarily service-based and collaboration-style industry has created some unique challenges, but nothing we have not been able to workaround. As we have had to adapt to Zoom meetings and innovative future planning, it has forced us to think outside of the box. Being at home is both a blessing and a curse, and it is a slow and steady process of learning what works best for you and what does not. Human beings are extremely resilient, and with enough hard work and patience, you will find a routine that works for you.
How do you remain productive during the lockdown?
For most people, their home is a place of relaxation, so transforming this area into a professional space was a significant adjustment. To enhance my productivity while at home, I now spend every Sunday night planning out my weekly schedule. I take the time to go over what needs to be done every morning and then review my progress in the evenings. It can be easy for the days to bleed into one another, so prioritizing your tasks is a proactive means to be productive. It is important to remain accountable during this time.
How do you stave off distractions?
The hardest part of working from home is being in such close proximity to my couch, kitchen, and bed. Instead of getting pulled into relaxation, I allow myself small breaks every so often to ensure I remain on task. Overexerting yourself when your mind needs a break is counterproductive and can lead to physical and mental exhaustion. I like to take short walks around my neighborhood, stretch, or step outside for some fresh air.
When you are surrounded by your partner, family, and pets (all day, every day), the opportunities for distraction are endless. However, I put my headphones on and remain in my own headspace as much as possible. I also put my phone in another room when I am trying to focus, and have disabled e-mail notifications on my home screen to make sure I stay focused on one task at a time.
It has also been important for me to set aside time to relax and connect with loved ones. I find that setting definitive lines in the sand when it comes to your time is a great way to stave off distractions and maximize your overall productivity.
How has your physical fitness regime changed over the last month?
Having to become your own personal trainer during quarantine is a steep learning curve. However, the resources to accommodate this change are plentiful. Before the pandemic, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of exercise videos were available for free on YouTube, and this is a wonderful resource. There are now thousands of physical fitness studios that are live streaming their classes for free across various platforms.
I work out in the morning, as I find it not only wakes up my body but wakes up my mind. I tend to work out before my brain gets a chance to understand what is going on because I have found that motivating yourself to exercise in the middle of the day can be an uphill battle. I think once quarantine is over I will continue with my current exercise regime as I find it has significantly improved my physical health.
Why is physical exercise so important during the pandemic?
It has never been more important to maintain a daily workout regimen. Being unable to leave your home, take hikes, or attend a gym, has a major impact on your physical and mental wellbeing. I think that most of us working in an office environment have a difficult enough time moving throughout the day, so make it a priority during this time. Get your body moving at all costs, whether it is a short living room yoga session or a run around the block, every little bit helps.
What is your best advice for people new to working from home?
Be patient with yourself. We are all experiencing this new reality together, and it is not easy for anyone. Try and experiment with your schedule and do what works best for you. If you find that fasting in the morning helps your productivity, do it. If you find that working in your pajamas helps your productivity, do it. If you find that you work best at night, do it. There are no ‘right’ answers right now, and all we can do is the best that we can do.
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