So the day has come. It is officially here people of Mzanzi. As of midnight tonight, we are on lockdown. Best get comfortable, although as a home is made for that, it will be easy. I should be saying, best get prepared! To survive our mini apocalypse and maintain productivity during this time, you need to have a plan.
For many of us, including our small but dedicated agency, the show must go on. And in 2020, there are great tools to enable you to do just that. You can keep the work sharp, the communication flowing, and the optimism up. We all need some of that right now.
Here are some of my recommendations for kicking the lockdown’s sorry ass;
1. Use Slack
Obvious right!? Not as obvious as I thought it would be, many are still oblivious to Slack. This incredible communication tool enables multi-channel communication between you and your colleagues for fast and easy messaging. It gets better, you can easily share files and enable integrations into your project management software for live updates. Whatsapp you say? Sure, that works but during the lockdown, you will be receiving plenty of friends and family texts from the lonely hearts missing you so much. It would be best to keep that ping for personal stuff.
2. Video Calling
No face to face meetings with the COVID-19 running amok. No problem, Zoom, Teams, Facetime and a plethora of others have your back. Whatever you choose, ensure you have screen sharing options for optimal communication. Think of the time you save not having to travel to meetings, also saving on the expenses of artisanal coffee and premium bottled water at that cafe you chose. The best part, you get away having your meetings in shorts and literally nobody knows or cares for that matter.
Use this tool as a way to touch base with your team as well. It will help you stay connected and not be as impersonal as a voice call.
3. Good Music
Go on, now is the time to splurge on that premium subscription. Upgrade your Spotify, Google Music or iTunes to get uninterrupted ad-free tunes tailored to you. Make playlists for any mood or task and ensure your optimal level throughout the day. Radio? No. You have better taste than that, even if you don’t know it yet. Ask friends to share their playlists with you and explore a new musical soundtrack to add to your storyline in the lockdown.
4. Learn something new
Perhaps you will have a lot of downtime during this period? Don’t spend it on the couch, make the most of it and upgrade yourself. Learn a new skill, start the Zulu lessons you have been meaning to and get busy. Check out the Mashable Shop for great courses to upgrade your craft or the ever-reliable Udemy for courses on almost everything. There are special offers and up to 90% off on many great courses so invest in yourself and come out the 21-day lockdown more skilled.
5. Snacks and Refreshments
Seriously. You will need this. You are not at the office anymore or have the luxury of walking down the street for a fresh cup of coffee, taking a break for that delicious but indulgent brunch at your local or simply enjoying a cone of Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream because it’s hot and why the hell not, it was a treat yourself kind of day. You will be hungry and staring at a pantry of canned beans and tuna. Stock up on your favourites but try to keep it healthy people, include nuts and biltong (even the vegan kind if that is your persuasion), dried fruit, popcorn and chocolate for when you need a pick me up, rough days will come. A fellow entrepreneur and friend, who will not be named (but will be linked) would have this section listed first and would be disappointed in me not emphasising the importance of regular snacks more adamantly, or not having an exhaustive list of recommendations to ease your choice burden but hey. Go out and get stuff but leave some for others, the shops will be open.
May these next 21 Days of perpetual lockdown be as swift and as pleasant as possible. Use technology to empower you and be patient with those using these tools for the first time and figuring it out. Patience and time are what we have now, it is not like you have anywhere else you need to be. Be good to each other and stay safe. See you on the other side of this.
Images courtesy of Unsplash
* There has been no monetary contribution from any of the products or solutions in this post. There is also no professional affiliation between myself , UNBRANDED and the companies mentioned. This is not an ad. It would be great if it was a paid gig to be honest but alas, free marketing for the rich.