As we are almost reaching a year and a half since the initial global lockdowns began for the pandemic, we have been able to adapt to our professional circumstances. We provide you with some tips to keep yourself sane and focused on your goals, while also giving you some great ideas for letting loose and having fun to keep a balance. Work – life balance is key to success and long term growth and relevance.
First thing first, please considering limiting the amount of news you consume. The amount of cases and a constant bombardment of bad news mixed in with false data or information at times, can lead to lowered immunity through stress. This stress and depression can lower your productivity. So keep this in mind, what are you feeding your brain? Just like you shouldn’t eat too much fast food, you should reduce the amount of news you take in.
Keep a schedule and follow it, even when you do not want to. This will make a huge difference, and make sure you are realistic. Do not overestimate what you can do, start slow. By maintaining your schedule it will help you retain some semblance of regularity, and counter the constantly changing environment outside.
Since social distancing is non-negotiable, you will have to figure out new ways to connect and share your emotions and find that safe space for all those involved. Friends and family are our safe spaces, and a calming phone-call with your loved one can help you work feeling energized and focused.
How tech can help and reduce your workload?
Technology has revolutionized every aspect of our lives. In the wake of a global pandemic, its benefits have been unmatched and uncountable. In the following paragraphs are outlined some ways in which you can use various software and applications to maximize your remote work experience.
With so many different aspects of the profession being redefined by technology, your sketchbooks and sketch rolls are crucial aspects of design in a studio. You have different tools such Morpholio’s Trace and Board which facilitate seamless communication between counterparts and your clients. It also makes presenting your work to the team easier, and tracking and organizing is tied into the cloud. If you haven’t already, consider getting free storage, such as Google Drive and Dropbox. Moving your files and folders to either application is a wonderful way to keep your work process moving.
Slack for communicating with the team is helpful, but is just one example of a program that you can use to organize yourself with your counterparts. It also can tie into Google calendars, Trello boards, and other programs. Ideally you want to streamline and disseminate information keeping in mind the common vision. Slack allows you to have a ‘status’ to signal availability. Try to keep the amount of systems and applications you use is low to avoid getting too complicated. Information overload and miscommunication are some of the problems multiple avenues give rise to.
How to redesign your work habits?
Make sure you keep a part of your house that is only for work, as it will allow you to have a way to understand when you are done with work and when you are starting work. As you make this space the center of your attention for a fixed number of hours, you should make sure it is free of distractions.
You should consider the ventilation, light, and the type of chair you are using when working. Natural light can help you focus, but make sure that it is not too much, as it can negatively impact your vision.
Make sure you eliminate any distractions and you are properly managing your time, since it is an essential life-skill and especially relevant in the context of working remotely. A great option for studying is the Pomodoro effect, which divides up your schedule into work-blocks of 25 minutes each, with a 5-minute break at the end of every block. There are plenty of apps that help you set-up this system and personalize for yourself.
SOM’s advice is to stay educated and proactive. They emphasize the fundamentals of what makes a great organization such as flexibility, communication, and preparedness. Positive leadership is also a crucial tenet of SOM in such trying times. Their approach to remote working has been deliberate and holistic. To that end, feedback is taken seriously and teams are regularly checked in on.
Just as the top firm in the world tries to maintain a positive environment and are constantly checking and reviewing the working space for their architects and designers, so should you!
When considering your next career move, plan proactively and create Portfolios that include your best work. Consider looking into finding a mentor with Architect-US, and improving your Portfolios with our Portfolio Plans and Career Advice Program. We provide coaching and personalized mentorship, so you can have a professional and experienced take on your next steps in your career, as well as a great team to confide in.