Pre-pandemic, I stuck to a precise and rigid workday schedule. I would sit down at my desk in the morning, and methodically do my work until it was time to stop. Back in those days, I had zillions of post ideas at my fingertips. It was just a matter of sitting at the keyboard and letting the words flow; writing each took about a half an hour on average. Usually, I would call myself a productive person, but not now.
Now sometimes posts take me hours to write and rewrite and edit and reedit and proofread. If I was 95% productive five weeks ago, I’m 35% productive now. There are three people in my once quiet workspace. All the interruptions do add up, but something else is going on too. I can plant flowers, and hit nails, and mow the lawn. There’s no productivity impact when I work with my hands. My guess is the increased cognitive load of today’s events are slowing me down.
I have mixed emotions right now. Do you? One part of me feels like I should be taking this time to do something amazing. The other part of me gets to the end of the day exhausted and wonders if I’m pushing too hard.
I suspect I’m not alone because I hear people say they feel numb, or foggy, or confused, or sluggish. My guess is our ineffective-at-multitasking brains are dealing with the increased cognitive load the only way they can, by slowing us down. Like trying to squeeze water from a rock, our minds are just not going to work any faster.
Instead of beating ourselves up for not matching (or even exceeding) our prior productivity, let’s work within our new constraints. Focus on what we need to survive. Focus on what our members need to survive. Try some little experiments. Learn. Try another. Even though it may feel like not as much is getting done, you are laying the foundation for future strategy right now. We can do what is essential right now, and when we find our groove again, do more later.