2019-20 as everyone knows wasn't a great year for the world. A lot of countries are still struggling to cope with the 3rd and 4th wave of the pandemic, including India.
I was already working with a remote-first company before the pandemic so the transition for me work-wise wasn't that hard. What was hard, was to cope up with the restrictions on travel, going out within the city, meeting friends, and added house chores due to sanitary precautions.
I thrive in a remote culture as I am self-driven and love working autonomously. Remote work has allowed me to do stuff which I'd not have done while working with an in-office company. For example, I get to share meals with my wife, take regular breaks while working and do some house chores, make a quick phone call with my friends and catch up for 10-15 mins, play Playstation sometimes, and some afternoons are spent napping for 20-40 mins, so on and so forth. In short, I love remote work 🤓
But during the pandemic, things haven't been as expected. Yes, it was a little easy for me compared to others who had to do the physical and mental switch towards "working from home". While others were dealing with the problems that I had solved and perfected long back when I started working remotely (i.e. how to setup home office, what will be their working hours, how to communicate with team members effectively, etc.), for me, the problems were advanced and based on the fact that I can't go out and work from cafes, play football, learn MMA, or do other outdoor activities that I'd have liked.
However, throughout this, I think I managed my physical and mental well-being quite well. Thanks to practicing yoga and meditating about 3-4x per week. But even after having a decent 2 years at work during a pandemic and doing well physically, I still felt mentally exhausted and couldn't find time for a few things that I've been wanting to spend more time on.
The reason I could pinpoint for this was mostly the house chores that were introduced due to covid, i.e. cooking, doing dishes, buying groceries from a nearby supermarket, sanitizing it, and whatnot. Although, I did take breaks every few months for a few days and some days in-between but those were either used up in finishing pending house chores or just sitting back and recharging a bit. I never made sound progress on the things I wanted to work on.
So starting last week, I am officially on a 2-3 week break. The sole purpose of this break is to spend time on activities / projects that I want to do. The theme here is simple: Doing things I love.
Here's my not-so-serious to-do list during this PTO:
- 💆 Relax and recharge mentally: During this break, my utmost priority is to care less. Do things that I want. Or do nothing if the mood is such for that day. But also try and make time for the activities mentioned below.
- ⚽️ More yoga and football: I have been practicing yoga to a decent amount and going to continue that. But I stopped playing football due to nationwide lockdown since early 2020. Now that things have opened up here in India, I have started playing football and will be going to play a bit more than usual (2x/week).
- 🧑💻 Work on personal website: I've been wanting to work and make good progress on my personal website. I did start and moved the needle a bit early this year but those were really slow - check the current state at sankalpsinha.com. So another focus is going to be around designing and coding the Projects, About, and the Photos page of the site.
- ♻️ Audit physical and digital belongings: I love organising stuff, be it in-and-around the house or my digital files. I do that every few months but haven't done that in a while. Hence, will spend some time auditing the house and get rid of unused items - will either sell it or donate it. And I'll also audit my digital stuff such as documents, receipts, design files, or photos I've taken in the last few months.
- 📚 Resume reading books: I want to finish the book called "Deep Work". I started it more than a year now but only read like 20% of it. I want to finish it off and pick up the next book that's lined up.
- 🎮 Play game on Playstation: Gaming has always been close to my heart and loved playing digital games since I was a kid. I have been keeping with most of the major titles that are coming up in PS world but haven't been able to play a few. GTA5 is an old game but it's on my radar to start during this break. Last of Us 2 is still one of my favorites and I might play some parts of it again.
- ✍️ Write more: I like blogging. It's meditative and is also cool to document one's progress or thoughts about a topic. Haven't done that in a while so also going to look into my drafts and might try to push 1-2 more posts this year. Yes, I'm deliberately keeping the target of blogging small ;)
That's all. Will keep posting how I do on those on my Twitter account @sankalpdomore. 🐦
Oh, and yes, if you also feel mentally blocked or exhausted at work, take that break. You deserve it. ❤️
P.S.: The hero image is 3 years old and is from my trip to Langkawi, Malaysia.