post-COVID workplace
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Are you one of those people who regularly resolve to do better? And do you get down to working on your resolve immediately or do you wait for the first day of the working week or the first day of the month or the first day of the year to get started?

Most of us look upon New Year’s Day as the appropriate time to take ourselves in hand: to take that first step to the new “you”, the hardworking “you”, the “you” on a low-calorie diet or whatever it is you resolve.

But as we know, that first day of the year can sometimes pass in a haze of recovering from our celebrations of the previous night — yes, even in these Covid times — and the first day of the working week or the beginning of the month can fly by in a blur of routine work.

What usually happens with me is something like this: I resolve that I’m going to write my thousand words a day from the first of next month, so on the last day of this month I set out to prepare the stage for it. The fridge needs to be full of cooked food so that I don’t have to get into the kitchen for a couple of days (or preferably weeks), the various surfaces in the house need to be sparkling clean so that I don’t get derailed in the middle of my train of thought when spots and blots jump out at me and send me in search of scouring cloth and disinfectant. All routine jobs like paying the bills need to be completed, my exercise regimen needs to be set in stone and most important, the plan for the new story needs to be worked out ...

But, by the time all this is done, or even a couple of these things are done, I feel the need for several days of good old-fashioned R&R to recover from the strain of doing all those many things I dislike doing. That spurt of planning and preparing to launch into my resolution thus takes me into midweek / mid-month / midyear; I choose another “appropriate” day for relaunch and en route to that, my resolutions are tossed away and my venture into a “new” life becomes a damp squib.

No brain waves, no extraordinary or unfettered flow of prose, no fireworks of any sort to mark my progress into a writer’s paradise of productivity …

This — or something like this, depending on what your resolution is and how you prepare to set it in motion — could go on for months on end, leaving you feeling directionless and disheartened.

So, don’t you think the best time to begin anything or change anything or basically do anything is NOW?

Let those unpaid bills be — until the reminders come in or the phone/cable connection gets cut off!

Forget the work surfaces and whether they are clean and clear of clutter.

Rejoice in the lack of fully cooked meals in the freezer. That will give the other inmates of the house the challenge of experimenting with whatever they find in the vegetable tray — and who knows, maybe the joint “rescue-from-starvation” exercise may stimulate their creativity and resolve and bring everyone closer together in their struggle!

You just get to work.

The right time could be and should be right now, especially when we have a lingering pandemic still affecting livelihoods and lifestyles and claiming precious lives as well.

So, maybe we, the admittedly more faint of heart, could find support in each other and forge ahead into a brand new future with resolve, seizing each day, creating opportunity, and being inspired by those who do instead of those who turn their back on challenges and merely seek the comfort of inactivity.

— Cheryl Rao is a writer based in India