The need to embrace change has hit the world—first slowly, then suddenly. The world, and our lives, have been thrown into chaos and the only way out is through. 

The importance of some causes and missions is dictated by the times, and we believe in these times, the Harappa mission has become even more pertinent to what the world needs. 

The world *needs* everyone to step up and LEAD themselves and others; to COMMUNICATE and make sense of these times and emotions; to COLLABORATE ferociously while they THINK and try to SOLVE for unprecedented problems. The world needs the Harappa Habits. 

In a way, this validates the universal need for Harappa Habits. In these circumstances, the time invested in building Habits will perhaps yield even more dividends than time invested in ‘upskilling’ on technical skills

We don’t know what a post-pandemic world looks like, but we do know that whatever it is, it will need us to Think, Solve, Communicate, Collaborate, and Lead. 

This is a new battle on uncharted territory. We, at Harappa, hope this resilience playbook or list of strategies can help you navigate the new world we’re living in.

  1. A Workspace That Works For You

It is a good idea to establish a designated workspace so you can separate work from other activities.

We recommend:

    • Working at a desk, sitting upright. Try alternating it with working in a standing position.

    • Taking down notes in a notepad or a computer, whichever you prefer. Information is flying thick and fast and this will help you put structure to it. 

    • Keeping a water bottle with you to stay hydrated. Drink a glass of water every hour. 

    • Avoid working from your bed and lying down while working. This can lead to posture problems.

  1. Organization Is Key

Take some time every morning to get organized.

We recommend:

    • Noting down your deliverables for the day

    • Assigning each item an appropriate amount of time

    • Setting agendas for all meetings so they do not run too long 

    • Trying your best to stick to your schedule

    • Taking your lunch break every day at the same time to bring consistency to your routine

Getting into a repetitive routine is a great way to be productive while working from home.

  1. Availability and Communication

Set clear expectations around availability and preferred mode of communication—as an individual and in teams. 

We recommend:

    • Keeping your active channels of communication open during work hours ONLY. Give yourself a break after work hours and respond to only critical requests. 

    • Coordinating with your team to keep the same working hours

Effectively communicating and collaborating will help you overcome feelings of isolation.

  1. Weekly Workflow

It’s no surprise that you have multiple projects being executed in parallel. Planning your workflow while working from home has never been more important.

We recommend:

    • Encouraging your teammates to master their daily task lists

    • This will help you organize your entire week as a team

    • You will be able to prioritize and effectively work towards collective goals

    • Trying not to switch between tasks too frequently

    • Leaving your original task unfinished is a productivity killer 

You risk losing the momentum and flow that you build when focusing on one task

  1. Meet Your Team

Setting a daily video meeting with your team while working from home is a good idea.

We recommend:

    • Setting your meeting early in the day so you can prioritize your deliverables as a team.

    • Participating in non-work related video conferences as well

    • Having a ‘work spouse’ or an accountability partner who checks in with you every few hours and has virtual lunches and chai breaks with you; to make it more fun, try to find a work spouse from another team!

  1. Take Breaks

Take breaks every hour or so to prevent yourself from burning out.

We recommend:

    • Getting up from your desk, walking around, and doing some stretches every hour or so

    • Going to your balcony and getting some sunlight and fresh air

    • Trying to avoid word in a dark room with no natural light as you will get tired faster

    • Making yourself some tea/coffee and having a light snack to recharge

Taking breaks and allowing yourself to recharge will help you crack productivity.

  1. End Your Work Day!

When you clock-out, that should be the end of your workday. It is critical to make this separation when working from home! 

We recommend:

    • Trying your best to not return to your workspace until it is time to clock-in the next morning

    • Read a book you’ve been meaning to

    • Spend quality time with your family/flatmates

    • Try and get some exercise if you can 

    • Try your hand at cooking; this is a great opportunity to learn

    • Start that indoor hobby you have always been meaning to

If you still receive emails after working hours from colleagues and team leaders, do not feel obligated to respond to them immediately. Everyone is working on their own schedule right now and we need to accommodate everyone’s personal context. Be sure to set expectations about after-hours calls and emails with your team heads. You deserve some time to relax at home.

Explore topics such as What is Self Awareness, Charisma and Resilience Examples from our Harappa Diaries blog section and take charge of your growth.

Tariq Hazarika is Manager, Operations at Harappa Education. He did a self-designed major in Anthropology, Journalism, and Gender and Women’s Studies, from Knox College in Illinois. He worked in AI research straight out of college and has been working with digital products ever since. 


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