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Staying Efficient at Work Amid a Personal Crisis

27 September 2021

POV: You’re a corporate employee for a health insurance company that requires you to report to work from 9 to 5. Recently, your mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and your boyfriend of four years just ended things with you. 

At this point in your life, you should already know that the everyday grind isn’t rainbows and sparkles. There would be thunderstorms even before those rainbows appear. It’s easy to give up when the going gets tough but sooner or later, reality would slap you with a mountain of bills to pay. In the midst of a personal crisis, there is no choice but to continue to work. 

This is where your best efforts at keeping your work and life balance separate may come in handy. Yes, it’s an extremely difficult time to focus and be efficient at work but with the right mindset and good habits, it’s not totally impossible. Here are some tips to stay productive at work while dealing with a personal crisis. 


1. Communicate. 

The first step is to decide how much of your problem will you be willing to share in the office. The rule of thumb is to only disclose what your office needs to know because it will be affecting your availability at work. If you have a close work friend you want to share your problems with, make sure they can be trusted and your conversation stays between the two of you. 

Next is to assess your company’s office culture and decide the best way for you to communicate your problem. If the office culture is open and welcome, then it’s probably okay to share that you’re dealing with something at home. Just don’t go into detail in order to protect your privacy and free you from judgment regarding your work performance. If the work dynamic in your office is very professional, it’s most likely best for you to only divulge the information to your HR, office manager, or direct superior. 

2. Break down your work into small, manageable tasks.

2. Break down your work into small, manageable tasks. 

It’s difficult to focus and get your work done when you have so many things going into your mind. It will get overwhelming and frustrating that you would cry for a much-needed break. If this happens, by all means, stand up from your chair, leave your desk, take deep breaths and go out for a walk. 

But after your break, you would still have to work. To finish what needs to be done, you have to plan ahead and break down your tasks into small, manageable action steps. Write your to-do list on a whiteboard and be specific as much as possible (for example, answer five e-mails or write 10 sentences before taking a break). 

Flexispot’s height-adjustable whiteboard standing desk is your perfect companion at work for this time. You may write anything you need to do or things you have done at your desk anytime. It has a dry-erase whiteboard desktop which is sized at 48” x 24.” It’s made of a PET high-gloss film which is smooth and durable, perfect for writing down quick notes with a dry-erase marker. The desktop can also be flipped into a fully functional whiteboard by adjusting it to different angles (0/60/70/80/90°) and locking it where you desire. 

Learn to say no.

3. Learn to say no. 

Think of it this way: you’re helping yourself and your employer if you learn how to say no. Rank your tasks in order of priority and focus on the ones that are marked urgent and important. For tasks that aren’t part of your job description, kindly say no and if your superior insists, offer an alternative plan that won’t add extra workload for you. 

Set boundaries and stick to them, especially knowing that at this time, you can only deliver what’s on paper and not perform extra favors. It’s always better to not overpromise in order to manage expectations. 

Ask for help.

4. Ask for help. 

Or if you’re in the position to do so, learn how to delegate. You are not a superhuman or a superhero. The reality is you’re facing a major life crisis and you’re doing your best not to let it affect other areas of your life. That alone deserves a trophy so calm down and don’t put added pressure on yourself. Be compassionate and accept what you can and cannot do. You may indirectly ask people for help by requesting for a deadline extension because the extra hours may help you manage your time realistically. You may also inquire about your benefits as an employee like, for example, health insurance may help pay for your mother’s hospitalization. 

Prioritize your health.

5. Prioritize your health. 

Never take your health for granted even at a difficult time. If you get sick or burnt out because of everything that is currently happening in your life, your work performance will surely suffer. You may even add another problem to your life if you don’t prioritize your health. Meditate at least once a day and check up on yourself. 

One way that you can stay active is by using a desk bike. Flexispot has a Sit2Go 2-in-1 fitness chair that will be perfect to boost your energy and help you stay alert and focused with your work. You may do some light or heavy pedal work based on the resistance level that you choose. The important thing is you are still able to put in some workout to your life even when it’s seemingly falling apart. 

Another good news is that the desk bike is on sale for Flexispot’s standiversary this September. Up until September 29, you may get your hands on one at the discounted rate of $279.99 from $399.99. What a great deal, is it? 

6. Take a vacation.

6. Take a vacation. 

We’re not saying you have to spend money at a time that you need it for hospital care or medication. A break, however, is needed for you to recharge and relax. Use your paid leaves and take time off from work. This will help you in a way to reset and also not let your energy at the moment affect your officemates.