Posted 24 March 2020

The benefits of saying ‘good morning’ and ‘good night’ when routine has been disrupted

There’s no denying that working life looks and feels a little different right now. Those working remotely have replaced their morning and evening commutes with short walks to their kitchen tables, living room desks and other makeshift spaces. Our social lives too, are playing out on screens even more so than before. For many, getting up in the morning and going home at the end of the day were distinctive start and finish points – but when your work and home life collide, those distinctions aren’t so clean-cut. Here’s why we think continuing to say ‘good morning’ and ‘good night’ can help.

Creating and setting boundaries
In our recent article by journalist and speaker Paula Akpan, she cited setting boundaries and creating routine as some of the most critical elements to working successfully from home. “Sometimes,” Paula says, “it requires you tricking your mind and body into a routine resemblant of a regular office job.” It’s a challenge that a lot of people will now surely empathise with. Because when work and home occupy the same physical space, there’s an increased risk of overworking and not being able to fully switch off at the end of your day – particularly if you’re using the same laptop to watch Netflix or chat with friends.

The benefit of checking in and signing off
Up until last week, Lecture in Progress was based in northeast London. Right now, our team of five is spread across the capital, working from our individual workstations. So know that if you’re finding the line between life and work something of a blur, you’re not alone!

What has helped, however, is our cross-company Slack account, which also includes our sister companies It’s Nice That and Anyways Creative. When we shut the studio last week, the channel adopted a part of office culture that we’d taken for granted – the act of greeting each other every morning, and saying goodbye at the end of the day. Just that small check-in made a big difference to maintaining a sense of positivity and community online. It can also be a much-needed signal, for yourself and others, that you’re done for the day, or ready to start anew.

Good Morning, Good Night
This is part of the thinking behind a new mini-series we launched today on Instagram Stories, called “Good Morning, Good Night.” To punctuate the start and end of our new and unfamiliar working days, we’re calling upon a range of creatives to share a morning dose of motivation, and a takeaway note at night.

To kick things off, we reached out to Leeds-based illustrator and poet, Matthew the Horse, who used his Good Morning message to share a compilation of music from the Nintendo game, Animal Crossing. “It’s perfect for a slow, bright beginning to your day,” Matthew told us. Be sure to tune in for his sign-off later this evening, and over the next week, when we’ll also be joined by photographic art director Gem Fletcher, illustrators Helena Covell and Allison Filice, and animator Kévin Gemin.

So if you’re struggling to land on a new sense of routine, we’re hoping these messages might inspire your working rhythm. As we look forward, some days will be good, some great, others will be a challenge – but tomorrow will always be another day. As artist Ryan Gander’s Dad says, “Let the world take a turn.” Sometimes there’s calm to be found in taking things 24 hours at a time.

Written by Creative Lives in Progress