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The lockdown definitely taught all of us quite a lot.

For some, an awful lot of time in hand helped bring in clarity on where they are (in life), for some it meant getting to spend the family time that they never imagined happening otherwise. For some, the scare that their most loved person in the world could so easily be infected with a deadly disease was numbing, while for some, it meant expressing their heart out aloud and to care for their loved ones.

Of course, I’ve had my share of learnings from both a personal & a professional perspective – as the co-founder of DigiChefs, and this article is a short summary of the same. Let’s get started.

A. Tactical Learnings To Improve Productivity:

1. Microsoft “Your Phone” App for Laptop + Mobile
One wonderful way to use my laptop screen to make calls, get OTPs on messages and not be distracted at all by constantly having to go to my phone screen. 

2. Having A Designated Spot for A Specific Kind of Work
I realised that changing the spot where you work largely impacts my productivity. So, when I want to wind up a lot of executive tasks, I sit on my study desk. When I want to think or brainstorm with myself, I sit (not lie down) on the bed. When I want to focus on a meeting or a webinar and make notes, I sit on the floor. It just works for me, try your configuration, but the change of ‘space’ definitely helps.

3. Email Follow-Ups Reminders via Gmail Snooze Feature
Incredibly powerful to keep up with tasks you’ve assigned to people. While at the office, I’d see those people often and the task would hit my mind automatically. However, sitting at home, I’d have to rely on to-do lists otherwise, which get too clunky when follow-ups are many.

4. Avoiding Ad Hoc Meetings & Interruptions For Fellow Team Mates
Remember how we have that habit of immediately going to the desk of the person we want to enquire some things about and completely ruining their flow? Let’s not do that. Always keep things on email for long term action items, Whatsapp for short term actionable and probably calls only in case of urgency!

5. Asking Self Every Time Before I Hit The Send Button In A Calendar Invite – Can This Meeting Be An Email?
Oh yes, how easy it is to ask everyone to come into the conference room while you’re at the office? Equally tedious to find a timeslot within people’s busy schedules and then scheduling a meet online. Best to try and keep things to email if there’s no input required from the attendees. A classic follow up on the email & a status update meeting should work like a charm.

B. Psychological Learnings To Improve Productivity:

6. Intentionally NOT Multitasking as far as possible
Just don’t do it. Multi-tasking is a myth and it can never result in high-quality work. I realised how people would switch off their videos and continue with their work emails, and miss absolutely essential information in the online meeting they were supposed to attend in the first place.

7. It’s A Scary Feeling To Know You Haven’t Been Giving Your Best All This While
When you know that an illness (like Covid) could probably kill your dreams, you tend to ask yourself if you were already giving your 100%. And more often than not, the answer is no. To be honest, it was a newfound self-motivation for me to work harder. There’s so much that fear can teach us. Perhaps, it’s not a bad feeling then, right?

8. Learning To Say NO (More Often, As Required)
Our constant desire to feel wanted, be liked and seek approval, makes us so vulnerable to unnecessary distractions, and lead to criminally large amounts of loss of our valuable time. Just learn to say no. It’s a really powerful word 🙂

9. The Importance Of Spending Leisure Time With Team Mates
To be honest, I wonder how remote working in the long term can build enterprises. I think the sheer connection you feel, when you meet your colleagues on Monday and ask them about their weekend, laugh over the same over a cup of coffee, is unbeatable!

10. Empathy Is One Of The Most Well Received Emotions With Us, Humans
It was lovely for me to observe everyone in our team become so conscious and reciprocate of the pain of others. Real empathy to even just a few of your teammates will set your relationship to grow stronger by the day. Definitely try this.

C. Personal Learnings:

11. If You Try Without Caring About The Consequences, You Can Probably Do Anything In Life
This lockdown, we’ve all tried things we never thought we could do! Like say, giving yourself a haircut at home, taking care of the whole house without any helpers by delegating work between family members, learning to cook and what not! Since there was going to be no ‘judgement’ from anyone around, perhaps, we all felt much more comfortable trying these things out. Can’t we adapt this long term?

12. Focusing On Health – Mind & Body
Can’t stress on this enough. I am going to continue the (few) good habits in terms of diet, exercise and mindfulness for a long way ahead.

13. Setting Up A Routine For Everything I Care About So It Becomes A Habit
I always liked gardening but never found time for it. Now, I spend every Saturday between 12 PM to 3 PM taking care of approx. 30 plants. It’s a dedicated time I keep for this activity and is more or less non-negotiable. Just fix up a routine and stick to it!

14. Not Being Too Hard On Self
Being obsessed with improving yourself every day and accomplishing big things in life, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got to be too hard on yourself. Reward yourself every time you believe there’s a micro-win for yourself. For example – if I pull a great show in a pitch presentation I have been preparing for, I go plant shopping 🙂

15. Maintaining A Diary On Where You Are, Where You Want To Be & What’s Stopping You From Reaching There?
Writing every week has helped me a lot. I write down everything that bothers, and over a few weeks, I keep cancelling out items that no longer do, while adding newer demons to the list. It’s really therapeutic!

Relate to any of these? Do comment on your experience or share the same with me on [email protected]. You can follow me for all things digital & startups on my Instagram handle here: https://www.instagram.com/deepmmehta/.

Got your own learnings to share with our readers? Reach out to me on [email protected] & I’ll add your learnings to this article. Due credit to your Linkedin + Instagram handles will be given:)

Also Read:
How To Work From Home?