Whether you work at a small school or for a global corporation, working remotely is more and more common—and now more than ever. For those of us who tend to worry about the future, staying focused and approaching our work consistently and with due diligence is no easy task!
Of course, this is old news. Evagrius, fourth century monk, examined a condition that would overtake man through a pattern of destructive thoughts, eventually leading to despondency—a state of listlessness and inability to perform one’s duties in life. This rejection of time and reality has been coined the “noonday devil.” Whether or not you suffer from despondency, it’s not hard to imagine that in isolation, we look for ways to escape.
Below are some ways to save your soul working remotely, and if you’d like to invest more in your remote work consider reading Remote: Office Not Required, if not Evagrius himself.
A subtle but pernicious challenge with working remotely, especially among ambitious and committed colleagues, is working too much and burning out. These practices can help you succeed and sustain yourself while working remotely.
Consider the natural conversations that occur in an office setting and endeavor, to the extent possible, to find similar opportunities at home with friends and family. Work from a local coffee shop or library for an afternoon. Getting out of the house, seeing other people, working from a different setting, can help put things in perspective and provide a boost, even for people who may be more introverted.
We are not made to be alone, and in our version of being a secular monk, forced or otherwise, there are ways to battle the “noonday devil,” not if but when he comes for you.
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