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I bet that you thought that the stay-at-home order wouldn’t last more than a few weeks and everything would be back to normal after a bit. It’s evident to all that the hopeful optimism about everything going back to norms soon didn’t work.

Now it has been over a year since the pandemic started and the first stay-at-home order was put in place. During this period, I’ve learned some things about leadership that I consider noteworthy enough for me to share with you.

Leadership Differs

Although I saved some minutes that I would have used commuting to work and back, it also meant that I missed out on the motivational and productive conversations I would have had with my colleagues at work. I find it difficult to engage in meaningful discussions across tech platforms. Quite often, there are numerous sources of distractions that are around, things that are not present in a modern office environment. For example, living in an apartment with a kid and trying to work from that same apartment will be somewhat difficult. It’s hard not to be distracted while working from home.

How can we adapt?

Adapting to a new and different situation can be extremely difficult. It’s not as simple as changing your workplace or your commute to work. It’s quickly changing your entire daily routine and finding better ways to get things done. Some tasks or jobs require that you work with a team. It’s not that individuals can’t get the job done, but it’s more effective and efficient to go as a team.

One way to adapt that works for me is by maximizing meeting times. Since meetings can’t hold multiple times daily on a consistent basis, it’s best to interact with team members as many times as you can within the limited timeframe. Also, you may want to come up with ideas that you’ll like to share in meetings beforehand. It’s helpful to be prepared. Write down your ideas and objections before the meeting — this way, you won’t forget any important details that you would have loved to share.  It feels pretty bad to leave out a vital point that you wanted to mention in a meeting, and these omissions usually happen when people make virtual meetings.

Efficiency Doesn’t Mean Better Leadership

That you’re efficient does necessarily mean that you’re a productive person. That’s because there’s a huge difference between being productive and being efficient, which is an intricate difference to be able to tell when working from home. It’s essential that you have a list of your most important goals, and work towards fulfilling them. If you prioritize efficiency without tailoring your activities towards fulfilling your goals, then you will only find yourself being effective and not productive since the result from your efforts only bring minimal satisfaction. However, it’s difficult to be optimally productive when you’re working in an environment where everything calls for your attention. Another cause of being unproductive while working from home is that most jobs require the input of another person to reach completion. For example, a copywriter may require the input of an editor for a project to be completed, but since everyone works from home, official communication has to be done via the Internet — something most people are not cut-out for. There is extra time added to the tasks as one person waits for another to check their inbox and respond.

What Are Some Steps to Be More Efficient and Drive Your Leadership? 

Have a list of your most important goals for the week, and complete them in order from the most important to the least important

It’s in your best interest that you have a prioritized list of the goals and the tasks you’ll like to fulfill for the week before engaging in anything. Chances are high that you’ll get motivated when you complete the high-priority items and that will ensure that you tick all the boxes before the week runs out.

Speak with your fellow co-workers to know the extent to which your tasks affect them

 Your work may have an effect on what they do, and the successful completion of your task may be needed for them to begin theirs. An example is in the tech field; a programmer can’t start working on an app till the UI/UX has been completed. You should be familiar with the way work flows in your company.

Prepare for meetings

If there are ideas and things that you want to discuss in your meetings, ensure that you write down the ideas and organize yourself in a way that you can quickly discuss them and get the much-needed answers promptly.

Exercise before work begins

It may seem difficult for individuals that have a very tight schedule, but it can help you to be immensely productive because fitness supercharges your productivity. Working out in the morning has some clear benefits. One such benefit is that it improves the circulation of blood to your brain which in turn improves your productivity.

Some unproductive moments are not that terrible

You can’t be productive 24/7; you need time to do things that’ll make you happy. For example, being home with my family during the pandemic has made me happy. Although I found myself very unproductive when I spend a lot of time with the kids, it’s something that brightened up my mood.

The pandemic gave us the unique privilege to spend time with our kids and play an important role in helping them become the kind of person they desire. Kids grow pretty fast, and the long hours we spend working can make us lose out of being present in their important moments. But working from home gave us the opportunity to further appreciate the beauty of family.

I miss productive in-office brainstorm sessions

There’s something meaningful about having a brainstorming session in the office with your work colleagues. If you were working in the traditional office space, then there will be numerous opportunities to brainstorm and chat about important issues. This is one of my most favorite and most productive activities in the office because I feel that it’s what makes the office space great.

How Can We Keep Brainstorming Sessions Active from Home?

The easiest way to keep brainstorming sessions active while everyone works from home is by scheduling specific meeting times for each problem. Avoid the temptation of discussing multiple issues in a single meeting.

One advantage that in-house brainstorming sessions have over virtual meetings is that meetings can be arranged the moment the issue occurs.

4 Leadership Lessons from 1 Year into the COVID Pandemic 1

About the Author

Ben Tejes writes for Ascend Blog where he covers Chapter 7 means test calculator and Chapter 13 Calculator with the goal to help lead people to achieve debt and financial freedom. He also helps show people such topics as profitability metrics. When not working, Ben enjoys going on adventures with his wife and three young daughters.