We spent so many years creating a smaller and smaller workplace so much so that it fits into the palm of our hands or atleast lap or maybe both. All you needed was a laptop and a phone (and a strong cup of coffee) and you could work from anywhere in the world. Not anymore.
In the last 11 months, our desks have gone through a drastic change. The work desk that had shrunk has expanded again to include lights, headphones, mikes, sanitizer, masks, newspapers, magazines, mobile stand, camera stand, a minimum of two / three devices, mirror, make up and of course coffee and munchies. I have added a to-do list diary and a lot of colorful markers.
How does this impact you? While yes, these devices make our life much easier and have been known to make the lockdown more bearable, do they also bring in a level of anxiety to you? How would you deal with it? We share device fatigue lifesaving hacks with you:
Bunch them up: Keep them all in one place on a desk if you prefer. This is so you know that the desk is an assigned space for work and when you venture anywhere near it… you need to get into work mode.
Switch them off: Set your work hours (which I am sure you have heard often) and after you are done…sign off and switch them off. The forever pinging noise from various devices at the far reaches of your home can seriously drive up the #fomo and anxiety levels.
Out of office: All devices have them. Switch it on and let people know you will not take calls beyond a certain hour.
Move away: From the desk we mean! Physically stand up and move away from the vicinity of the desk and leave all your devices on it.
Break Time: Take frequent breaks. It helps cut down on the device fatigue. When you take a break don’t park yourself in front of the telly. Breaks mean no electronic devices. Speak to a human, spend time with children, play with your dog, walk in the garden or just stand in your balcony and watch the world go by.
Make it work for you: Time your schedule according to your body clock. I have found it to be a good idea to do my writing in the morning followed by responses to all the emails. Reserve a couple of hours post lunch for video calls. Whenever I can, I plug my earphones and talk while I walk. Good time to get some exercise in.
Time it right: Don’t use more than two electronic devices at a time. It helps you be less distracted and more focused on the task at hand.
Don’t multi-task: While we have all been told to do this, it saves a lot of time and you can get quality work done if you focus on one task at a time. There will be days where you would have been on all devices at once, been super busy through the day, and yet would have accomplished nothing. It’s not a satisfying feeling.
Make a list: Along with all the electronic devices, I make a list of to-do things in my swanky new diary every day. I break them up and prioritize them. Pick out the easy things to do in the first hour of sitting on your desk, take some of the (colorful ones) markers and strike them off. The more color you see popping up, it will motivate you to plough through the rest of the list and get things done. I stop when atleast one page is completely pink!