An organisational psychologist on getting through lockdown

Mind

Since you have time… let an organisational psychologist into your life. Antoinette Raymond is a business and behavioural scientist who helps women to find balance with their careers and personal lives. From life hacks to how to navigate a male dominated virtual environment, she’s here to lend a helping hand…

Many of us are now into a few of weeks of a new way of living… and that’s from the confines of our homes.

Week One:
I think the first week was just literally getting ourselves and our families situated. Do I have enough loo roll? Can I bump up my WiFi connection to ensure I can work from home? Home school – you’re joking right? Will my local pizza place still deliver? Wait – I need to get my hair done!

Week Two:
Second week it has become more real. The numbers continued to grow. The tragedies landing on our shores and becoming not something that is happening ‘over there.’ If you have kids home… they are home. If you have a partner at home, you’re thinking when did my flat/house get so small? Does HouseParty really work? Can I get wine delivered?

Week Three:
The third week your office at home is now set. Your ‘schedule’ is getting more situated. You realise you have to get your workouts in or those memes about what we might look like in the summer are too close to home. You have pulled out or created a lists of tasks that you have put on the back burner for ‘when you had more time!’ (e.g. clearing the medicine cabinets, sorting your closets, etc.) And you are hoping that everyone realises that stay at home means exactly that. Stay. At. Home. We are asking ourselves – when might this actually, realistically end?

Two Camps:

Now, there are two camps that seem to be setting up.

1. Those whose life and work has been affected such that they now have too much time on their hands.

2. And those who have found that this working from home isn’t the ‘fun type’ of WFH and they are even more stressed than ever before.

But what both have in common is the need to make sure you are taking care of yourself during this crazy and surreal time. You know that phrase on airplanes “put your air mask on first?” Never has this been a more important time to stop – take a breath – and think about what this all means to you.

As an organisational psychologist (fancy phrase for business and behavioural scientist) I work with a lot of women thinking about how to balance professional life being a leader (executive, employee, entrepreneur) and personal life (partner, wife, single, friend, daughter, mother). But I push them past the question of how you balance these two parts of your life… and challenge them with the question of how you exceed in both these parts of your life (hint – the answer is that you can’t do both perfectly, because there is no perfect!)?

For example, many of my clients, before they’re off on holiday or when they have some time to themselves, often ask me for some introspective, fun, enlightening questions for them to answer and ponder.  I often add advice to the question(s) and then sometimes have discussions afterwards on the questions that really resonated.

But now I’m getting emails from my clients asking for advice, life hacks, mental glasses of champagne, work hacks (how do you ensure you have a seat at the virtual table?), tips on Zoom/Teams/WebEx…etc.

So, during this time of hibernation, I thought it would be fun to write up some on-going questions and suggestions to share with you. But this is a two way street. What kind of questions are coming up for you during this crazy and surreal time? Email your questions for Antoinette to [email protected].

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