Many people are currently struggling with separating their work lives from their home and family lives as they are now working from home. Some, have reported to doing much more work than they would if they were working from the office.

This is normal I think for people who are used to physical spaces that clearly distinguish when they are at work and when they are at home. Thus, it becomes difficult or it takes some time to adjust to having a single physical space serve as both a family and work space. On the other hand, you find people who have developed routines over years as by default, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, are used to working from home.

African families, from historical archives and anecdotes, lived together as a tightly knit unit. Work, and the fruits thereof, were generally shared among family who would all live together in a shared homestead. πŸ“· A family homestead in Lesotho.

One of the things that make it difficult for some people to adjust and make sense of the blurred lines is the need to be constantly online, checking e-mails, checking the work Slack group, etc. The common advice I have seen floating around is that you must log off from your work applications and devices at specific times and have distinct times when you are working and when you are not.

I guess this is useful, but I would add another β€œproductivity and quality of life hack” to this which has done wonders for me over the past decade (it might or might not work for you, but it is worth sharing).

Be present.

That’s it. That’s the whole productivity and quality of life hack that has worked wonders for me. Whether you are working, having dinner with family, on a work Zoom call, writing a proposal, playing FIFA 20, BE PRESENT.

In our always on and connected world where we carry multiple digital devices for leisure and work, there are plenty of distractions. One minute you are busy with a proposal and next thing you are reading a tweet, two hours later you are arguing with someone on WhatsApp about a tweet you read. To solve the fatigue that arises from this as well as the feeling of being overworked, be present in whatever you do.

It’s worked for me, I hope it works for you.

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