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Beginners guide: How to move from ‘just Surviving’ to ‘Thriving’

'Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord , and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. ' Psalm 1:1-3
A blessed person is like a tree planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in all seasons. Psalm 1:1-3

We’ve always learned to work along with someone. 

The sudden transition to a world without actual faces, resources, touch, zilch hallway chat and the absence of Nagesh who faithfully brought in hot tea at 4 PM, can make one feel paralyzed. There are people who go through this trauma. They are unsure of how to conduct work with a disruption that placed them in a spot of insecurity.

Mental illness is slowly rising and consuming people who have little or no support to cope with an abrupt change in work or lifestyle. 

Isolation, Depression, Unemployment and Anxiety is real. There are many around us today who are silently bearing it all, unable to share their struggles due to social stigma or merely unaware of where help can be found.

Each change comes with its share of challenges. It’s vital to get the knack of adaption pretty early. 

Growing up I remember having Cacti at home. 

My mom has a green thumb and she can plant a whole garden effortlessly. I confess to being a plant killer. 

My chore was simple – to water the plants daily. ‘Remembering’ was not a skill I mastered at that time. So, the best thing about growing cactus is there’s no guilt if you miss watering for a few days. It still thrives.

The insider’s secret – They don’t function as most plants do. 

They have succulent tissue, waxy skin, prickly spines, and a specialized root system to take every advantage in their harsh ecosystems. No deep roots. Instead, they often develop extensive, shallow root systems that sit just under the surface of the Earth and can extend several feet away from the plant, ready to absorb as much water as possible.

When it rains, cacti shoot out more roots. During dry periods, roots will shrivel up and break off to conserve the plant’s water supply.

Cactus stands by ‘making hay while the sun shines’. This seemingly toned-down plant is intelligent to put up with harsh circumstances and thrive in the toughest of seasons. Truly remarkable, right. 

The greater fact is we too are built to thrive. 

We are one of God’s best creations far superior to plants and animals.

Then what goes wrong when there is a disruption?

In This Article

3 Common Reasons ‘we lose it‘ During Disruption

1. Denial to change. 

Some just don’t like it and refuse to budge from old ways. They are closed to learning and making improvements.

2. Amateurish nature. 

We rarely prepare for the future and often think that the worse may not hit us. 

3. Fear. 

The gripping effect of fear is real. Change brings in uncertainty and it threatens a stable habitat. Who likes having their boat shaken?

There is good news. 

Though change is constant and struggles are real, prevailing promotes thriving. 

Here are some ideas to thrive at WFH (or even in isolation). 

14 Ideas To Thrive At WFH

1. Meditate 

Soak in God’s word. There is no greater comfort than in the rich ensuring promises of Almighty. 

God's word is like wearing an ultra-protective gear. Isaiah 43:2
God's word is like wearing an ultra-protective gear. Isaiah 43:2

God promises, ‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. ‘ Isaiah 43:2

2. Be ready 

Plan your day and week ahead in time. If you don’t plan, someone else will plan it for you. Planning is one step towards getting things done. Key in bite-sized and specific to-do’s to make it achievable. 

3. Block your time 

You know how rapidly meetings can take up all the real estate on your calendar. Block time for getting your work done. Share your calendar with the team so that your available time is visible. You will have more control over the day and have a fulfilled heart at the end.

4. Put a boundary on your workday 

Set a start and end time. 

If you are collaborating with teams who are at distributed locations it may look hard. However, it’s not impossible. What worked for me is – Planning a stand-up early morning. This encourages everyone to start at the same time. Have a common lunchtime and you will eventually close for the day at around the same time. 

Be consistent. And don’t be guilty if there are exceptional days. Some days are unpredictable. 

Working within a time frame will give you space to rest and make room for other things that need attention. 

5. Be responsible for the time 

Respect people’s time. Don’t let your work delay someone. 

6. Rest

Rest improves productivity. It boosts immunity, concentration, slows down ageing and much more. 

Rest does not mean taking up a non-profession related activity. Keep aside screen, hobby or anything that needs an effort.

Build rest into your rhythm. Sleep early and get a good night’s siesta. The synapses in the brain will love you for that.

7. Breathe 

Lost in work or thought huh! Have you noticed your breathing? 

Is it half and not frequent? 

I am a culprit myself. I tend to take short incomplete breaths. Although I am now making a conscious effort to improve. 

If you are like me, let’s make an effort to breathe well. Decent fill of oxygen can do wonders for our brain and keep us alert.

Tip: iOS has a ‘Breathe’ app that can buzz and remind you to breathe. 

8. Good Diet & Exercise 

They are like peas and carrots. Excellent combo.

When I first started working from home, I spent most of my working hours glued to the chair. With minimal physical activity and an incorrect posture, I eventually had a strained back & shoulder, knee pain and felt tired all the time. I wilfully brought in some changes to combat this. 15 mins of daily exercise, a good dose of sunlight, standing or walking around during phone calls/meetings made a remarkable difference.

Not to forget – drink water and having plenty of fruit. 

Tip: if you need the motivation to exercise, get a friend to join you over the phone. I partner with my daughters daily. Thanks to online school and my older daughter’s PE instructor I can combine some good variations. 

9. Plan for leaves

Whenever possible, take time off work. Don’t wait for a special occasion. However, do this with prior notice and in agreement with the team. 

Weekends don’t qualify as leaves. 

Those are days household chores take over since they were left untouched while you attended office work. 

Some may also think you don’t need a holiday if you are working from home. Working from home is doubly harder than working in your office space. You know that by now 😊

So, don’t wait for a vacation season. 

Work can wait, while you show your child a rainbow, but a rainbow won’t wait while you work.

(Excerpt from Raising children God’s way – Juliet Thomas)

10. Eat meals together 

Organize ‘Together Friday’s’ every week. Over video call, share what you have on your lunch plate and eat together. Use this time to talk about anything other than work. Give it a fancy name if you like. 

E.g. ‘Plate sharing’ instead of ‘Screen Sharing’?

Caution – Don’t make it elaborate and coax your mom or wife to cook something grand. Keep it very simple. Lentils and Rice accompanied with curd is just Yum! 

Remember your family too. Ensure you eat at least one meal together daily. Talk over meals. Ask about their day without assuming you know everything since you were at home. 

A lot more than food is shared over a meal. 

11. Check on neighbours and friends (old and new) 

A few days back I received a casual message from my neighbour. 

The fact she sent a message said she thought about me. 

Living in an apartment building, I just assumed my neighbours are taken care of and I completely missed checking on her. After replying to her I shot off a ‘Hi’ to another friend who lives upstairs. 

Connect with your old friends and colleagues too. Help them if they are having a difficult time. Check on them regularly. Let them know you are available to talk. The world needs someone who is less buried with themselves and can listen.

12. Rekindle your hobby 

I have a few things that I started and left unfinished. 

Time to get the ball rolling and you can too. 

Read those books, grow a kitchen garden, write, play/learn a musical instrument or learn a new method of cooking. 

13. Kick it up a notch 

Well, I recently upgraded my ability to cook. 

May 20, 2020, marks the day I made Chapatis (flatbread) for the first time.

(There is a hashtag for everything under the sun 😆, so why not!)

Top up your knowledge that will give a boost at work or for personal growth. 

Coursera, Udemy and Github have excellent resources. Some can run at your pace. 

14. Spiritual upgrade. 

We may not have access to phone all the time. Sans Google, our cherished Bible apps or even the Bible volume itself – how will we read God’s word? 

It’s the need of the hour to bring ourselves up to code and memorize scriptures. Store them up in your heart to have a constant flow of God’s Living water upgrade us. 

God says, “I will not fail you or abandon you” Joshua 1:5


These 14 tips are for you to try out.

Let me know which tip caught your attention and how you would implement it? 

I encourage you to use it daily and come back here to share the ‘before’ and ‘after’. 

You can use the comment section below to share the details.

If you liked this post as much as I enjoyed writing it, please share the link with others. I’d be grateful!

Have a blessed week and may you thrive at work.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

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