To celebrate the first anniversary of Work Well. Play More! Productive, Clutter-Free, Healthy Living – One Step at a Time, I have made some updates to the paper and Kindle versions. If you have the Kindle version, it will automagically update when you sync. I've also added a pandemic prologue to the book, which will be in all new copies and recorded in the bonus chapter.
It's my birthday, September 8, 2020, and I'm sitting outside a Starbucks where I am the only one at 8:12 a.m. The world has changed considerably since I launched Work Well. Play More! in November 2019. The coronavirus halted all travel, kept us in our homes, and moved many of us to remote work. The shift in behaviors and cultures had positive and negative outcomes.
Companies who were suspicious of working from home or said it would never work for them were forced to comply. They realized that not only could they have productive workers, but it could also save them loads of money in commercial real estate. Not all those who now would be working from home had “remote offices” set up. Many managed or are managing from a kitchen table, makeshift office, or their sofa.
Even people who already worked from home had a shift (including me) because they now had spouses, partners, or roommates at home as well. One friend said she thought it would be romantic for her husband and her to be working together and then realized he had a loud phone voice and spent most of his days making sales calls. As a web designer, she was used to quiet and solitude.
Kids in virtual school shifted work hours so that parents had to be a part-time teacher and work when they could get to it. Professionals had to adapt their hours and figure out how to balance work, parenting, and self-care. Work-life balance for 2020 is not the same as the balance in years past.
Most days are still a struggle, but every once in a while, the heavens open, and I have a kick-ass day. I've identified what items are most important, and I know when they are due. Plus, I have been working through data in a manner that is “good enough. Today I avoided email chatter and the distraction from a two-hour meeting for an important but less urgent matter. I was able to finalize several reports and pull together an executive summary of my data like a boss because of my “good enough” running summary. Thanks again for giving me these tools to succeed.” Faith Stevison, Senior Scientist II, Blueprint Medicines.
Zoom fatigue is a real thing, as Zoom has moved beyond video meetings to wine tastings, birthday parties, and even funerals conducted virtually. Those with slow internet in rural, mountainous, or beach areas were even more isolated.
In the first part of 2020, people either got healthier or let health slide. Those with extra hours in the day from the lack of commuting or networking some have found themselves biking or hiking 1-2 hours. They have cooked more meals at home, and the pounds melted off. Others who live in cities and relied on gyms or group sports for their fitness have found themselves going stir crazy and challenged to exercise. The COVID pounds crept on as they stayed stuck in their homes with few outlets to move.
In the US, we’ve remodeled and fixed up our homes and yards more than ever before. This included my own house, which we paid off in July. We replaced all of our floors, gutted our only bathroom, painted every room, and flipped my office and bedroom. This gave me a bigger room with more natural light, which made more sense since I spent most of my time in the office. People have been decluttering like crazy, finally having the time to go through entire closets, rooms, and even the garage. We had more family meals and some of us have spent more time outside. But we missed out on hugs from friends, seeing live music and plays, and meeting new people.
The updates in the book are just tweaks to the recommendations. There is nothing that I believed when I first wrote this book that I don't believe in now, but rather in the updates, I am considering the work-from-home environment for many more people. Some businesses I initially referenced have not made it through these times. I removed them and added others. Just like before, the most recent technology references will be updated in the hidden bonus chapter. It's easier to keep up there than continually updating the book.
The response to the first edition was so positive, it was almost overwhelming. I had people say it was their book of the year and bought it for their entire team or company. I had groups create clubs to walk through the year of habits together. Most gratifying to me is the Masterclass. It was smaller than I had hoped due to launch at the start of COVID, but it is one of the most fun things I have ever done in my business.
May you use this book to guide your own health and productivity journey, whether you are a novice, pro, or master. Your own path—one step at a time. Thank you for trusting me to walk it with you.
Virtual High Fives and Fist Bumps!
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