Best Practices from Virtual Veterans: The Gift of Time

Best Practices for Virtual Veterans: The Gift of Time Quiz by Anne McCarthy

Believe it or not, there may be a silver lining to COVID-19. For me, that silver lining is the gift of time.

For ‘non-essential workers’ who are diligently complying with the ‘stay at home orders,’ it’s difficult to imagine having the luxury of time in your day. This is especially true for those of us who continued with our full-time jobs and assumed additional household responsibilities such as teacher, caregiver or short-order cook!

Trust me – as you and your new ‘co-workers’ settle in at the kitchen table, there will be opportunities to establish new habits, new routines and everyone’s time management skills will improve!

Remember the old airline safety message: ‘Please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others?’ It’s the same principle. As a 10-year veteran of the virtual workspace, I consider time my most precious resource. I encourage you to create new routines that stretch you personally and professionally, and grow your intellectual, emotional and physical capacity!

Here are a few suggestions:

GET SMART. In the spirit of goodwill and great brand building, many businesses, associations and other organizations are currently offering free or discounted content. Tap into a few freebies from IDEO, AMA or one of your professional associations like the Arthur W. Page Society. And, don’t forget about great podcasts, like Make Me Smart.

GET CULTURED. Tuck in earbuds at the start of your morning walk and infuse a bit of culture into your routine. If you have an Audible account, tap into one of the Great Books or learn a new language. If there is a piano gathering dust or a guitar sitting in a closet, use a bit of your discretionary time to learn how to play an instrument.

GET FIT. Even though gyms are closed across the country, there are lots of ways to stay active and fit. If you don’t have a Peloton, you can download the app and get 90 days of free workouts. If you feel like joining an online bootcamp, try Barry’s. If you want to do yoga, try my friend Kasey’s online yoga class. And, if you’re looking for an emotional respite, try calm or Headspace for a collection of free meditations.

GET TOGETHER. Don’t let the embargo on hugs stop you from connecting with your fellow humans — it’s crucial. Consider a weekly phone call to an isolated neighbor, family member or a former colleague. Take it from me, it’s a source of genuine inspiration and a great use of time!

Don’t get me wrong, COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on our world as we knew it. But why not make the most of what we can control under the circumstances? If you are healthy and able to create new routines, I hope you’ll join me and leverage the gift of time!


Once you find the time, what will you do with it?

  1. Get Smart
  2. Get Cultured
  3. Get Fit
  4. Get Together
  5. All of the Above
  6. OTHER (fill in)



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