We have asked different members of our team about their life during lockdown. Their routine, the challenges they are facing, and what tips and tricks they’ve found to keep them productive and balanced. Here's our first blog from one of our Senior Developers, Ben Sheedy.
What is your living situation (alone / family / roommates)?
Living with partner, in an apartment, with one cat.
How are you finding this new reality?
There has been lots of emotions so far, with lows and highs. There’s been an underlying anxiety going in waves, especially in the first weeks, when trying to comprehend the crisis happening in the world. I now feel the situation is starting to seem more normal, even though it definitely isn’t.
What are the challenges and what are you grateful for?
I think initially just getting an understanding of what was happening at the moment and the reality of it has been quite difficult to fathom. I feel quite sheltered from the grief that is ahead for a large amount of people. I’m not in the risks category for any serious complications, so don’t have any direct fear for myself. I am having to consciously keep in mind my greater responsibility to avoid aiding the spread of the virus.
The nice weather and longer days has been huge in making this transition easier to manage.
How did this new lifestyle affect your day to day? What's your new routine?
I find the morning a bit of a challenge to properly switch into gear and properly focus, though now starting to feel more on top of it. I still follow a 9:30 - 6 work routine, waking up around 7:45am, breakfast, shower, do some housework, then a coffee before starting the work day.
How does WFH affect your productivity?
Given my work as a web developer, and previous experience, I find working remote can often be more productive with less distractions, and meetings are generally more to the point in giving direction to then carry out the given task.
Whilst I think working remotely can be great for productivity, working from home has challenges.
Do you use any tools (apps) to manage productivity?
I used to use toggl.com and follow the pomodoro technique to focus in 20 minutes sessions to avoid getting distracted. I haven’t felt the need to follow that as strictly this time, but would return to it if I feel am not focusing enough.
Have you learned anything new about yourself in this time?
I think the enjoyment of the quiet life. I was expecting to struggle more with boredom if forced to stay home/local. Perhaps it’s knowing there aren’t any events going on at the moment eases the FOMO. It’s feeling a little more like the simple life. Though I think there may still be some novelty in the situation.
Has there been any positives? If so, share them.
I do feel the local community has become a bit stronger. London is a busy place so it’s not very common to acknowledge strangers. I think now that people are not in a rush to get anywhere and are more concerned for others, they are seeming to nod and smile more and tend to check in for quick conversation (from a distance).
Not having endless options of things to do in a bustling city has been oddly satisfying. Allowing me to take up interests and hobbies that I had previously put off.
What tips do you have for others trying to adjust?
It’s hard for me to get too high and mighty with offering tips to handle a time like this. I am very lucky with my situation. I have a loving partner for company and support. I don’t have children, so don’t have that additional stress. My job is as secure as can be in a time like this. A lot of people have suddenly had their lives turned upside-down. I guess, don’t be afraid to ask for help, life isn’t normal at the moment.
Name top 3 activities you’ve been keeping yourself occupied with
- Exercise: Cycling
- Hobby/Learning: Cooking/Attempting to make sourdough bread
- Housework/Home improvements
Are you planning to try any new things?
I like to cook but haven’t ventured into baking much. I’m attempting to make sourdough bread now that I have some extra time. However, it seems I am not the only one.
Have there been any learnings that will stay with you when we all go back to our normal lives?
Perhaps taking stock and appreciating the simpler things. There is still some novelty to the situation at the moment, but subconsciously, I think I’m still trying to gain my sense of control. But so far I’m yet to have boredom kick in.