Offices are closed, restaurants and gyms are shuttered, and everyone is working from home. COVID-19 has paralyzed much of society in an unprecedented event that will require adjusting to a new reality before things improve.
During a crisis, it may be hard to focus on being productive, but there’s never been a better opportunity to check off those to-do list tasks that have been lingering on your phone for months.
That may include cleaning the house, working on a creative project, or whatever else you never had time for before.
Decluttering your home or workspace may even help take your mind off the persistent bombardment of push notifications covering everything from fiscal stimulus packages to global infection rates.
Decluttering Ignites a Chain Reaction for The Right Environment
While introverts may be basking in the recent change in society, the ongoing self-quarantine of many people is not as innocuous. In particular, entrepreneurs are faced with both problems and opportunities.
Meetings are going remote with Zoom, project management platforms are bustling, and teams are discovering new ways to function efficiently as digitally nimble startups. Your home office now plays a pivotal role in managing a business or staying financially afloat while the economy takes a huge hit.
The first step in managing all the distractions, especially if you have kids, can be simply cleaning your home office. Cleaning induces feelings of calm, reduced stress, and generally improves mental health. Some research even indicates that people with cleaner homes enjoy physical health benefits as well.
The point of cleaning during a stressful period of uncontrollable external events is to minimize distractions and help harness your focus. Ideally, turning off your push notifications will help reduce distractions too.
For many people, focusing on work can help them block out the stress of watching the news. And if you’re not familiar or comfortable working from home, you may soon realize that the next step in remaining productive is being aware of how your environment impacts your work.
For example, companies like Autonomous have been leading the way in providing entrepreneurs, small businesses, and startups with the type of modern, ergonomic office furniture they need to tackle the challenges of working from home head-on.
Don’t want to sit all day in an uncomfortable home office chair that you didn’t expect to be sitting in for weeks?
Autonomous has standing desks and ergonomic chairs that reduce discomfort. As a bonus, many of Autonomous’ products are crafted with a minimalist aesthetic to encourage open office spaces and help manage cluttered work environments. Autonomous even caters to remote workers with entire packages specifically crafted for them.
The company is also doing its part to combat the COVID-19 crisis, taking the lead among small businesses by allocating a percentage of its revenue to fund the shortage of medical supplies like masks and ventilators that hospitals need right now.
With supplies short and governments grappling with responses, that’s a meaningful gesture that many other businesses should try to emulate.
Managing Professional Stress in a Crisis
The importance of your work environment should not be taken lightly, as it may make or break many businesses running on thin margins or cash-flow right now.
For many small business owners, independent contractors, and other professionals, the ongoing situation has put them in a bind. Stuck at home, they have to navigate an economy where retail stores are generally shut down, supply chains are in flux, and corporations are cutting costs.
For example, if you run an e-commerce business, the current situation is daunting. Early numbers from China indicate a 15 percent drop in manufacturing over the previous three months. China is the largest manufacturer in the world, which means e-commerce operators are experiencing a supply shortfall.
Paired with reduced demand as people are more worried about paying bills than buying consumer products, maneuvering the e-commerce market carefully is necessary to avoid bankruptcy.
The term stressful does not do the situation justice. That’s why managing the things you can control effectively is critical.
Nobody can wave a magic wand and fix the supply chain problem. But entrepreneurs and business owners can reduce stress by making sure they are focusing on what needs to be accomplished. Keeping your home office environment clean and comfortable is one of the little things that can go a long way.
Block out the noise, and keep yourself occupied with productive activities rather than sitting on the couch and watching talking heads.
The uncertainty surrounding the unprecedented situation we face is stressful enough. There are small adjustments that people can make to reduce the stress burden, but ultimately, many of the developments are out of their hands.
The sun will still rise tomorrow, so take inventory of what you can change at home in front of you, and maybe get a jump start on your spring cleaning.
Reduced stress and a boost in professional confidence will follow, even amid a crisis.