No really, I can deal with there being a pandemic out there. However, there are other things in my immediate environment that are causing me more anxiety and I cannot seem to shut them out. I thought it was social media and got rid of it yet these creep out from nowhere and have now made themselves a permanent fixture in my head. Here is a mini run down of the things I am actively going to avoid starting now.
- Work from home tips and productivity hacks: I am guilty of this too but that was before I was buried under the endless stream of work from home advice coming to me from the internet, work emails, meetings and possibly every human interaction. I absorbed most of them like a sponge and experimented with a fair few. Needless to say, my productivity was only marginally impacted as a result of this. Negatively so if I were to account for all the hours spent browsing through these tips. I did discover a few useful applications but my life has not improved greatly. Also, everything that had to be written has been written. The marginal utility of these pieces has ended. Can we please have no more? Not to mention the tremendous guilt that they cause when your productivity is not where you hoped it would be.
- Predictions on the world after COVID: No one saw this coming. To believe that they can see what is going to happen after this is over (whenever that is) is even more laughable. We have an immensely fantastic way of getting almost every prediction after a disaster wrong. Post the 2008 recession, the majority of predictions said that consumerism would see a drop. What happened? We continued to throng the malls and forgot about the time when we were worried about cash flow. Human beings have this superhuman ability to forget how it felt in the past and pretend like bad things never happened or will not repeat. Else, wouldn’t we have been a little more careful with our climate. Forget about the climate, wouldn’t we be staying safe instead of thronging national parks forcing them to shut down?
- Fitness challenges: Bring on the guilt. I cannot eat a single cookie in peace without recollecting all the fitness challenges that I have failed. I understand we all need something to do and staying fit is a good thing. Yet there is enough guilt around not being productive. The last thing I need is to add to the pile. I am already deprived of alcohol and takeout meals. Can you please let me eat my wafers in peace?
- Learning aids: More guilt! It feels like the purpose of all material floating on the World Wide Web is to make me feel guilty and then confuse me by posting innumerable pieces on how I should not be feeling guilty. Really? The last thing I need on top of being productive and staying fit are nudges pushing me to expand my repertoire of knowledge. No, I will not learn if I do not want to. I am not sure why it should make me feel more guilty now than any other time. Were we not supposed to be always expanding our repertoire? Am I supposed to accelerate that all of a sudden on top of cooking, washing, sweeping, mopping, and getting more productive at work? I thought there would be relaxation in this aspect since I am already doing so much else. Clearly not!
- Anything COVID related that is not directly related to how to end it: In short, all of the above and anything else that I left out. The only thing the world really needs to know is the rate of acceleration or deceleration of the virus, the actual impact (I would like to know that the oil prices have dropped beyond imagination), when a vaccination is arriving and how as a citizen I can help win this war (maybe a few other things). Almost everything else is noise. I understand the whole “riding the wave” concept, but it is time to stop. I am not saying pretend it is not happening but also be sensitive to the impact you have. Maybe write humor, some fiction, something about what hasn’t changed (like core HR concepts?) and opinion on fun facts.
I know that the propagators of the above have best intentions at heart and will likely put the blame back on me. Yet, I do not understand why the pandemic has suddenly created the need for everyone to be super humans. It is a time of opportunities but almost every day is so why is today any different?