If I can be candid with you, since my last check-in, things started to decline for me as time progressed in quarantine.
New habits started to form, work started to take over, and the lines between personal and professional life started to blur. I’ve always been a dedicated worker, but lockdown brought out a side of me that I was very uncomfortable with.
Instead of opening my computer to watch a movie or an episode on Netflix or Prime, I found myself checking and sending emails. You could even find me typing away furiously in the middle of the night. I became a workaholic.
Working in the fast-paced world of venture capital and technology investment, things can get very exciting, and has the ability to consume your time.
However, the moment I brought this issue up to friends and colleagues, they all admitted that they were suffering from a similar experience. A light bulb went off in my head — we all can’t seem to strike a balance.
After sharing my story, and receiving such positive feedback, I was empowered to find a way to eliminate this overwhelming feeling of work anxiety while being home.
Here are some things I learned along the way.
1. Be open and honest
If you leave with one takeaway from my blog, it is that being open and honest about your feelings of discomfort is a liberating feeling.
Once I did, I was met with compassion and a lot of validation. I was definitely not alone.
Many close friends and 212 colleagues started sharing resources with me regularly. They sent over everything from tutorials, to books, to motivational talks.
One of the best videos sent my way was the TED Talk ‘how to turn off work thoughts during your free time’ by Guy Winch. It was an incredible eye-opener for me. The video brought many things I’m battling into perspective. I urge everyone, working from home or not, to check it out.
One book that took me by great surprise was Atomic Habits by James Clear, recommended by Başar, a member of our team at 212.
This book gave me great insight into my own habits, and how easy those good nourishing habits can be thwarted by destructive ones. Clear’s book allowed me to shift my mindset and kept me from being too hard on myself as well.
Clear’s ‘Plateau of Latent Potential’ is a great visual reminder that progress is not a linear process.
2) Keep up the team momentum
I know I’ve been discussing ways to keep work from taking over your personal life. But, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the importance of staying connected with your team.
In the first week of the pandemic, we started Venture Deals Spring 2020 training program as a 212 team. Kauffman Fellows and Techstars came together and brought us Venture Deals online. It’s an invaluable opportunity to delve into a 360-degree view of the world of venture capital and financing startups.
Just before COVID, there were two new team members who joined. Due to timing, we were unable to get to know them well. However, this training brought us all together in unexpected ways. We are closer than ever as a team, even though we are separated. It did help to keep the momentum flowing, on those really tough days.
We earned a Kauffman & TechStars Spring 2020 Certificate as a cohesive team, something we all feel very proud of. You can catch up on upcoming programs here.
While home, it’s comforting knowing that we are all in this together.
3. Take at least 3 days off and spend time with loved ones.
This may seem like an obvious piece of advice. But, it truly transformed my ability to gain clarity over my personal and professional roles.
Recently, I took a three-day break with some close friends (still abiding by social distancing measures), and even though it was only a quick pause on work and life, it was whole energizing.
It’s much easier to sustain momentum when I allow myself to truly disconnect and give myself a chance to get in touch with what’s important to me. I’m happier and stronger and ready to tackle anything thrown my way.
P.S. If you followed my previous post on our #plankchallenge, I’m at two minutes! Go me!