What started of on TV as a ‘regular news’ about a faraway land – China, soon became our reality and an imminent threat at our doorsteps. The Coronavirus bypassed every immigration protocol and spread across the world at an alarming rate. It was no longer the news we saw on TV, it was the silent enemy lurking just around the corner.
Unless you are not on social media, I’m sure you must be experiencing ‘digital fatigue’ because of the barrage of live streams, Twitter threads, career webinars, the bombardment of solicited and unsolicited emails from organizations and individuals, all willing you to not ‘waste your life’ during this lockdown but to be better skilled and positioned for life, post-lockdown. And of course, there’s Tik Tok.
Digital fatigue is a state of mental exhaustion and disengagement that occurs among people who are required to use numerous digital tools and apps concurrently. This results from juggling processes across a dozen platforms, while still meeting expectations for performance and productivity.
We totally get it, really we do. The world will not be the same after this period. I mean, who could have foreseen this? And who would have thought we would so easily adapt to working from home? It’s almost like a suit that had been tailor-made for us – the ease with which most of us transited. Now, this is not to say that working from home has been exactly easy or that everybody has the same privileges and opportunities as others, but for those of us who had regular 9-5s that required us to show up at the office every day, the lockdown has made us all work from home, and we are adapting to it!
The future of work, which had been imagined to be a Sci-Fi age where humans were slowly edged out and technology in the form of AI and robotics came and took all our jobs, no longer looks so distant anymore. The future of work is now; it’s these times, it’s adapting quickly to the changing world around us, it’s having to quickly adopt technological tools to be able to connect with your team(s), it’s the discipline of waking up every morning and showing up at your couch, dining table, work desk, kitchen table or veranda and dedicating your hours to work in spite of an epileptic power supply or outrageous data charges that not even 300 free SMS can make up for. It’s now.
With all the courses, webinars and all being hosted by thought leaders, career coaches, motivational speakers, and cooperate bodies, one would think the lockdown automatically meant that everyone became jobless. Yes, things slowed down, but we are still working. We are all trying to navigate the changing times by working from home and making the best use of the limited resources available to still get work done.
It is important to guard your mind during this period, as things can easily become overwhelming. It is totally okay that you want to relax and take this time to do an internal reflection. Do not feel like the world is leaving you behind or that you are missing out on something by not signing up for the free webinar on how to position your career post-COVID lockdown or that you aren’t signed up to Codacedemy to learn Python in 4 weeks. Breathe. This is productivity porn, learn to filter the noise and focus on what matters at the moment: your wellbeing.
The digital noise is so loud right now that it can easily make you lose focus of the things that actually matter.
“It’s too many Zoom meetings. I hate that,” says Eric Yuan, the Founder and CEO of Zoom, regarding the number of video conference meetings he has had during this lockdown period. This simply is a testament to the fact that despite the huge and tremendous benefits provided us by these digital tools, they can easily just become as overwhelming. So, take a step back from all the digital noise and ask yourself what you truly want to achieve.
Here are just a few tips to help you navigate this lockdown:
- Be yourself: Don’t get caught up trying to keep up with every live stream or webinar that you forget to simply just be.
- Take a digital holiday: Imagine that you are in one of those resorts where there is no Wi-Fi and electronic gadgets are not allowed and just disconnect. You may need to work, but stay off social media and avoid the productivity porn messages.
- Remember to stay active and take care of your physical and mental health.
- There’s always tomorrow.