Salvaging a Bad Working-from-Home Day

Decorative: "Bad Day Exit" screenshot from "Bad Day," a Steam "an endless runner [game] with unique combination of 2D graphics and 3D environment"; image is hotlinked to the Steam site

 

"How to Salvage a Disastrous Day in Your Covid-19 Quarantine" (post) assures us "[i]t is absolutely possible to salvage a disastrous day, even if you are in a crippling multiday slump ... The sensible approach is to ride the wave and work cooperatively with the psychological challenges that each day presents."

  • Each point is developed more fully in the text.

A. TL; DR Version

1. "Don’t aim for perfection."

  • "The goal is to end the slump and re-establish stability."
  • "Your job for the rest of today is to take small, discrete actions to help you get unstuck." 

2. "[T]he learning objectives are basic physical care, responsible communication, and simple organizational tasks."

  • "Today you get an A-plus if you eat two or three proper meals, do any light form of exercise, are compassionate to your loved ones, and complete at least one basic work task."

B. Specific Actions to Take

1. "Restart Your Day"

"[T]ake small, concrete actions that will get you unstuck and save your day.

a. Reboot

  • "[T]urn off all of your devices and screens."
  • "Take the next 10 or 20 minutes to shower, change, and scramble an egg."
  • "Put one foot in front of the other. Your feelings will follow your actions."

b. Do Something Easy

  • "[I]dentify easy domestic tasks that will improve your immediate physical environment ... laundry ... vacuum ... dishes."
  • "Pick one chore and move." 

c. Pick "Low-Hanging Fruit" 

  • "[P]ick a handful of tasks [from your to-do list] that are important but fairly quick and simple to achieve."
  • "Everyone has letters and reviews to write, outlines to draft, and administration to clear away."
  • "This is a great day for tedious tasks."

2. Accept that "You Are in 'Remedial' Life Class"

  • "The objective here is to get your wheels turning."
  • "If you ... meet 60 to 70 percent of your remedial life goals by the end of day, then you are actually out of the woods."
  • "This is a huge win, and your brain will be in a much better position tomorrow."

3. "Bookend Your Day"

a. "As your workday gets back on track, ... control its length."

  • "[S]tep off the roller coaster by early evening."
  • "Don’t try to make up for lost time."

b. "Finish with a modest list of goals for tomorrow."

  • "Keep your expectations reasonable, in case you need to reboot again tomorrow."
  • "Overkill will only land you back in a slump, when what you need now is confidence and momentum."

c. "[T]he best thing you can do with a disastrous day is end it gracefully — with a positive, affirming action."

  • "Make a donation to your food bank, call your friend who is a frontline worker, and offer to be of service."
  • "Give yourself a spiritual gold star for embracing imperfection."
  • "Eat a vegetable. Have some tea. Write a gratitude list."
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