Circuit Breaker: Make Or Break
Updated: Apr 24
In light of the recent spike in locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced stricter safe-distancing measures to be taken to prevent the situation from worsening. He mentioned that these “circuit breaker” measures, which will last for about a month from 7 April to 4 May 2020, will “help reduce the risk of a big outbreak occurring. And it should also help to gradually bring our numbers down.”
The “circuit breaker” measures include shutting most workplaces with the exception of essential services, which means that employers of firms that don’t fall under essential services/key economic sectors must switch to full telecommuting while those working in essential services have to observe safe-distancing measures implemented by the government.
As a result of these stricter measures, we are mostly confined to our houses and we can no longer do the regular things we used to do for fun or relaxation such as shopping, catching a movie at the cinema or going to a bar for some drinks with friends. However, this does not mean that we can’t be productive and have a fulfilling time at home. We can see this “circuit breaker” period as an opportunity to reconnect with yourself and take the time to care for yourself and those around you.
1. Set objectives and goals
Though it may seem like 2020 is already over with the constant stream of bad news, this is not the case. We must keep having faith that things will turn better.
2020 has just begun, we are not even halfway into it yet.
Keep your focus.
Don’t get distracted and sidetracked just because the world seems to have come to a halt.
Use this circuit breaker period as a time for self-reflection and inward soul searching.
What do you want to achieve in 2020?
We may need to use alternative methods to get there, but our end goal can remain the same as before this global pandemic struck.
2. Set work life timetable
Do not think of this circuit breaker as a holiday for yourself.
We are not on holiday and work carries on. The only difference is that our work is carried out at home now.
Even though we are in the comfort of our homes, we should designate a work area with less distraction.
Sticking to a work routine will help you stay focused and keep the momentum going.
Example of my timetable:
0800hrs Wake up/Quiet Time
1600hrs Follow Up with Clients
2000hrs Clients Meeting
3. Learn a new skill
Working from home is different from working in your offices.
There are new things you need to learn and adapt to.
For example, a lot of us are not well acquainted with virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. However, these platforms are now essential with the new work from home arrangement. We have to quickly learn and familiarize ourselves with these technological platforms in order for telecommuting to work smoothly.
For those who are not working, you can also take this time to learn new skills such as cooking. Using a rice cooker to make KFC chicken rice, among other recipes, have been trending. Since most of us Singaporeans own a rice cooker, why not give it a go?
4. Policy and portfolio review
With an unexpected global crisis like this happening, wouldn’t it be apt to review your policies and portfolios?
This period can be an affirmation for some, a wake up call for many, that financial planning is something that we all need to take seriously
Imagine this lock-down period as your retirement days.
No work. No pay.
Your income stops but your expenses continue.
If you fail to prepare now, you would probably suffer in the future.
You would likely end up having to depend on others for financial support for expenses that you should have been responsible for.
Food for thought:
If today is the last day you can get insurance, how much will you get for yourself and your family?
5. Read up
When was the last time you read a book or a thought-provoking magazine article?
Are you updated with the latest news and information?
Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information, and you never know when it might come in handy. The more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face.
Remember that although you might lose everything else—your job, your possessions, your money, even your health—knowledge can never be taken from you.
6. Work out
During these 28 days, we get the opportunity to not just work from home but also work out at home and at public parks.
Not being outside does not mean we do not have to work out.
After all, our body and physical health are important.
Need some extra motivation to get moving?
Do you know you can be rewarded up to $10 voucher every week when you do exercise?
Speak to me to find out more.
7. Spend time with family and self
Family time is an essential factor that helps to create strong bonds, love, connections, and relationships among the family members.
There may be some of us who have been busy outside at work that we have neglected our family times. Take this period of time to spend quality time with our family.
And also not forgetting ourselves.
We need to spend time with ourselves. To speak to ourselves. To do self-reflection. To grow as individuals.
Each and every one of us can, and must do our part, to keep everyone in Singapore safe from COVID-19.
As we face these challenging moments together, I am here to assure you that I am always here for you.
Let's continue to stay united, we will make it through this together!
Stay safe and healthy!
P.S. I am available for Tele-Consultation via Zoom/Microsoft Teams.
Contact me now to set up a session. Look forward to hearing from you.