In a matter of weeks, the global professional community has been thrust into unprecedented circumstances that have forced us to adapt and find our “new normal”. So, what does this new normal look like? And how do we know if we’ve found it?
As I reflect upon the time I’ve spent in quarantine, I’ve come to realize that there are a couple of factors that separate my best, most productive days apart from my worst. While this is going to be slightly different for everyone, I hope these holistic principles provide some insight and encouragement to those of who may be trying to answer the same question.
1. Care for your Mind, Body and Soul
There’s a lot of research out there that suggests our brain has higher function and capacity when our body is healthy (Read – How Exercise Helps Mental Health). This is not easy when we are stuck at home, gyms are closed and we are balancing many new, unique responsibilities. Yet, on my best days, when I prioritized my personal health and well-being, I made the most out of my work hours.
Mind – I take 30 minutes before and after the workday to enter into the right mindset. This allows me to separate work from home, as well as create a “safe space” to express my emotion. Things are not normal and that’s okay, so giving yourself space to express that can help reduce anxiety and stress.
Body – I try to take a 30-minute walk in the middle of the day with my dogs to get outside, get some fresh air and get my body moving. This has a profound effect on my well-being and cognitive functioning in the afternoon.
Soul – I try to integrate times of solitude and gratitude at the end of my work day, which provides me the opportunity to reflect and be thankful, both of which have proven to help boost well-being.
2. Prioritize Your Purpose in Work
When we’re at home alone, it’s easy to separate ourselves from the work we’re doing and the impact we’re making. It’s also easy to question if any of our efforts really matter given what’s going on around the world.
Having a deep sense of purpose can motivate us when times are tough. My best days are those where I’ve committed myself to empathizing with my clients, supporting them in any way I can and making a tangible impact on their work. (Read – 5 Questions to Find Inner Purpose at Work)
At Gartner, we have a tremendous opportunity through our research and advisory services to impact world leaders and global companies to make pivotal decisions that will have ripple effects for years to come!
3. Make Time for Meaningful Connections
Last, but certainly not least, we must make time for meaningful connections. This is more than a virtual team meeting, or a happy hour. Get with people you know and trust and share how you’re really doing. This kind of open communication has been proven to not only boost your mood but your productivity too!
Personally, I’ve noticed on days where I connect with my colleagues, friends and family, I’m far more energized and productive! I was recently re-watching a famous TED Talk about a 75-year longitudinal study where Harvard researchers emphasized the importance of meaningful connections and relationships on long-term health and well-being (Watch – TED Talk).
Gartner offers several resources to help us find our own best ways to tackle these three ways to prioritize our health. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are one way to form some of these meaningful connections, and it’s been a great way for me to stay connected with colleagues around the world. Whichever resources you take advantage of, let’s hope we can all take this as an opportunity to grow, reflect and emerge stronger than ever- as humans, a company and a global community!
At Gartner, we recognize that our associates are at their personal and professional best when they are happy and healthy. Learn more about life at Gartner here.