It has been three months since the New Year began, since we celebrate the start of a new decade, and the world changed (literally) for us, baffled us with a wee virus (with no cure discovered so far), and limited us to our homes. But, let’s not forget we are still a global village, connected (both voluntarily and involuntarily) 24/7. And anything that you do would have an impact on another. So, whether you are working from home or office, or are on quarantine “vacations”, here’s what else you can do besides washing hands and keeping a six-foot distance to be the superhero the world needs right now.
Creating your own environment
In words of Mashal Amir Ali, Owner and Co-Founder Runway Pakistan, your passion should be your driving force. When your entire focus is on the quality of work you produce, there’ll be no room for, say, bossy attitudes or asking for undue favouritism. The team members feel comfortable around one another and it automatically creates a cosy and friendly environment at your workspace. The thing is no one else will do it for you; you have to do it.
Maintaining the work-life balance
This has always been one of the superpowers of Ameena Saiyid, MD Lightstone Publishers and Director Adab Festival. According to her, what matters is productivity.
Know your priorities – be at home to attend to a sick child, but also remember when you have to meet a client for an important deal. In this age, where work from home is a lifestyle for most people, everything’s acceptable given that you deliver things on time.
Surrounding yourself with like-minded people
Actress Mansha Pasha leads an unconventional life and has tried to apologise for it, overcompensate for it, even though she thought it odd doing so. It did not work in her favour. Instead, with time, she learnt that it all comes down to who you are with really. If the person is the kind who trusts you, who thinks your work is as important to you as his work is to him, then you lead a happier and easier life. Because you want to come home to a person who actually understands you.
Going with the flow
Birgit Lamm, Country Head FNF Pakistan, reckons she is privileged in making new experiences for herself as she works in a new country and explores local places and communities.
One of the things she has observed during her stay in Pakistan is life happens while man makes plans.
In situations where fellow Germans, so obsessed with their quality and perfection, would have been clueless, she’s seen Pakistanis improvise. Put your talent and creativity to good use: get a job done when things get wobbly.
Reclaiming your power of choice
Look at any relationship of your life – there are always certain demands, with people in particular and society in general telling you what you can and cannot do in a particular role. For one reason or another, under the guise of “majboori”, we put up with them. However, Asma Mustafa Khan, CEO BeMore, refers to these reasons as ‘mere excuses’ because you do have the power of choice. Sticking around in certain relationships might not be the best decision of your life and yet you did, since it was your choice to lead that life. And this is what made the journey worthwhile.
Respecting other people’s opinions
You know that saying “give respect and take respect”? A lot of us focus on the earning part and not the giving one. If you want to give respect, how do you do that? By listening to the other person. Just because you are quiet and you let others do 75 percent of the talking doesn’t mean you are a good listener. And just because you’re good at talking and receiving what the other says doesn’t mean you are a great listener, either. Hearing isn’t necessarily listening nor is it necessarily listening well.
The way you nod or fill in the gaps with conversation with fillers, the way you ask questions and/or reflect on the topic, and the way the muscles around your eye twitch when you make contact and show your level of interest. Shireen Naqvi, Founder School of Leadership, says it’s more difficult to give respect than to earn it because it requires patience. In a way, giving respect becomes a test of your own character because you need patience for that, and patience is the stage where you don’t judge, where you don’t resent them, and where you don’t get restless or hopeless listening to them.
Staying true to yourself
With the time spent on social media, we are all contributing to online content creation in some form. If you believe what you have to say matters, then are you actually posting what matters? Swayed and intimidated by numbers – followers, likes, comments, views, shares – the key is to bear in mind why you’re there in the first place. It was to create content; whether it was seen by two people or a thousand, doesn’t matter. You had a vision and if you got a chance to inspire even one person, to change his/her mindset, then it’s a big deal.
Influencers or digital marketers are taking over advertising based on their expertise and popularity. You can also earn money through the medium and consider it as a full-time job. For that purpose, Amtul Baweja, Founder Patangeer, has a tip for you: work hard, be consistent, and be organic. It’s unfortunate that everything is quantified, but don’t let it get to you. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are content platforms, which keep changing and adding tools to facilitate and help you only. Post on a regular basis and it’s all onwards and upwards from there. Your audience will remember you and engage with you on social media. Establish a connection with them: take feedback, respond to DMs, etc. Platforms like Instagram, especially, are all about community-building. Make sure you treat your fellow content creators too as collaborators, not competitors. Be kind and help each other, but also stick to your vision and your style.