Work Logs During COVID

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Copyright : Dmitrii Shironosov 

Ever since the pandemic began, many of us have become accustomed to working from home. For some, the shift to a home office environment may have enhanced productivity, while for those who struggle with self-motivation, a home work environment may have served as nothing but a challenge. Suddenly, work environments became riddled with completely new potential distractions, such as pets, children, package deliveries, and household chores. We have had to take more responsibility over our accountability and work ethic, while also working at a pace which doesn’t burn us out. I have a hunch that while some people have slacked off while working from home, more have probably worked harder while trapped at home than they ordinarily would while in a traditional work environment. I know that I have stayed up incredibly late at night to perform asynchronous telemedicine visits from home, something I would never be willing to do if I was working in a traditional clinic or medical office.

One thing I hadn’t given much thought to, despite the fact that my telemedicine productivity is monitored online, is that some employers have required employees to fill out work logs which itemize every single task an employee performs while on the clock. Given the fact that home distractions are quite different from work distractions, I wonder how much reported work activities have conflicted with what someone actually did during a work shift. On the other side of the coin, should quick bathroom breaks and trips to the kitchen for a snack be reported as scheduled breaks?

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Work/life balance is critically important for us all. We aren’t slaves, nor should we be treated as such. I truly believe that if an employee performs all required tasks for a given day, then the employer has no right to monitor every single second of that employee’s time, whether it is spent in the office/shop or at a home office. Another consideration is that while some would consider the presence of a pet in the home work environment to be a distraction, having a beloved pet around would reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and enhance mood. I know that when I have one of my cats sitting on my lap while I am working on the computer, I am much more at ease. As a matter of fact, I have my rescue cat Shima sitting on my lap while I write this blog post, and I honestly feel that she enhances the flow of ideas and gives me so much love and comfort, thus enhancing my work.

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There are a multitude of benefits I can come up with for working from home:

  • No need to battle traffic or spend extra time sitting in a car or other mode of transportation as a means of traveling to and from a work site
  • Ability to perform relaxation breathing, rant, etc. while working especially long or frustrating hours without getting berated for it
  • You can work in your skivvies if you so choose

I’m curious to know who prefers working from home, and who is actually looking forward to returning to their regular work environment.

Willpower

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Please check out my original post at:

http://xactmind.com/xc/articles/willpower/

By: Dr. Stacey Naito – Physician and IFBB Pro

Tempted Then, Tempted Now

Are you able to resist temptation, or do you cave in when something irresistible beckons? Scientists state that the level of willpower we have as children extends into adulthood, particularly in emotionally charged situations. A famous test, conducted in 1970 by psychologist Walter Mischel, measured willpower in preschoolers by offering them a marshmallow, then informing them that they could either consume it immediately, or wait 15 minutes, in which case they would receive a second marshmallow. Almost 70 percent of the children opted for immediate gratification, while those who were willing to wait showed greater self-control which continued throughout their lives. This study was followed up in 2011 by B.J. Casey at Cornell University, who assessed self-control in nearly 60 subjects from the initial study. Subjects with low self-control as children still had low self-control as adults, while those with greater willpower exhibited the same self-discipline in adulthood. In addition, those with more willpower had higher SAT test scores than their impatient fellow subjects.

When Emotions Are Involved

An interesting feature about the differences in willpower in Casey’s study is that they emerged when there was an emotional component to the situation. Through neuroimaging techniques, Casey examined brain activity in subjects while they tried to ignore photos of happy faces. Subjects with less willpower had stronger activity in the ventral striatum, which is involved in processing rewards and positive social cues, while those with more willpower had more activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with impulse control. Casey concluded that individuals use their brains differently when challenged to practice self-control.

Can You Strengthen Willpower?

It may be pure torture to deal with the internal conflict of wanting that piece of cake and knowing that you are better off avoiding it, especially as the day wears on. That is because willpower seems to be a finite resource which is zapped by trying to control your temper or ignore distractions while you are at work. Any sort of decision-making process also saps us of our willpower stores. Luckily, there is a large body of research which suggests that willpower can be strengthened like a muscle, simply by training oneself regularly. You can start willpower training by redirecting your thoughts and avoiding triggers which tempt you.