• Susanne Birgersdotter

For the last few weeks, the entire world has been taken over by a new virus. A lethal and silent enemy that nobody expected. COVID-19 has drastically changed everything – businesses closed, governments in chaos, priorities switched, and perspective realigned. The world has shut down, in order to survive the onslaught of the virus.

On the brighter side, mother earth is taking a breather.

For the last few weeks, I have been practicing social distancing and working from home. Not only to avoid the virus but also to join the multitude in our quest to put a stop to it. Working and staying home for long periods of time has given me time and opportunity for introspection.

For someone who is used to travel and being mobile, this quarantine period has certainly impacted me in many ways.

I started this enforced social distancing and working from home determined to make the most of it. Armed with my computer, my cozy home office, a good internet connection, and a detailed to-do list, I was looking forward to long, productive, and undisturbed work hours.

That didn’t happen.

I got distracted a lot. The change in pace and environment was not helping either. I got bored, I procrastinated, I wasn’t focused.

I might not notice this a lot under the ‘normal’ circumstances. We can blame unproductivity to the unexpected and uncontrollable factors like the traffic, extended meetings and socializing, or on the mundane stuff like chores. Working from home removed most, if not all of these factors. In a controlled environment, we are in charge.

This made me realize that the greatest enemy we have is ourselves. Our environment and the factors that affect our work and careers can be easily controlled. If you cannot control a thing, you simply replace it with something you can, adapt to it, or move away from it. But, when you’re in an environment where you have total control of, the blame sits squarely on you.

So, when my work and tasks kept getting pushed back with other unscheduled activities like cooking or surfing the net, I can’t fault anybody but me. When my to-do list keeps growing longer instead of getting shorter, it is only me to blame.

In the bigger picture, this can also be happening in our daily life. We are the only ones who can truly sabotage our chances to succeed and win at life. We can easily deal with external challenges and factors that could derail our road to success. We can easily adapt to our environment and situation, adopt routines and learn skills to ease our way, and choose the kind of people to surround ourselves with.

In the bigger world, the implications might not be as clear. Our decisions might be a result of many factors, but, it is still us who makes the decisions. We go on living the life we abhor and blame our crippling fear of the unknown when we can summon up the courage to face our fears and take the leap into the unknown. We slack off and indulge in our frailties and disadvantages when we can choose to overcome it and work our way to success.

Nothing is ever handed to us free and with no consequences. The freedom we enjoy comes with the responsibility of self-discipline.. So, while we have all the freedom to choose how we live, we are also 100% accountable for the decision we make, the steps we take or didn’t take, and the paths we follow.

Any quarantine and working from home stories and experiences you care to share? Let’s discuss! If you haven’t yet, join the successful sisterhood here.