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Hub for Good

Meet Chris. Chris Bailey is a productivity expert, bestselling author and alumnus (BCom/13). Thanks to his background in marketing and management and a passion for all things productivity, Chris has built a powerful brand for himself: A Life of Productivity. And he’s using that brand to help his followers during this unusually stressful time.

Chris has been a longtime blogger and diversified his offerings to his readers in 2019 by adding a podcast into the mix. The ‘Becoming Better’ podcast, co-hosted by Chris and his wife Ardyn Nordstrom (BCom/15), focuses on how to become a better person through topics such as productivity, happiness, giving back and gratitude.

Realizing that working from home is a challenge for most—one that becomes even trickier when our focus is consumed by negative news and stress—Chris set out to support his network in the best way he knows how: by offering a special podcast episode on how to work from home during a stressful time.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone who is finding it easy to focus right now,” Chris admits. “In a strictly digital environment, there’s a lot more noise and distraction. We’re all trying to make sense of this. So I wanted to share a few ideas and tips that will help people be more productive and at the same time happier.”

The 30-minute podcast episode shares strategies for maintaining productivity and focus throughout the day, including creating to-do lists every morning, establishing rituals and sticking to them, scheduling distraction time and creating an ‘invisibility mode’ with other people in your home.

When asked why productivity is valuable during a time like this, Chris explains that “productivity can be an escape for some people.”

He elaborates: “When we accomplish something, we have a sense of meaning—a feeling that we’re using our time well. Finding something to be deeply engaged with is a proven way to be happy and find calmness. In general, our work makes us way happier than we think.”

Even still, Chris recognizes the enormous pressure posed by our current situation. And he urges his community to heed one important message: be kind to yourself.

“The honest truth is that it’s really hard to focus right now. This is a universal human reaction to this type of crisis,” he assures. “Productivity is so much more than the time we put in; it’s a product of our attention and energy. And a situation like this drains our energy. We have a lot less attention because we’re living through and dealing with so much.”

He continues: “If you can’t focus, it’s fine. Don’t beat yourself up. I’m going through the same thing. Even though I study productivity and focus for a living, I’m struggling; I feel anxious, too. What you’re feeling is not unique to you.”

Chris’ advice to his community? Find something to savour every day.

“There’s so much in our lives that we can savour—it could be time with family, listening to our favourite music, a decadent Uber Eats meal or going for a run outside. Look at what makes you happy and do more of it. You can’t savour something and be anxious at the same time.”

Listen to the podcast here.

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