You may be working from home, but that doesn’t mean less productivity. We need to simply learn from Hashem’s ways and apply them to our life.
We are told that when Hashem created the world, He had to remove himself from being “The One and Only”. The Hebrew term for this is “Tzimzum”, that is, a contraction of sorts. Without this “removal” there would be no space available for anything but Hashem. If there is to be a physical creation, one that includes occupying space, allowing for this “displacement”, necessitated for Hashem to remove Himself, to retreat, as it were.
How interesting it is then that many of us are now being forced to “retreat”, to work from home. An eye-opening parallel to say the least.
In Judaism, one of the key objectives in life is to emulate Hashem. And here we are in this new world reality of working from home, retreating, distancing ourselves from “real” existence.
In our working lives, questions of productivity, efficiency, creativity and more come to mind.
If we take a look at how Hashem created the universe, and seek to emulate His example, we can find much direction and instruction as to how to approach this new reality of working from home.
Each day during the process of creation Hashem focused on one task and one task alone. One day creating light, another creating foliage, mammals, and so on. He took one day at a time. Surely He had a master plan, and could have done it all in an instant, but He still built the world and the universe one day and one step at a time.
When it comes to personal productivity and working from home, or even at an office, we too can take this model for ourselves. We should of course have our master plans, our goals, and our visions of where we are headed, as did Hashem. In order to make sure that we are being productive however, and on target, it is best to take on, and focus on one task, and one day at a time. The idea of multitasking, not the subject of this article, has been shown to be much less effective than staying focused on one item at a time. Just Google the idea of multitasking, as opposed to “task-stacking” to learn more.
Once we’ve completed a specific task, or a set of tasks, and thus our emulation of Hashem’s approach to creation, we should end each day, week, month, and year with reflection and appreciation of what we have accomplished. “And Hashem saw that it was good…”. After having appreciated, understood, and learned from what we’ve accomplished, we can then move on to the next day, task, and project.
Create Systems, and outsource when possible, for best productivity. In order to make our lives even more productive, the next point of emulation ofHashem’s way of working is to notice the fact that in essence the entire world as we know it on planet Earth is based on a system of outsourcing. As a matter of fact, if we look at each creature within creation, and even at the stars, moon, sun, planets, and at all the other solar systems, they are all in essence outsourced with their assignments in the world so that G-d can sit back and relax if you will, and let the system work.
What better example of efficiency, and being on-task do we have, as that of how the sun shines and provides energy to planet Earth. And in turn the plants, animals, water, minerals and so on provide sustenance and nutrition to the world as well. They are all “outsourced” by Hashem Himself! Each with their specific role.
Is there happiness working from home? It is said that a great source of happiness comes from being of service to others. In this entire wonderful system, Hashem has provided the opportunity for happiness for all. He has provided a way for each and every bit of creation to be of service to each other.
And so too we, in our new work-from-home realities, can emulate that system. Though distanced from each other physically, each of us can be a star, in harmony with our teammates, working on our individual contributions, towards the achievement of our completed team-built masterpieces.
What about distractions? When we see and feel the “distractions” in front of us, of the sink full of dishes, the child or the spouse that needs attention, do we see them as distractions, or as blessings?
If we have a healthy perspective we certainly can see them as blessings. We can see them as the purpose of our having been born, as the purpose of our creation! They provide us the reason to wake up in the morning, to move forward, and to push to be productive and efficient. They give us the reason to be the Sun at the center, to shine on all that we touch. They are our “why”.
Even when times might be tough, when other perhaps negative “distractions” are there, when the clouds roll in, we can keep in mind that even on a cloudy day, the sun still shines, though we may not be able to see the sun behind the clouds. And those clouds can be seen as only blocking our vision, or we can recognize that within them there is rain. There is a blessing within them. There is energy, alternative energy if you will.
That’s what this new work-from-home reality is about. It is alternative energy. No, it’s not the energy of working in an office, in an environment with other people, live, in a physical way. And yes it is a little bit removed, if not a lot removed from the social aspects that offices provide.
This new reality comes with its own efficiencies, however. It comes with the positive environmental corrections that are created and that we have already come to see in the cleaner waters of the rivers and oceans, in the cleaner air that we are breathing. And let’s not forget the abundance of more family time we are now blessed with as well. All of this and more are the result of this new lower commuting reality we now live in.
This new work-from-home reality can be looked at as a labor of love. It can be seen as the heart, the center of our universe, just like the sun is the center of our galaxy, and Hashem the center and cause of all creation. We too can be the center of all our own creations.
So, let’s look at this new work-from-home reality, and the productivity and efficiencies it enables, as a blessing for all.